Saturday, April 10, 2010

Missing Ship's Movement

The "Too Late" Lie

by Andree Seu

A man sits on the dock with head in hands, wailing for the ships that have sailed—as he is missing the ship that is sailing. This is a story of my life, of living in regret over past losses, even as I am losing the present moment’s possibilities.

In my 20s I thought all was lost. I chose despair and plunged headlong into a funk—and more disaster. In my 30s, when I saw what I had done, I plunged into yet more despair rather than learn my lesson. I lamented that I had been wrong in my 20s to think it was too late then—but that surely it was really too late now! So I dug into a costly depression. Despair over former fatal choices was itself the fatal choice that I continued to make. It is shameful to tell you all this. But at my age, I am grateful to serve as even a bad example if it will help someone.

Satan, with sweet rationalizations, tempts us to sin. And then, when we have followed his counsel, he switches sides to be the Accuser. It is hard to see this for what it is—the last lie in his quiver—because it comes with a semblance of righteousness: “I have sinned so badly that I have no right to joy again.” This is counterfeit repentance. Scripture tells us how to know a false repentance from a true one. The former kills, but the latter brings good things into your life:

“I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).

I am a watchman calling out from the milestone of 58 years, to you coming up behind me at 28 and 38 and 48. And this is what I cry: Never say it’s “too late,” and it’s “no use,” no matter what you have done—and I do not doubt you have done plenty. The command to repent and believe is not issued to pretty good people but to the ungodly. If the gospel is not good for your present estate it’s not good for anything. Christ still stands at the door and knocks. The words “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37) are still true. “Do not fear; only believe” (Mark 5:36) is still addressed to you. You are not the one person in history that God’s grace is not going to work for. To refuse to believe in His love and to put your hope in Him—“Today, while it is still today” (Hebrews 3:13)—is to miss the boat that’s docked and waiting.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tri-perspectival Leadership

Interesting leadership model. Examine it, Google it, then consider posting which one (or combination) you are. Do you have a dominant trait?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Atitila The Hun On Navy Leadership

I have to post this one from Naval Leadership:

Repost - Attila the Hun on Navy Leadership

One of my favorites.

Advice and Counsel

  • Written reports are only useful if read by your audience.
  • An officer with Sailors who always agree with him reaps the counsel of mediocrity.
  • An officer never kills the Sailor bearing bad news, he kills the Sailors that fail to deliver bad news.
  • An officer who asks the wrong questions always hears the wrong answers.
  • An officer never asks a question for which he doesn't want to hear the answer.


  • The greatness of an officer is measured by the sacrifices he is willing to make for the good of the squadron.
  • Seldom are self-centered, conceited and self-admiring officers great leaders, but they are great idolizers of themselves.
  • Great officers never take themselves too seriously.
  • An officer adapts-he doesn't compromise.
  • Weak officers surround themselves with weak Sailors.
  • Strong officers surround themselves with strong Sailors.


  • Officers must learn early that working through a hardship is an experience that influences them all the
    days of their lives.
  • Successful officers learn to deal with adversity and to overcome mistakes.

Decision Making

  • Every decision involves some risk.
  • Time does not always improve a situation for an officer or his Sailors.
  • Errors are inescapable when the unqualified are allowed to exercise judgment and make decisions.
  • Quick decisions are not always the best decisions. On the other hand, unhurried decisions are not always
    the best decisions.
  • Officers should never rush into confrontations.
  • The ability to make difficult decisions separates leaders from followers.


  • Officers never place their Sailors in situations where their weaknesses will prevail over their
  • Good Sailors will almost always achieve what their leaders expect from them.
  • An officer never expects his Sailors to act beyond their wisdom or understanding.
  • An officer always gives tough assignments to Sailors who can rise to the occasion.
  • Abdication is not delegation. Abdication is a sign of weakness. Delegation is a sign of strength.

Developing Subordinates

  • Strong Sailors have strong weaknesses. An officer's duty is to make Sailors strengths prevail.
  • Sailors learn less from success than they do from failure.
  • Sailors learn much faster when faced with adversity.
  • A good officer takes risks by delegating to an inexperienced Sailor in order to strengthen his leadership
  • Sailors are best prepared to become Chiefs when given appropriate challenges at successively higher levels of responsibility.
    If it were easy to be a Chief, every Sailor would be one.
  • Without challenge, a Sailor's potential and a squadron's potential is never realized.


  • Superficial goals lead to superficial results.
  • As a squadron, we would accomplish more if officers, Chiefs and Sailors behaved as though squadron goals were as important to them as personal goals.
  • Critical to a Sailor's success is a clear understanding of what the CO wants.
  • A Sailor's goal should always be worthy of his efforts.
  • A Sailor without purpose will never know when he has achieved it.
  • Officers should always aim high, going after things that will make a difference rather than seeking the safe
    path of mediocrity.

Leaders and Leadership

  • Officers should always appoint there best Sailors to the best positions, no matter how much they are needed in their current job.
  • An officer knows he is responsible for the welfare of his Sailors and acts accordingly.
  • Being a leader is often a lonely job.
  • Shared risk-taking will weld the relationship of an officer and his Sailors.
  • Strong officers stimulate and inspire the performance of their Sailors.
  • The best officers develop the ability to ask the right questions at the right time.
  • An officer can never be in charge if he bring up the rear.


  • An officer who takes himself too seriously has lost his perspective.
  • A Sailor's perception is reality for him.
  • Sailors who appear to be busy are not always working.

Problems and Solutions

  • We all need to focus on opportunities rather than on problems.
  • Some of us spend too much time coming up with solutions for which there are no problems.

Reward and Punishment

  • If leader has failed, so likewise have his subordinate leaders.
  • If you tell a Sailor he is doing a good job when he isn't, he will not listen long and, worse, will not believe
    praise when it is justified.


  • Every Sailor has value-even if only to serve as a bad example.
  • To experience the strength of Sailors we must tolerate some of their weaknesses.
  • Suffer long for mediocre but loyal Sailors. Suffer not for competent but disloyal Sailors.


  • Adequate training of Sailors is essential to war and cannot be disregarded by officers in more peaceful
  • The consequence for not adequately training your Sailors is their failure to accomplish that which is expected of them.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Leader As Symbol

I wanted to share the below article from The Center For Creative Leadership. It got me thinking about the value of organizational symbolism I have in my current position.

Leader As Symbol

I was born in Colorado and grew up in Southern California where the only remnant of formal address is reserved for public school teachers. My children's teacher was "Ms. Crawford" in school, but our minister was "Pastor Bob." I could have insisted that the kids’ friends call me Mr. Riddle but I would have been the only such parent and subject to even more ridicule from teenagers who knew I was irrelevant. These days everybody is known by their personal name and we see this leveling as something good…democratic, egalitarian, freeing.

So, it came as something of a surprise when in the 70s I took an internship in a California Episcopal church and noticed that everyone called the minister “Father.” I’d known plenty of clergy, including Episcopalians, and none were so formal, so I asked him why that was. “Sometimes people don’t need another ‘Chuck.’ They need a Father Jones.” That was my introduction to the symbolic value of the leader.

Among leaders I’ve coached, one of the most difficult transitions is the one from person to symbol. It’s not that one stops being a person. Rather, the body politic needs symbols that can provide a rallying point. People may not read the Constitution of the United States, but they need it to be there. Flags are more obvious symbols of our collective identity, but people are, too. This explains the demand to see our leaders. Consultants advise presidents and CEOs to “make themselves more visible.” Visibility in leaders is important because they play a magical or symbolic role.

Oddly, this is one of the constraints upon senior leadership because this role has little obvious content. It is nearly all emotional force and it is strangely important for the shaping of organizational culture. The personality expressed on the stage stands for the culture of the organization and we see it most clearly in those who have shaped their companies through their personalities. Steve Jobs is Apple and Apple is Steve Jobs. This is not true only for the employees, but the stockholders whose hopefulness rises and falls on rumors of his health.

Leaders are real people, certainly, but part of their duty to the organization is fulfilled in their flag value. Unless you created the organization and still head it, you will need to decide what elements of the existing culture you will work to change and what you will inhabit. Either way, the higher you rise in your organization the more seriously you need to take your signal value. For a few close friends you may still be Dorothy or Ahmed or Seymour, but for many more you are the company.

Your symbolic friend,