The Military is a funny thing. A very unique working environment for many reasons. One of which, is that all positions are filled from within.
There is no external recruitment (although this may change in some areas soon). Even more unique to this process is there are next to no job interviews. Every single vacated leadership and management position is allocated by the equivalent of Human Resources. Firstly, people are promoted. Then a position identified for them. Then they and their new organisation are notified of their new position.
Doesn’t that sound weird?
Imagine you are promoted to Chief Technical Officer first, then a decision as to which company you would work second. That’s how the Military does it. Someone will be promoted to a certain rank, then a job will be identified for them. Now, don’t get me wrong, you and the company have a bit of a say — but in the end, it is ‘what is best for the Military’ that ultimately decides. …
On one of my long car rides, I listened to my favourite podcaster Ryan Hawk interview a researcher and author. The information I heard on that trip has helped me understand more about myself and those I interact with.
The author, Gretchen Rubin, asked a few questions of the host;
You are standing in a line at the coffee shop, and there is a big sign that says ‘no mobile phone use in the line’. The person in front of you takes out their phone to use and can obviously see the sign. How does that make you feel?
It’s February, and you said on New Years that you would go for a run every week this year as part of your resolutions. You’ve been every week so far, but you don’t really feel like going this weekend, would you put your runners on or not? — What if you told your friend you’d go with them? …
First, they started liking tweets from 2010 from people with massive Twitter followers. The Twitter Influencers like gaming superstar NadeShot and YouTube superstar Casey Neistat had tweets from 2010 that no one else had liked, interacted with by the official Burger King account.
Sean Kernan did a brilliant piece on it here. Through this, they utilised the influencers to reach markets for minimal cost. This campaign was an exploit-marketing entry and was exceptionally successful at increasing the reach of the company.
The same marketing firm also convinced the company to invest in the sporting market to gain exposure, but they did it uniquely. Traditionally, big brands will reach out to star athletes and get them to endorse their brands. They use that reach to support a campaign and spend big on print, television and internet advertising. …
Fiona ran out of one meeting room, juggling an empty coffee cup, a notebook and laptop, and a full bladder down the hall to the next room. A finance meeting just finished, and now there is a meeting on HR policy.
Even though she was in the previous meeting for 30 minutes, she isn’t sure of what the actual outcomes of the meeting were, and if she had any actions, she didn’t write them down.
At the end of the day, she’ll know that she spent most of her day in a meeting room and none of it progressing the things she needed too. …
My thirteen-year-old daughter is struggling at school. Teenage girls throughout the generations appear to all go through this phase. They look for things that make people different or magnify their own insecurities by demeaning others around them.
It isn’t nice to watch the effect, but there isn’t a great deal you can do. So I’ve focussed on trying to let her know what she can focus on. And I want her to focus on lifting people up, rather than trying to bring them down.
It made me reflect on the people I’ve met. There are those who everyone seemed to enjoy being around. These people lift the mood in the room, they create great connections with the people they meet. …
I was asked this question during a chat with a friend the other day, as we reflected on the last few years. I had been fortunate, he had not been. But in truth, over our working lives, there had been very few great leaders. Very few people that genuinely made you better and supported you through that growth.
It made me reflect on those that I have had, and start to contemplate what it was that made them great leaders. Was there a common theme? Or were there unique traits that made them great leaders in their own ways?
There is another aspect to this, in a world of five and six out of ten leaders, how do you strive to get to a ten? We have reached a point where there is sufficient information available that there should be a reduction in mediocre leadership. But it isn’t happening, there is still mediocre leadership everywhere. …
Job interviews are daunting things to go through for the potential hire, but it is also stressful for the person in charge of the hire.
So much depends on getting the right person in the role. Your team will succeed, and you will succeed as their boss, based on the quality of your hires.
This is where we can learn from Aristotle. The Greek philosopher ran a tight ship and knew how to hire the right people. Aristotle focussed on finding pieces to the team that offered more than the individual provided. He found multipliers.
And while fixing his macchiato after hiring a sales manager who didn’t have an MBA, Aristotle famously…
I’ve met some very smart dogs in my life, but I was dazzled when I watched a Dog called Chaser, who understood about 1000 words, repeatedly go and fetch specific toys by name.
‘Blue ball’, John said, and off Chaser would run to a pile of 100’s of different toys. Back he would come with a blue ball in his mouth. Then John would say, ‘no, bigger Chaser’, and off he would run again and come back with a bigger blue ball. I was amazed.
There is no escaping it, dogs are smart. But, dogs can’t do real math. You might say, ‘of course they can’t, no animals can’. You are of course right (beyond some limited addition in chimps). They just don’t have the frame of reference, the cognitive power, the understanding of how it couples together. …
I have a question for you… Do you have a decision-making process or a decision-making foundation?
I mean, do you follow a templated structure to the right decisions? A checklist that gives you decision confidence?
Or, do you have a foundation built on certain knowledge and understanding that you use to make decisions? Do you make decisions that align for you, or for the data?
Perhaps, it is both… I want to give you some insight into the differences and merits of each and why it's important you refine it. …
I was in the car driving home from work, the road and traffic sort of blurred into the background, and a dialogue started in my head. I was thinking about the last six months of my life.
In this period of time, I had started a new job and bought a house with my girlfriend. I had seen lockdowns and global death rates not seen since the World Wars.
As this transcript continued in my mind, another voice started narrating my thoughts. As the thought of how happy I was in the house, and how much I was enjoying the challenges of the new job, it started to say “have you bitten off too much? A new house and a new job, while unemployment rates continue to rise. …