Extreme Ownership

Extreme Ownership

Recently, I read the book Extreme Ownership written by Jacko Willink and Leif Babin.   I have read hundreds book on business and leadership and I would put this one in the top 10.  While some of the lessons in this book are not completely new, the emotion of the stories makes the authors' 12 principles come alive.   After reading this book I felt I needed to conduct a careful assessment of my leadership style to evaluate whether I was committed to extreme ownership.    I am not convinced that I have always owned everything in my world, specifically their principle of leading up the chain of command.

Recognition Leads to Results

Recognition Leads to Results

I had the privilege of seeing this phrase modeled by Tom Mendoza when I worked at NetApp. Tom made 10-15 calls per day to encourage or praise people working at our company or our partners. He offered to call anyone if someone sent him an email telling him why he should thank someone in our company for their efforts. Tom said, "People don't care what you know until they know that you care." He also said, "Leadership is the ability to have people galvanize around a mission to perform at a level much greater than they would have done individually." Tom taught me a lot about how to build a high performance culture.

The Value of Relationships

The Value of Relationships

While I am thankful for what I have received, I have enjoyed giving to others even more. Helping others is what has given my career meaning. Building relationships has given me the opportunity to help others grow their careers and their companies. Helping others has included providing advice, job search assistance, serving people their network, or just encouraging people to become their best.

3 Problems with Canceling Student Debt

3 Problems with Canceling Student Debt

Bernie Sanders has proposed the canceling of 1.6T in student debt and making college education free.   Elizabeth Warren has her own plan for addressing student debt and the cost of college education.     I believe we have a great problem with debt in this country and student loans are one of the most challenging debts because students take on these loans early in life.    While I applaud Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for wanting to do something about the problem, I believe canceling student debt is not the right answer.   Below are three reasons.

4 Steps to Solve Problems

4 Steps to Solve Problems

We can't control whether or not we have problems, but we can control how we react to them. If we have a framework to solve problems, we will be more effective at work, home, and in relationships. If you are a leader, a problem solving framework will make you better as you coach your team through the process of problem solving. Below are 4 steps, along with strategies, I use to solve problems.

When to Perform a POC

When to Perform a POC

For evaluations to provide value they should:   First, be offered only when there is qualified opportunity.   Second, they should be performed in a structured manner much like any other IT project.   Below are four recommendations on what constitutes a qualified opportunity and how to prepare for a proof of concept.

Learning How to Learn

Learning How to Learn

I was not the best student in elementary and high school. While my grades were slightly above average, I struggled significantly with reading, spelling, grammar, and even math. I was embarrassed to read aloud, struggled to pass spelling tests, and read very few books cover to cover before graduating from high school.

Fast forward to today, what in my life has changed? I have read two books per month for the past 10 years. I even force myself to write on a regular basis and put my work on display on my blog. If you told me in high school that I would someday post what I write for anybody to read, I would have told you that you were crazy.