QFTD, 6/20/13

From Manager Tools email “Things I Think I Think”.
If you don’t know exactly how your work is noted and valued by a paying customer, you’re not thinking clearly, or you’re too far away from the customer.
Quoting Drucker: Results only exist on the outside.  Inside an enterprise, there are only costs.

This applies to both for-profit and non-profit enterprises.

Steve Pavlina articles I’ve enjoyed so far

I discovered Steve Pavlina over the weekend.  He’s a fascinating guy.  He’s clearly a nutjob in some respects, but a lot of the rest of his advice is quite practical and useful.  Here are some of his articles that I enjoyed and recommend.

A cool page on overcoming procrastination

If you Google “overcoming procrastination“, this page is the first one, so this link is probably extraneous, but I liked it.

And then I read some of the rest of the site for the next three hours.  Or maybe more, I forget.  Very interesting stuff, if you like his style.
And if you don’t, well, he doesn’t care.  For some reason, that amuses me.  🙂
But he makes the point with pretty simple math: “I get 1M hits a month.  Out of that, some people are bound to hate what I’ve written, and frankly there’s nothing I can do about that.  So I write what I write, and if you like it, come back, and if you don’t, don’t.  What could be fairer than that?”  (Paraphrased.)

Mr. President

If you’re in my chorus, you know this already: in April, our President stepped down, and the Board of Directors voted me in.

I’d gone to our District’s Leadership Academy President’s Class, so I was not entirely unprepared.  Heck, that’s why I started this blog.  And it has, by and large, kept me too busy to post very much.  Alas.  And here I’d wanted to give a blow-by-blow description of the life of a Presidential hopeful.
Oh well.  Here are some things I’ve discovered along the way:
  • A lot of stuff that the President has to do, nobody tells you about.
  • Andy Andrews’s book The Traveler’s Gift is great.  So is its companion volume, Mastering the Seven Decisions.
  • When you build a to-do list, avoid questions.  For me, at least, questions provoke free floating anxiety.  Instead of “Who’s doing <whatever>?”, write down “Find out who’s doing <whatever>.”
  • Who is on your board is important.  Find out what their job is, and decide whether they’re doing it as they need to be doing it.  If they’re not, help them improve, or ask them to step down, and replace them.  Failing that, make sure the right person is on the slate the next year.
  • Decide your chapter’s major goals.  If you have a vision or mission statement, review it.  If you don’t, write one.  Ours are 1) Sing better, 2) Build membership, 3) Make more money.  It’s not accidental that these are interrelated.  Does your board agree with you?  Does your director?  (Realize that you could be wrong!  🙂
  • Checklists are great.  This article made a big impression on me: The Checklist: If something so simple can transform intensive care, what else can it do?  (To be clear, I read this a while ago.)
That’s all I have time for this afternoon.  See ya!

If not me, who? If not now, when?

It’s an important question, for a leader or for anyone.  Usually the answer is You, Now.  Otherwise you wouldn’t be wondering about it.

But sometimes the answer is Someone Else, and/or Later.  And it’s important to remember that.
There’s a famous prayer that goes
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

That last line is also very important.  Some things you think you can’t change, you can.  Some things you think you can change, you can’t.  And it’s important to know which is which.

What I’d like to know about my chorus

Here are some things I’d like to know about every man in my chorus, active or not:

  • skills
  • interests
  • vacation plans
  • retired?
  • things he wishes the chorus did differently / more of / less of
  • interested in competing?
  • primary interests as a Barbershopper
  • previous chorus memberships?  quartet memberships?
  • previous Board of Director roles, in our chorus or others?
  • any other suggestions or comments
For inactive members, I’d add these, too:
  • what would (or might) make them come back?
  • where do they live?
I have a dream of talking to all the guys in the chorus between now and end of 2011 and finding out all this stuff by the time I have to be President.
What do you wish you knew about every guy in your chorus?