Initiative

Can I lead the Army of One?  

Do I have what it takes to lead myself to do what’s next or am I going to wait for someone else to show me the way?  

Are you going to take the time to teach yourself a new skill, pushing yourself through all those awkward stages of learning, failure and frustration to get there?

Initiative is the singular form of leadership and it’s the basis for your own personal growth that can be only directed by you.  Whether you’re cranking out code or leading a team, Initiative is what wakes you up in the morning or will keep you up at night when you need to learn finish that last online course, compile that last build or fix that bug that’s been staring you in the face for days, mocking your every action.

Delivery

Deliveries are our most visible “wins”, but they are a double-edged sword.  Leapers are always aware to not let things like process, methodology, meetings, extraneous decision making and other activities become slated as “deliverables”.  

Attending a meeting is not a delivery.

Sending in your status report is not a delivery.

Ensuring your team knows when the customer is expecting those last second hot-featured fixes and having it in their hands a day early IS delivery.

Helping your team by taking on the grunt work, reducing their bug piles so you can get the latest release out the door (maybe even a week late) IS delivery.

Busy work is not delivery.

Delivery is measured by the value quotient it brings to yourself, your team and/or your customer.

Drive

I prefer the use of drive over passion.  I find that passion is a great word to define your interest in something as in – “I am passionate about Internet Of Things devices.  I’ve bought a kit, played with it, I’ve even built a small little application – this has been fun.”

I’ve shown my passion for IoT.

But when you are driven, when you have a drive for something like the Internet of Things, you start to push yourself to not only understand how the kit works, but how to make it better, how to create something that you can productize and share with the world.  How to reach out to that potential new client with an unproven idea that no one has ever heard of.  

Drive is what keeps you going when the chips are down, the hours long, and you’re feeling a little burnt but the end is near and you refuse to relent.  

Invest in the Mundane

If cool powerpoint decks are not your speciality – buy one.

If running payroll is not your thing – find a partner that does it.

If your website is lacking that certain panache – find someone and pay them.

If your social media knowledge is limited to posting food pics – find someone who can broaden your horizon.

If designing a logo is outside your expertise – there are some great sites that take it from hours to minutes.

The point is, don’t waste your energy worrying about the mundane.  Invest in it and focus on the work that really matters your work.

You don’t need to do it all at once, do it as you need it, then keep iterating.

But definitely stop wasting your time on the mundane.

Three Components of Any Leadership Style

I’ve often been asked what Leadership style/method do I use as well as listening to what others prescribe.

I’ve always found this an odd question because I’ve always thought one of the great components of a great Leadership style is being able to switch up your style based on a variety of factors in play – environment, people, delivery, projects, – and many more.

However, if there are three components that I believe every Leader must possess it would be the following;

  1. Be Consistent – show up every day, try your best, follow what you say.
  2. Don’t Give up – being a leader is hard, there are good days and bad, change is hard for many but that’s on you.
  3. Listen – it’s hard when the chips are down and times are tough but listening is what enables you to focus on being consistent and not giving up.

I could add a few more about openness to change, disrupting current practices, trying new ideas, giving great feedback but I think these are all born from these three core components.

If you can do all of these, you are 80% of the way to becoming a great leader.