Weekly Highlights #16: Community, Speed, Leading in Adversity, and Navigation

Grateful for… community.  Had a few reminders this week of how like-minds and good friends can encourage, strengthen, test, and support in all of life’s endeavors.  Thankful for such relationships wherever I find them.

Challenged…  to be much, MUCH faster.  I reached out to a colleague at work who produces dashboard reports for one of our regions that is doing well in a broad set of metrics: he’s being very effective, and I wanted to ask why.  I expected him to say that he a more refined product that had taken years to perfect.  Instead, he said the secret was speed.  Instead of weeks or months, he could make changes for the whole organization’s reports in a few hours, or create a new product entirely in just a few days.  As a result, he had more relevant products and greater buy-in from his team.  A great reminder that fast beats perfect almost every time.

Watching…. Scott Frost, the coach of the University of Nebraska’s football team.  Scott has been a winner for a long time:  he quarterbacked a national championship team at Nebraska, went on to play safety for six years in college, and has had an incredibly successful coaching career.  Most recently, he took over as coach of an 0 – 12 UCF team, and two years later led them to a 12 – 0 record.   It’s likely he’ll be very successful at Nebraska.

But the Cornhuskers are currently 0-4, and clearly having a disappointing season.  Scott’s press conferences are an incredible lesson in how to lead through adversity: acknowledge the present, have faith in the future, trust the process, and show up to do the work every single day.  Inspiring to watch.

Quote I appreciated…  repetition as navigation.  One thing that is always surprising for leaders is how often you end up repeating yourself.  It can be exhausting and discouraging.  I’m reading The Culture Code, and the author talks about this work.  As the he describes, this simple act of connecting daily work to the bigger picture can be the difference between engaged energized teams, and people wanting to slit their wrists.  I thought this quote was a great piece of framing for that behavior.

“The value of those signals is not in their information, but in the fact that they orient the team to the task and to one another.  What seems like repetition is, in fact, navigation.  Those signals added up in a way you can hear in team members’ voices.”

Stay encouraged, and have a good week!

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