Wanted: Leaders. CYA School of Mismanagement graduates need not apply.

Shades of The Sales Lion * right there, with the longish headline. And a hat tip to Kellye Crane for acquainting me with that acronym. (No I don’t know them all.)

“Get busy living or get busy dying.”

IIRC Sean McGinnis or Nancy Davis shared that as a favorite movie quote the other day. It’s about life, about getting stuff done, making things happen. Leaders live, they don’t sit around and wait for life to happen. They take action.

Decisions are made by those who show up.”  – Jed Bartlett.

Shit or get off the pot.” – Classic.

The point of this mini Danny Brown-style musing – which was once upon a time gonna be a monster rant on crisis communications – is to that: Decide. Then stick to that decision.

Leaders [bleeping] lead.

They don’t hem. They don’t haw. They seldom straddle a fence and and don’t care from covering their asses.

Managers make decisions. They see a problem then assess, decide, implement a plan or create one on the fly. They don’t worry about who’ll call them on the carpet Monday when they are the Sunday quarterback. They make the plays that need to be made.

When the fit is hitting the shan, ‘maybe’ and ‘not my job’ gets tossed from their vocabulary. The other day I commented that it’s one component of building trust, by taking charge and having the guts to put those thoughts into action. Leaders show up.

Doers get things done. They don’t mock those who seek to do better, who get a little intense in a crisis with the intent of doing something, they don’t throw up their hands, don’t look for an excuse to give up. Leaders look at the slackers sitting on their thumbs and want them to get to work already or if not, STFU and quit being part of the problem.

Leaders are too busy working on solutions to deal with the bullshit.

Got a favorite line about leadership, please share.

* FYI I scheduled this post last week; only thing I’ve changed was updating that link. Just crazy how in sync I am with people lately. 🙂

Photo credit: Sometimes the Despair Demotivators are almost too on the mark, ya know?

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22 thoughts on “Wanted: Leaders. CYA School of Mismanagement graduates need not apply.

    1. Good one Marianne. If you’re a good leader you have confidence in those working for you because you know they’ve been trained well, know their jobs and can get things done. That’s part of the problem I see in some places, the standards aren’t there. Let’s go back to food 🙂 Here in ATL Chick-fil-a has just a different vibe and ethic in its staff that other fast food places, ya know? It starts at the top with a manager who can make the call on who’s hired or not, trusts the staff to get it done and empowers them to act. FWIW.

  1. Leadership. True leadership is a quality few people have. A good leader will do work that no one else wants to do if it needs to get done. I used to work in a really small law firm, and I used to have to empty the trash because we did not have a cleaning lady. One of the lawyers actually said :”I am not doing that – I am an attorney” well good for you – that must mean your manicure cost more than mine. If you do not want a smelly office you can help with the trash or get out of the way and STFU.

    I have a very hard time taking orders from someone who is unwilling to do that very same task themselves if we have a crunch going on.

    That got ranty. Oh well. 🙂
    Nancy Davis recently posted..True Confession – I Need a Crackberry Rehab!

    1. Nancy, I use those ‘what’s the ROI of the phone?’ objections not to play naysayer, but to illustrate the point that the objections WILL happen, so you better have a response. The janitor pays off in happier, more productive employees across the board (and other ways too.. skipping my ‘ROI on the janitor’ rant). Yes it’s crap that you got stuck w/ the dirty job in such a way.. agree that real leaders are the ones who step up at crunch time.

      It’s also willingness to work that much harder, do other jobs and push past the crisis when need be. That’s another thing that frosts my cookies, when I know I really try my best to do a good job and it’s somehow unthinkable of me to expect the same from others. Granted someone may not be as fast or as organized… but there’s only so much that excuse holds before you realize who’s a pro and who’s dead weight. And FWIW, get ranty any time you like. 🙂

  2. I’m sure the press loved the guy. Task Master General for sure!

    Micromanaging and petty office politics. Blech! That’s why I’m self-employed.

  3. Lead or get off the pot!!!! Actually I think there is a book of the same title.

    This outburst from you ma’am (sorry Davina) 🙂 reminds me of General Russel Honoré, who did his best to lead after Katrina hit NOLA. I just love these quotes:

    “I can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a reporter.”

    “This is a Disaster. This isn’t something somebody can control. We ain’t stuck on stupid.”

    “You can’t vote that water out of the city of New Orleans.”

    Anyway, a take charge guy for sure. I still remember his let’s get this done now approach from the many interviews during this disaster. Not sure if the reporters loved him or hated him. I do know how he felt about the reporters though 🙂

    1. This! I think that’s why he became a ‘media sensation’ and speaker Craig.. he had a “no bullshit, roll up his sleeves and get WORK done already” attitude. He was, no pun intended, commanding. In the corporate world, you don’t see that.. you don’t see strong delegation from a leader who assigns you a task and expects it done.. to much hand-holding and like Shakirah said, micromanaging. Which kills me as every job listing you ever see says ‘need to be independent, work autonomously blah blah.’ Not sure if reporters liked him, but I bet the press did; he was quotable, gave good sound bites and the people, audience liked him for it, because he didn’t respond to a reporter’s question like he was reading for the company babble script. Excellent example, thanks for sharing.

    2. I was just talking about Ray Nagin and Rudy Guiliani the other day. Can’t tell you how it came up but it was about 911 and Katrina.

      From my perspective I didn’t see Ray Nagin take charge of what was happening. I heard a lot of cries for help.

      Whereas with Giuliani it appeared to me that he was everywhere and that he was active- he didn’t take a poll to see what he should do. He did. Sometimes he did is far more important than asking “should I?”
      Jack @ TheJackB recently posted..Do You Still Beat Your Wife

      1. Seriously Jack… FWIW I was born in New Orleans, much of my family lived in MS at the time and I made several trips to the Gulf Coast immediately after; it was night and day difference there vs. what Nagin did. Hope is not a plan.. expecting others to swoop in with a magic wand, pointing fingers.. none of that will accomplish anything. Never mind the fact that things weren’t handled right from the get go, before the storm. Leaders don’t wait for popular opinion as you say, they just get it done.

    1. I do it too. Often it’s easier for me to just do it than tell someone else how Shakirah. With some clients though.. being on a budget, I don’t like some of the handholding I have to do, esp. when it’s a regular, routine thing. I think, can’t we improve this workflow? Leaders who won’t lead, managers not empowered to manage. What good is being a shift supervisor or desk manager if you have to get approval for every little problem? Or the other employees all ‘you’re not the boss of me’ not willing to take direction? Leaders fix these kind of things and really, have a plan in place before they need one. FWIW.

  4. Davina,

    My favorite leadership definition.

    A leader is a person who is confident enough to make a decision rather it is right or wrong. I on the other hand am the type of person who spends a lot of time on the pot! lol!

    1. Bwah Frank, TMI. Sure there are times I’ll hedge about where to go to dinner, but usually it’s b/c I know my companions will 2nd guess my choice, so better let them make the decision. We’ve become so gun shy, so scared that we forget it’s not always about right or wrong, winning or losing. Leaders make mistakes, they make the crappy calls when they have to be made, then deal with the consequences. FWIW.

  5. I don’t consider myself a leader, just a very impatient person who can’t stand walking into the bathroom, toilet overflowing, and everyone’s standing around wondering what to do!Just get some towels! Turn off the water supply! DO SOMETHING! Pretty funny! Seems like some people are just wired to put things in order and move forward.???

    1. This Betsy, this. When you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Say it’s holiday season and it’s a mad rush, but your temporary help just stands around waiting for you to tell them what to do, as if you have the time and as if they don’t know how to answer a ringing phone. I’m also impatient and will step in if something needs to get done. Thanks.

  6. If you are not the lead dog, the view never changes………..

    As I have ‘matured’ I find myself taking more and more leadership roles. Confidence plays a role and early in my career, there were times maybe I felt I wasn’t ready. However, getting thrust in these roles early certainly allowed me to learn by trial and error. If you have any sense at all about you, you can kind of see at what works and what doesn’t.

    From my personal experience most people do NOT want to be THE leader or assume the responsibilities. It’s much easier to sit back and criticize than be the one who ‘makes it happen’. It can be lonely at the top and there are still plenty seats available.

    I couldn’t agree more, ‘quit being part of the problem’ and give me solutions or options; no whining allowed.

    Bill Dorman recently posted..4 Random observations via my vlog

    1. What’s the thing with the kid in the outfield who doesn’t want the ball? Much easier to blame others than step up, more fun to whine than to actually have to *gasp* work a little harder around that problem. From my seat it all drills down to communication, or the lack thereof; no plan, no authority, no one deciding ‘this is crappy but it’s what we are doing for now’ and then getting that message out to the rest of the team. Muchas gracias senor Bill. 🙂

  7. Davina,
    You can always spot a leader in a crowd of people. She’s the one who says, “Hey! Let’s all…” They just START things, and hopefully inspire enough people to help them finish!
    Lori Gosselin recently posted..Off the Grid!

    1. I get what you’re saying Lori, just that IMO hope is not a plan and leaders tend to have those. If they want to start something, they are looking – per your post – not just fixing the mistakes of the last quarter, not improving things for right now, they are looking years down the road. They do seek to inspire people towards goals, a finish line, get something started and keep it going and growing to that end. Thanks.

    1. See what I mean though.. I read your post last week and thought it related perfectly to this. I get frustrated by indecision.. and the same folks who can’t decide, you need someone to tell them what to do, it’s the same ones who then nitpick the choices, criticize the decisions they didn’t have the smarts and/or nerve to make.

      You know Marcus, a leader won’t know everything, a manager won’t get every decision right… but when it’s that time, when you’re dealing with a situation that has to be fought through until the crisis is over, that’s when some folks show their mettle. FWIW.

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