Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Leadership by Horse Head in Bed

Ever wake up with a horse's head? There is a company selling pillows in the likeness of a horse head. Go figure! But consider the art of leadership What message does a real horse head in your bed convey? I just completed a great road trip from one side of South Carolina to the other (and back again!). I loved it. The Kaw Nomad performed as expected: flawlessly. Over 60,000 on the motorcycle and it does not burn (or leak) even one drop of oil. Amazing. For this trip we (the Nomad and I) covered just over 1900 miles. Yes, 1900+ miles in four days. That is a lot of motor scooter riding... but I digress. Leaderhip by Horse Head in the mail FYI: If you want to more fully understand leadership, you need to own (and consume) the Heifetz book, Leadership without Easy Answers. It frames the concept more completely than any other text on planet earth. Yes, it is that good. What if you hired me to provide a solution. And, what if I studied your situation and formulated a great solution and then conveyed that solution to you. However, what if you failed to follow my advice? Should I mail you a horse's head? The pillow version, of course. Would that get your attention? Probably not. In other words, it would be a waste of my money. Wasted time and money to send yet another message that you would ignore. So, over coffee this morning, I decided to create this post that I can simply email to those that choose to ignore my counsel. I will feel a lot better, and be fifty bucks (plus S&H) ahead! So, if you receive an email from me (or any one else that likes this idea) with this article as a link, please, PLEASE take a minute to ask yourself why. Why Next to God, probably the most important three-letter combination in the English language: w/h/y Ask yourself, "Why did SKI send me the horse's head?" I love what Bill Dettmer (H. William Dettmer for those new to my ramblings) said about me and the Socratic Method in the forward to my book, Purple Curve Effect:
Ski makes frequent mention of the Socratic method, a very valuable skill. If you choose to try to apply it, just keep in mind the explanation of how the Socratic method works, offered by its creator in 399 B.C., just before he died: “You ask questions, and then they kill you.”
Of course, it is more polite to kill the horse... but you get the idea, right? YOU SCREWED UP! Sorry. I did want to leave any doubt. The good news: no worries. Repent. And get back on the horse. Well, not literally. Pick up the phone and call me. Lets put humpty dumpty back together. It is much easier than you can imagine. Or believe. Yes, you must eat a little crow (do you love all these metaphors? Methinks I have gone a little too far but cannot help myself. Sorry).
"Pride goeth before destruction..." Proverbs 16:18 (KJV)
So, there you have it. Three steps to getting back to the simple (I did not say easy) process of making money:
  1. Admit you turned left, when you should have turned right
  2. Admit that someone else can see aspects of your life (business and personal) more clearly than you
  3. Ask for help
Yea, that third item can be a real show stopper. Actually, all three take a real commitment to success. Lip service just won't cut it. Believing that you are right is not enough. Many years ago, my dad would stop at a local fast food destination for coffee and some quiet time to study the Bible. Then, when he left, he would back out of his parking spot, and drive out the "in" lane to witness God's love. So, being me, I ask. "What message does that send, when you break the rules?" He started using the "out" lane. If you are reading this post from a link in an email from me, you are breaking a rule. If we have a relationship, and have built that relationship on mutual trust, then I have an obligation to point out the fact that from my vantage point, you have broken a rule of engagement. If you need me to spell it out, call me. I want to help. After all, that is probably how we connected in the first place. I offered some help. You took some help. And now I see you made a course correction that is not in your best interest. If it happened to me, I would want to know. Do you? Enthusiastically, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey Desk: 843.564.4.SKI P.S. Regardless, we can still be friends. P.P.S If you have a friend with a business (or a business for sale), consider sending them this post via email, with the suggestion that maybe I can help. Please do not Cc or Bc me on that message. I don't want my email inbox to overflow! When they contact me, I will ask them how they learned of my services and follow up with you. And yes, I am actively seeking new mentorship opportunities (paid or free). My Mac address book (nicely cloned onto my iPod touch) is full of contacts... the help your friend needs may as close as an email. P.P.P.S. If you are in South Carolina, or want to grow your business here, please join the "LinkedIn South Carolina" group on LinkedIn. We are putting America back to work, one connection at a time. And yet, the growth is exponential! (c)Copyright 2009, Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey. All rights reserved.
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