Tag Archives: leading with values

The Wisdom of Not Knowing

17 Feb

What does knowing bring us?The Wisdom of Not Knowing

It often brings us comfort. We think that knowing gives us power, control, even wisdom.

But knowing is a false state of mind because what we know pales in comparison to what we don’t know.

What we don’t know is what makes life interesting. What we don’t know, especially about others, is what necessitates empathy.

The opinions we form based on what we know should forever change based on what we find out we didn’t know.

This is why we often think of God as infinite wisdom, this ability to know everything.

And yet we act as God, thinking that our limited knowledge gives us space to create absolutes.

Instead, we should live open, open to the unknown, open to the expansion of our knowledge.

This openness gives rise to wisdom. Not a wisdom of knowing everything, but a wisdom found in being open to living.

Be wise.
Be open.
Be alive.

What Is a Persistent Optimizer?

15 Oct

What Is a Persistent Optimizer?

Once I get a big question in my head, it doesn’t leave. I will drive in to work thinking about insights and answers, spend all day working on solutions, drive home thinking, and then spend my most productive evening hours working on solutions. I will read voraciously the best material I can find about the issue. I will find the experts on the issue, talk to them, and read what they have to say. I will start to zoom in on the large themes and connections I see and develop my own unique response to the question or problem at hand. Though intense, this is fun for me! Finding big answers to big questions is where I gain the most energy.

Persistent Optimization – A Story

In 2007, six months into my current job, I saw that our manual CRM and registration system was not adequate for the future. I saw the trend that people were going to increasingly register and purchase goods and services online. I spent an extra 100 hours outside of my normal work hours in the month of January 2007 analyzing our customer and staff needs, researching potential options, talking to experts, and eventually designing and developing a custom registration and CRM application, from scratch. This was a big and complex problem that was quite fun to solve. We went from 0% online registration to 70% in just one year. We increased our attendance over 30% in the next five years. I estimate that we saved 4-8% in personnel costs, and we drove our mailing costs down to $0 through the use of automated emails and CRM communication functions.

My Strengths

Deep understanding of how to bring value to an organization

I seek out root causes and hate to see surface solutions stall the discovery of root change. I also love data because it gives one important piece of the puzzle when determining whether or not some solution is successful. Data helps you focus on the right things. I know that value is best-measured with supporting data. I bring the highest value to any work because I revel in measuring the details. I design and implement human performance solutions and systems that solve root issues.

Focus on human performance and solutions

I pursued and completed graduate studies in leadership not to simply lead but to discover ways to allow people to perform at their highest levels. I discovered early on in my teaching career that the social and emotional  dimensions of people’s lives are just as important as the cognitive and pyschomotor components. I work to bring good change to people and organizations.

Instinctive ability to work at the highest level

I also love to learn myself and pursue topics of interest as deeply as possible. I am well read across diverse disciplines and am able to walk into any given organization and discern issues and areas of opportunity very quickly, by both observing processes in motion and by talking with leaders, workers, and customers. People want to work with me because they know I am trustworthy and support their success.

Three Leadership Essentials I’ve Learned

15 Oct

Three Leadership Essentials I’ve Learned

Great leaders:

  1. Remove barriers
  • Leaders can quickly enable improved human performance by removing barriers.
  1. Build Trust
  • Leaders can dramatically improve human performance by increasing trust.
  1. Lead with values and principles
  • Leaders can extend their influence, reach, and effect by leading with values and principles.
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