Achievement Unlocked

hands holding the maze relic westworld

I’ve been thinking lately about what actually makes someone useful to an organization.

What are those things that really matter?

You can make an endless list, but it seems to come down to two things:

  1. Solve the organization’s problems.
  2. Unlock the organization’s resources.

On solving problems:

Your boss has a vision. Your boss has a goal. There are obstacles in the way. There are problems to be solved.

Good leaders find ways to solve those problems and to arrive at the boss’ goal – not their personal goal.

On unlocking resources:

This is the one I’ve been thinking about a lot more. Organizations – and especially large bureaucracies – are marked by red tape. There’s an obstacle everywhere that impedes progress.

Ineffective leaders gripe, complain and become cynical.

“The system is stupid,” they say, as they look for ways around it.

Effective leaders recognize the red tape and work their way through it to unlock the resources.

“The system is stupid, but…” they say, as they work their way through it.

The bureaucracy is a behemoth – and when wielded can do incredible things.

But you have to do the work.

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That E-5 Work Ethic

five soldiers posing during vietnam

As the saying goes, the rifle team leader is the hardest working person in the Army.

It’s a nod to the fact that the rifle team leader is always moving, never satisfied.

The rifle team leader is a fighting leader.

The rifle team leader does.

This isn’t to take away from other levels of leadership, it’s just a fact.

It is where the rubber meets the road.

There is something to be said for the E-5 work ethic. It’s powerful. And it’s not something that should be discarded when you make rank and move into managing personnel or teams.

Don’t get lazy.

Even if you were never enlisted, it is something to aspire to.

Get up and move. Fight your war.

Put in the work.

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