Lessons from the last year

As I have reflected on the leadership journey I have been on the last year or so, here are some concepts I found myself journaling to remember for the future:

1. Don’t let your team avoid conflict!  There needs to be lots of conflict between everyone (especially within the
senior team) including heated,
authentic debate. None of it should be personal. All of it should be left in the meeting room.

2. Never accept
silence. Polite head nods in a meeting indicate that there is a low
level of trust in the room and therefore you are not getting the
feedback you need to be successful.  Pursue feedback ruthlessly – pick the fight if you must.

3. If you are going through hell, keep going.  (Winston Churchill)  Don’t stop.  Move through the area of vulnerability.  When someone is shooting at you, it is the wrong time to hold a lengthy strategy conference.

4. Planning is a great tool, but a lousy master. The value of the plan is
not the piece of paper it generates or the finality of a tasklist, but in the grounding of the team to
all the interdependencies on the project. Knowing these
interdependencies helps you to adjust to real world conditions on the fly.

5.
Grinding out singles, over time, yields better results than trying to
bomb home runs. Gradual learning is how you get better.

6. Sometimes crappy prototypes fast are better than masterpieces too late.

7.
Know what you do well – then do that, innovate, and do it again!  Keep the recipe for success simple and the players on the field.

8. You will never have enough time, money, or resources. What separates
the great from the good is that the great do it
anyway.

9. Creative solutions require soak time. The best ideas come after a
period of rest. You would be surprised how many of America’s ideas
came while on vacation.

10. Creativity and leadership are a lot about resilience: Go down seven times, get up eight.

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