Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why do I write this blog?

Many years ago I read the book Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham. He shares that we are made up of innate talents/strengths, gained knowledge, and learned skills. Innate talents are things that you do without thinking. They are who you are.

After taking the test (free with a book purchase), I said yes these are me. Some of my top talents were Maximizer, Developer, and Connectedness. Maximizer and Developer focus on improving people and processes and challenging/cultivating them to meet their full potential. Connectedness centers on the notion that things happen for a reason. I share my thoughts and this blog because I want the next generation to be better than this one. To do that, I need to share because we are all connected.

And there’s more … in the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, he shares this view on what makes an effective leader. He has a 5 level hierarchy of leadership ability. At level 4, we have an effective leader. While successful and able to accomplish great things, this leader looks out for him/herself – a very much me-focus and everyone works for me. At level 5, we have an executive. Level 5 leader matches professional will with personal humility. It’s less about me and more about the organization. They attribute their success to good luck and good team, rather than personal greatness. These leaders look for success in the future, when they are not here. The organization continues to success when the “genius” (current leader) departs. I share this blog because I want the next generation to be better. I want you to succeed and create more successes.

When we’re not at war, why do our soldiers train? To be ready when called. I want to empower our future leaders. We could work on a team together sometime in the future. You could work on a project where I benefit like a new vehicle, phone, MP3 player, medical device, or professional training.

It’s like a parent-child relationship. The parent gains gratification knowing that the child was able to do better than his generation. My father would tell me stories about growing up on the farm, needing the livestock and farm to have food on the table. Grandma and grandpa worked (and worked hard) but it was hard to manage a family with 5 kids. Penny pinching and saving were needed at times. Christmas was hard at times. Growing up for me, we didn’t have these challenges. Dad had built a family that was able to do better than his youth. We had our challenges but they were slightly beyond the prior generation. I remember my grandparents being proud of what my dad accomplished. Now that I have started a family, I see the cycle continue – doing a little better than my youth. And I see my father being proud of what I’ve accomplished (and continue to accomplish).

I want the next generation to glean something from my experiences and thoughts so it can be better. We can have broader success in the future. I want to see the children of PM grow up and succeed.

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