Tag Archive: passion

Do You Live By Values Daily?

August 29th, 2018

We decided to participate in Executive Forums (an executive peer group) and Global Growth Cycle (a global consulting peer group) in order to stay up-to-date on what our clients need (sometimes even before they know they ‘need’ it).  After all, understanding what is successful as well as investing in our continual learning are important factors in long-term success.  

At a recent meetings of both groups, the importance of values arose.  Do you have values? And, more importantly, do you LIVE by values or are they just pasted on your wall (and ignored)?

Because we felt it was important for LMA Consulting to stand for something, we have codified our values.  As a part of our communication efforts, we are sharing them with our clients, colleagues, subcontractors, advisors and more.  Of course, we always welcome feedback and input.

To kick off, we have four core values that happen to start with ‘P’ (which we enjoy because of the alliteration):

 

PEOPLE

PASSION

 

 

 

 

 

 

PERSISTENCE

PERFORMANCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

LMA Values

  1. People – As we continually say (and believe), people are our #1 asset.  Our affiliations, LMA Associates, colleagues, clients and advisors fall into this category.  No matter how perfect the process or ideal the technology, it will not “work” without the people.
  2. Passion – It certainly makes life more interesting to enjoy what you do and have a passion for helping clients achieve bottom line results.  We find that success follows applied passion.
  3.  Persistence – No matter the topic in business (or life), persistence has been core to our success.  There is definitely truth to saying ‘persistence trumps talent’. Having both wouldn’t hurt but we’ll take persistence any day!
  4. Performance  – At the end of the day, keeping focused on delivering bottom line business results matters.  In our case, we deliver BOLD customer promises and profits!

Give your values some thought.  Start at square zero. Do you have them?  Do you agree with them? Do you ‘live’ them?  How about your team? Since this is a beneficial predecessor to setting strategy and ensuring results, it is worthwhile.  If you have questions or are thinking about how to get started, contact us .



Memphis, Sun Studio & Following Your Heart

June 25th, 2018

 

I made a quick stop in Memphis since I was nearby and had never experienced the birthplace of rock’n’roll – and, from all appearances, some amazing fried foods.  Of course, I had to do the typical tours of Graceland (including seeing Elvis’ vast automobile collection and private plane) and Gibson guitars; however, I was most impressed by the tour of Sun Studio.  See a few shots of the memorabilia below.

 

 

 

 

 

Sun Studio is the place many greats were discovered including Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and more.  The owner, Sam Phillips discovered these amazing talents by stopping them from playing for him – and what they thought he would want to hear.  Instead, he asked them to play what they love and follow their heart. Are you performing for your boss, your Board or you?

One tip to implement this week: Passion
Think about the question – are you following your passion/enjoy what you do?  Or, can you incorporate some elements of your passion into what you do? I have no doubt you can!  Just think a bit longer about how you can incorporate some aspects of your passion – the imagery, in metaphors, etc.  There is always a way to add some aspect into your daily routine.

And how about the question Sam asked – are you performing specifically for your boss?  Can you include some aspect of what you enjoy in your communications? Similarly to Elvis and Johnny, undoubtedly, you’ll improve your chances of that next promotion, innovation or BIG discovery by being yourself.

Wouldn’t that be more pleasant – and potentially more successful?



Winning Leadership Traits for Project Success

September 22nd, 2016
leadership

The most successful project leaders have passion, vision, and focus — key leadership traits needed to successfully manage cross functional resources.

No matter the topic of your project, it will be more successful if the project leader utilizes winning leadership traits. As our HR mentor used to say, “It begins and ends with people!”

Therefore, leadership is the name of the game, assuming you want to win the game. In project management, this is even more critical because most project teams are groups of cross-functional resources who do not report to the same line manager. Thus, the project leader has to use influence leadership in addition to command and control leadership. Actually, command and control leadership doesn’t even work long-term for those who are “the top dog”; thus, these traits are even more important to learn.

Although there are countless traits that go into being an effective leader, these are the ones I’ve seen the best leaders across our clients employ:

Demonstrates Passion

Even the most exciting of topics can become humdrum if the leader doesn’t show passion. Each project team member is typically working outside of their typical routine. Often, the project leader cannot significantly impact the employee’s pay or bonus. Thus, passion becomes even more important. If the leader is excited about the results that can be achieved, each team member is likely to become excited as well.

For example, when I was a VP of Operations and Supply Chain, our CEO was passionate about what we could achieve with new products, reduced costs, new markets and the like. At the time, I was responsible for a cross-functional team in the thick of whether we’d achieve these lofty goals. We had barely avoided bankruptcy and had to work long hours just to keep things going. Without his passion for these topics, it is likely we would have lost motivation as well. We knew there were no bonuses or raises until we got the ship turned around which wouldn’t happen overnight. What kept me from leaving was his passion and excitement about the future – and my contributions to it. Don’t underestimate the importance of passion.

Creates A Vision

Although passion is important, it cannot be successful without going hand in hand with the vision. Executives with passion but without vision are just seen as aimless and not worthy of following. Since leaders should forge the way, this trait is rather essential. Create a vision of where you are going and why.

In my last example, the CEO created a vision of being the best provider of incontinence care. Think about what type of diaper you’d want your Grandma to use. One that was absorbent and made her feel better and almost like she wasn’t wearing a pull-up or diaper or a leaky, inexpensive one. At the same time, since it is your Grandma, how much do we want her to pay for this pull-up? Perhaps we should find a way to make it better yet cost less for her. Now we are talking.

Focuses On the Critical Path

When it comes to projects, it is easy to work hard yet not get far. There are always hundreds of tasks that need to be completed. People to appease. How do we accomplish this with a part-time, cross-functional team of people who report to different leaders? Spend the time upfront to put together the project plan so that you can focus the 80/20 of your energy on just the critical path. Instead of wasting time following up on every task, follow up on just those on the critical path. These are the ones that will keep the most important elements going.

For example, in the cross-functional team that had to redesign the incontinence product so that it would perform better while cost less, there were countless tasks involving not only every department but also customers, suppliers and other partners. Since we had a small team (certainly not adding people, following a near escape from bankruptcy), we had to work smarter; not harder. Thus, we focused in on just the critical path. If these tasks didn’t get accomplished, the rest wouldn’t matter. You had to finish or at least make progress on these tasks in order for the next critical path task to be accomplished successfully. When we used extra resources, we focused them on the critical path. If we invested money, we would focus it on the critical path. The rest would have to sink or swim on its own. The bottom line was to focus on priorities.

Since no executive or project team has extra time, money or resources, we must make good use of what we have to ensure success. And, since leadership is the 80/20 of success, it has proven successful to focus in on creating, nurturing and encouraging winning leadership traits in our project managers. Give these a try and let me know how it goes. 

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to become a Systems Pragmatist:

Leadership’s Unsung Heroes

Cross-Functional Success

 



The Power of Passion

July 1st, 2015

supply chainI just got back from a 3-day weekend in Catalina with great friends – a beautiful and relaxing spot (see below for one of my favorite shots). We took the inland tour to the airport and heard quite a bit of Catalina’s history. Certainly, William Wrigley Jr. was instrumental in Catalina’s history. He clearly had a passion for bringing the island to life.  He brought movie stars, the Avalon casino, herds of bison, the Chicago Cubs (my favorite from when I was a child), and much more to ensure the island would be vibrant and could be shared with tourists for generations to come.

One of the stories the tour guide told us was when Catalina shut down during World War II. The military used Catalina for many purposes during the war; however, Wrigley lost countless dollars of tourism during that time. Thus, he was handed a blank check to be made out for what would have been fair compensation.  Instead, he wrote the check for $4 for 4 years. Now that takes passion.


catalina island

William Wrigley Jr. clearly had a passion for bringing Catalina Island to life.

One tip to implement this week:

Find your passion. Think about what you enjoy doing. Don’t despair if you think it isn’t related to work.  If you think back over the last few weeks, consider which activities you liked better than the rest. What do they have in common? Was it when you were crunching numbers? Talking with people? Negotiating a deal? If you aren’t sure, ask your friends and colleagues what they see as your strengths. You might be reminded of things you’ve forgotten. Once you find your passion, leverage it!

If you can’t think of anything related to work, think about other activities. You will find something. Once you find an activity that you enjoyed more than others, think about how you can do more of that in your work life. Talk with your manager to see how you can further leverage this passion. Be willing to do more of whatever will provide value to your manager so that you can also do additional items related to your passion. Build upon this area in your spare time. Research. Go to classes. Success will follow.

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”