Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Power of Organization Informed by Listening

My friend Jeremy and I talked yesterday about what it took to be the President of the USA. He said the only thing that mattered is the President listens to smart folks with good ideas and to give orders to someone to “do it.” I argued the President also needed Organizational skills. To implement any plan takes some organization. Even to organize a meal. We have nine children in our family, and a good 1/5 of the day is spent preparing, making, and cleaning up after meals. If it takes that much effort just to keep us all fed, imagine how much more to implement a plan across the entire USA.  Any president or leader needs to listen to their followers carefully to find out what’s happening on the ground and for solutions. Their job is to coordinate all the different plans to ensure that none of them are cancelling out each other and that all have enough resources. Of course they will delegate project management details to those who have that skill, but the Leader is where the Buck Stops. Thus they need to be able to keep track of the details of the various projects while still listening.

We can all use this boiled down lesson in our own lives. Next year we have things we want to do. I have about 8 projects I am planning on doing. What will allow us to implement all our projects is organization. There’s a few levels of organization. Keeping a notebook where you can update the current status helps. Also weekly To Do lists allow you to make progress every week. And daily To Do lists will allow you to make progress on particulars each day. That way, even if you just make a call or send an email one day a week, you can slowly but surely finish your projects next year. Some projects require many hours of devoted labor such as repainting or remodeling. Putting these items on your calendar will allow you to allot enough time to get them done.

Like you always hear me say, we all have the same 24 hours as Obama has. The only difference is in what we are working on minute by minute. We have the power, but do we have the motivation? That is the real culprit J

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