Now that the Golden State Warriors Won, Let’s Talk about Teams by David Guerra

“Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors for winning the 2017 NBA Championship. Congratulations for creating the beginning of the end of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.”

 

That is most certainly one of the headlines you will be reading in the coming days. Delivering congratulations to a team then singling out one player and his team. One loss of a series of games and everyone is ready to throw in the towel for this individual, stellar NBA player. They are also ready to throw in the towel for his team. His entire team.

What does this all mean? It means that all over, LeBron James is recognized as the one individual that is the heart, soul and glue of the Cleveland Cavaliers. How can that be? How can it be that outsiders see this as the LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers instead of “The Cleveland Cavaliers”?

It is so easy for people to drive a wedge between a player and his team. The media is no help, they have all but exalted the most honorable and most high “King James” as they like to call him. Yet, what about the team? Do they call the Cavaliers something like “King James and his court”? You had better believe they do. They do so much that when the team does not do well you can almost hear the teaser commercials call it “King James and his court jesters”.

Seriously, not even James believes that nonsense or does he? While he has been quoted as saying, “There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself.” However, when has he been heard saying or asking not to be called “King James”?

James is a very good player. He does what he can to distinguish himself on the basketball playing court. There is no argument there. However, what about the team. It takes a great team to end the NBA Playoffs year after year. It takes a greater team to enter the NBA finals but the greatest team for the season is the one that wins the NBA Championship.

That last paragraph NEVER mentions an individual. It mentions teams. To be great players of the game and the sport you have to be bigger that the game. This means having to be more than the sum of all your teammates. That is why the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls will always remain great teams (no matter the Win-Loss record). It takes a team to make great teams. When one individual is elevated to a position above his own team, then is the team truly great?

To be great team and great team members, the individuals must believe in the team and the team must believe in ALL the individuals to make the team great. From game one to game 82, the team must work together as one cohesive unit with each member of that team doing his part. Eighty-two games later, if they worked and worked with one mission and vision, they enter the play offs. They advance as a team. They move forward building their legacy by being a team. One day, history will look back on that team and its legacy and with a little luck it will call that team GREAT. Then and only then will history decide which individual or individuals were great. Until then, this is still a game played by a TEAM and as a TEAM!

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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

Journaling Your Leadership by David Guerra

When it comes to journaling and leadership the two have to go together like peanut butter and jelly. Writing down the actions of the day and recalling them at a later time is the main reason biographies of great military, political and business leaders are written. It is the exact same reason for you to journal your daily events.  Document activities as they happen. Obviously, there are times you cannot go into specifics (to protect the privacy of all parties) however you can present enough information that when you need it, there it is. However, all of this is not possible if you do not have the right materials to do the right job.

• Always have writing materials.

Any leader that has been a great follower knows to always carry something to write with and something to write on is vital to your existence. Typically, that means carrying paper and pen. Unless you like remembering names, dates, and other information it is best that you carry that paper and pen(s) at all times. However, I have recently seen a disturbing trend: People writing important (critical) information on the palm of their hand.

I cannot understand why people would take such a chance. Yet, they seem to have no problem writing names on the palm of their hand and hoping they don’t sweat it away. Folks, don’t take a chance and smudge a name or a word, don’t take a chance of misspelling a word or running out of room to write. Make it part of your everyday carry (EDC) kit, have paper (notepad, note cards, journal) and pen or pens or pencil.

Having this will allow you to keep important information handy and within arm’s reach.

• Document Everything especially names, times, places, and events.

Now that you have something to write with and something to write on what do you do? You start writing, of course. Now you ask, but what do you write? Great question. If you have never written in a journal you start slow.

At first, just give the highlights. However, the highlights should include names, times, places, and events. Then as you get more comfortable with your writing you start including things like time of day, weather, and actual dialogue.

As leader, now it becomes even more important to document, chronicle, or whatever you want to call it, all your daily interactions no matter how mundane or important. Treat every interaction as the same. As anyone who has spent anytime managing people you have to document or it didn’t happen.

The ability to efficiently and effectively document your day will increase as you do it every day. Once you are effective and efficient, you will be able to describe and document situations with the best of them.  That documentation will come in handy as you move along in your career or time as a leader.

• Refer to the past to create a new future.

Once you are well on your way to journaling or documenting your day-to-day adventures as a leader something unique starts to happen, you are building a library. A library of events, situations, and how you handled them. This library built from your daily journaling not only shows you what happened in the past but helps guide you in the present and the future.

When a situation arises and it is similar to something that happened in your past, you can quickly refer to your journal(s) and instantly you have a point of reference not only to help you figure out what to do but to ensure that as a manager you remain consistent.

Keep journaling, even when you think that life is boring. It is a great tool to show your kids or those you mentor that life is mostly boring but when it isn’t life can be a challenge. Future challenges will be in good company as you will have a resource, a recollection that allows you to use the past to address the present.

Keep writing.

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What did you think of this blog entry / post?
Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

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Fine Tuning Your Focus by David Guerra

Fine Tuning Your Focus – 16 MARCH 2017

There comes a time when all leaders, novice or masters, start to lose focus either by life becoming cumbersome or intentional. When leaders start to lose their focus is when they start to get sloppy and make mistakes.

While making mistakes is part of being a great leader, making preventable or avoidable mistakes is not the making of a great leader. It is carelessness. Being careless is something that while tolerated at first but is not something that is going to be good for follower retention or acquisition. However, as someone who seeks self-improvement and creating a solution to losing focus there are three things you can work on right now to make that happen.

By restoring your concentration, practicing patience and being consistent you can get your focus back to the level you had (if not better than) before you started noticing you were losing focus on not the little stuff but the big stuff as well. Remember, how you deal with the big and the small stuff contributes to shaping who you are as a leader.

Before I continue, I should explain that when I write leader I mean any leader at any level in any position in the organization. This includes those “recognized leaders” that are NOT in management positions but are individuals that others turn to for guidance or advice. “Recognized leaders” are those staff members that have been around the longest, the tenured staff. To be clear, I am referring to all leaders within the organization.

The individual’s ability to concentrate is key to remaining focused. When your concentration is on point, you are on point. However, with all the bells, whistles, and shiny objects in the modern age concentration is a commodity that is going the way of the Dodo. I know, I sound like I am over exaggerating but have you ever sat down and tried to write an 866 word article with Facebook, Twitter, and Email running in the background? Just three? Yes, as I am writing this after hours I do not have to deal with phone calls or text messages.

How we deal with maintaining concentration varies from person to person. No matter what works for you, remember to avoid what does not work. Of course, what works for me might not work for you. Personally, I prefer two things to help get my concentration back. Over the years, I have tried others but I have found that creating a quiet environment, my room/office, with the door closed is a starting point. Then when I am ready, the music comes on. It will either be classical music (Mozart, Chopin, etc.) or 80s music (Duran Duran, Talking Heads, The Police, etc.) and it is not at a low level. Actually, the level the volume is set is not important as the music acts like white noise. I listen to it, I like it and it works for me. Music as white noise did not always work for me.

I tried many things to help with my focus. Some worked, most did not. Those that worked for me did not work for very long. However, that did not stop me from trying again. To find your way to keep and maintain your focus with no matter what you do, patience is the only constant.

Patience in the sense that it will take time to master getting your focus. Keep working at it and keep trying until you find what works. Most of all do not give up but remain patient. Patient, especially when interruptions occur. When they do happen, address them. Depending on the scope or size of the issue you can either address the issue immediately or request to talk about it later. This decision must be made immediately otherwise why bother attempting to remain focused. The sooner you can get back to work the better off you will be in completing your assigned task.

Through all of this and along with patience you must be consistence. Consistency is key when it comes to making you attempts at finding what works for you a success. You remain consistent by scheduling quiet time daily, schedule open door time daily. Do this every day. Avoid the occasional observance of the quiet time. Remember you have work to do that is non-negotiable, aside from leading people or reporting to managers or directors you have to do work that involves you. Usually this involves paperwork and other administrative activities. That is why it is imperative you stick to finding what works for you to get you focus but to also get that focus fine-tuned.

Finding your focus is not something that only you can do but by encouraging others to do the same, you are creating an environment of focused individuals that are not above doing the impossible but doing the impossible on a consistent basis. However, it will take time so be patient. Most of all, remember that finding what works for you will not be what will work for others. That is why it is important for everyone to remember that all good things take time to achieve but once achieved, the success behind having fine-tuned focus is awesome.

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What did you think of this blog entry / post? Let me know by email dave@daveguerra.com on on Twitter @daveguerra

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