JAM with Mike

An Archive of Mike Osorio’s Jammin’ twice-weekly email service

Frontline Intelligence

Thursday August 7, 2008 #57

 “Everyone you meet knows something you don’t… so politely and tactfully learn what it is.  Conversely, everyone you meet doesn’t know everything you do…so be willing to graciously share whatever you can when you are asked.”

~Peter DeHaan

The first sentence of this quote was shared with me when I was a young manager in high school, learning about the importance of humility as part of the character of a leader.  Once I grasped the truth behind these words, and practiced them in my daily life, my effectiveness skyrocketed.  I have found that the majority of great ideas originate on the front lines:  sales people, warehouse workers, etc., who truly know how to improve processes and find hidden waste and opportunities for profit.  So get out of the executive suite, ask questions, and start listening!

The rest I found when I googled the first sentence to find the author of the quote.  Peter DeHaan has added an excellent second element:  gracious sharing of wisdom and experience.  Once again, this is about getting out of the executive suite, spending time with subordinates all the way to the front line workers and developing an environment of accessibility wherein employees stop you and ask for your advice, wisdom, and expertise.  There is an amazing amount of knowledge and experience in you – be ready and willing to share it.  Not with pomposity, but graciously.

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August 10, 2008 Posted by | leadership | , , , | Leave a comment

Leadership Character

Tuesday August 5, 2008 #56

 “Character is not built in a crisis, it is only exhibited”

 ~Robert Freeman

Today’s quote was told to me by my good friend and mentor, David K. Aaker and is a good reminder for all leaders and those who hope to lead.

For individuals, organizations, and even governments, crises come along when we least expect them – that is why they are called crises.  It is interesting to observe how crises are handled – life events like illnesses, divorces, and the like; organizational events such as mergers & acquisitions, labor unrest, sudden or unexpected economic or consumer behavior changes, etc.; and societal crises like wars, famine, riots, recessions and more. 

In crises, we look to our leader(s) for perspective, guidance, and yes, character.  The leaders who have spent their lives developing strong character traits inspire us with their grace under pressure, their confidence, optimism and clear vision for guiding us through this situation or event.  Those that have not developed these traits show their character as well:  over-reaction, panic, anger, petulance, lack of vision, or no reaction at all. 

You will face many crises in your life – personally or as a leader in an organization.  Will you be ready to showcase a character that will inspire those around you?  Your character will be exhibited.  Choose now to develop a character you will be proud of.

*Note:  David K Aaker is a dynamic and nationally known keynote speaker and trainer in Customer Service, Leadership and Communication. Check his website, www.davidkaaker.com for more information.

August 10, 2008 Posted by | leadership | , , , , | Leave a comment