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Leading From The Front

When it comes to leadership in all its varying forms and style nothing and I do mean NOTHING will beat the penultimate leadership style of LEADING FROM THE FRONT.

Up until recently, there were very few real world examples of LEADING FROM THE FRONT.

The current and most relevant example is Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Yes, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In the current situation with Russia invading Ukraine, the Zelenskyy is out there fighting to push back the invaders, he is also out there fighting on behalf of his country to more international support.

The Ukrainian President is out there, on the front lines, walking his talk. How many “leaders” do that on a daily basis. How many leaders, today, are willing to walk out there where the bullets are flying.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the definition of Leading From The Front. He is out there fighting for his country, his constituents, his family and for his life. He is the epitome of walking his talk. He could have opted to rule from behind a desk far from the fighting. Instead, he opts to walk out to where the bullets, mortars, missiles, and tank shells are flying.

Sure there are many politicians that “claim” they lead from the front. Without shame they claim that they are out there and “no one works harder for their constituents than they do”. Yet when the opportunity to go to the front comes, they go there in a chauffeured limo. Then the moment things look like they are going sideways these politicians duck back in, speed away. Soon they find comfort in their nice cozy, comfy office chairs as far away from the front-lines as they can get.

Then there are some political officials that will flat out ignore a direct order to go to the front-lines. When questioned about why they are not going to the front-lines, their only response is a dirty look and a “cackled” laugh. Next question, please.

So much for working hard or is it working hard at avoiding any hard work? I challenge anyone to prove me wrong or try to change my mind when it comes to those politicians.

But, this post is not only about politicians. It is also about business managers, military personnel and the countless others that want to be great leaders but do not want to put in the work. They may claim they are putting in the work but yet, they are continually found behind their desk managing by email or zoom or by text (this is the worst of all). Again, I ask how can you become great if you REFUSE to get your hands dirty.

Who does not want to be known as one of the great leaders of our time? I promise you this: The person is lying if they claim they do not want to be great.

Sure, some people may be satisfied with their life if they never are seen as great. Some may be perfectly fine if they can achieve some level of greatness. No matter if a little, some or none and sure as the sun rises, everyone wants to be great.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being great. As many have said (including myself) time and time again, to be great you have put in great work.

WORK! W-O-R-K!

There’s that nasty four-letter word. It will never go away especially when you want to do something and be something. You have to put in the work. THERE IS NO SHORTCUT TO BEING GREAT.

However, you can move the process along by getting out there and Leading from the Front and by leading from the front means you are out there ACTIVELY participating.

You are out there NOT getting in the way. You are out there not for a photo-op but to actually do something that is helping. The following is what you can do to become a great leader:
Stand Up
Step Up
Go To The Front-lines
Dig Foxholes, Fill Sandbags, Chop Wood, Carry Water
Stay Out of The Way

That is it. It does not get any clearer and better than that. Get To Work!

Thank you for your time and consideration,
David G. Guerra, MBA

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Self-Leadership – How To Make The Time

In the previous blog entry, I talked about how it was important to find the time. How everyone has the same twenty-fours and such. Now, I want to share with you about how to make that time. How to extract the time you need to expand on what is important while minimizing downtime. The next set of questions is where to extract the time from? What to do with that time? Then how install the coming change that implementing the new found time will most bring.

Make The Time

Making time and how to make that time is not an easy task. It is by no means anywhere close to being easy. Well, I exaggerate (a little). It is easy to make time if all you do day in; day out is waste time. If all you have in your life is time to goof around, play on the PS4, or go party with your friends, then yes making the time is easy. However, it becomes a difficult task when we are already doing the important work. The kind of work we do when we are in school, putting in the hours from 9 to 5, and those awesome side hustles.
All that and then we feel like we are still spinning our wheels? Well, no need for the anxiety to set in. Taking a few common-sense approaches will help identify the time, adjusting the time, and implementing the time changes. Let’s get started:

AUDIT YOUR DAY, WEEK, MONTH, YEAR

Auditing your day may take some time to complete. As some days look the same as the previous day, I guarantee you every day is not the same but you know this. While you are auditing your day remember to note everything you from when you start working, what is the first thing you work on, when you take a break, what time you take lunch and so on.

Once you collect your data, next comes determining what works, what does not work, and what you want to start working on, among other things specific to you. Additionally, the audit data collected will also show you things you may not want to see or believe. Good or Bad, it is all a learning experience. A learning experience in that taking a step back will show us who we really are because in a day-to-day setting we are knee deep in the muck that we don’t see all that we really do because it is just the norm.

IDENTIFY WHAT CAN BE CHANGED THEN CHANGE IT

After collecting, sorting and dissecting the data there is a bit more work to do. Now the raw data is going to reveal the truth. The whole, good and bad, truth. The honest truth of what you have and have not been doing will be revealed. It is now the time to get to work.

Now is the time to identify what can be change. To do this, you will have to (honestly) determine what are you spending too much time on and not getting return on that time investment. Next, extract from the collected data what are you spending not enough time on but need to give more time to increase the return on the expanded time investment.

The final step in the identification process is to identify and create the CHANGE you feel (from your gut) you need to make. Having determined the time to be moved, shuffled, re-organized, re-prioritized, and re-distributed you are ready. Next, comes implementation and putting to work the impending change(s).

WORK THE PLAN

When it comes to implementing change in your life there are three trains of thought when it comes to implementing and working on the change(s): all at once, one thing at a time, or clustering the changes. The latter two are more apt to take root in that anything that does not appear right or appropriate can be worked on, modified, adjusted. Unfortunately, this is a luxury that does not accompany the “all at once” option.

Take that knowledge for what it is worth, acting on the change “one thing at a time” is my preferred method to deliver and act on change. It will certainly increase the level of buy-in and acceptance. Sometimes, the want to change is not enough. Whereas, through slow and deliberate actions in the way the plan is implemented and worked will increase success.

Once the first change is implemented then another can safely be brought in and implemented. By taking those slow, deliberate steps you are on the path to integrating the next change. The plan is to make the change an easy implementation of the changes to you, your life, your mission, and goals.

Throughout the entire process or working the plan you have another set of tasks to do. Those tasks are being constant and consistent when working on the fit that working the plan will make. Be careful for once you stop being constantly consistent is when you revert back to your old ways. You will be negating everything you have done up to this point.

The goal was to make the time to work on those things that will make a return on the time investment you make. The goal is also to minimize the continued action of those things that are not generating the kind of return you seek. Thus, it falls on you to stay the course, always. Staying the course of progress and change will most certainly ensure you are making the time. Isn’t that what success is all about?

Thank you,
David Guerra, MBA

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Self-Leadership – Finding The Time

Being a leader involves a different type of commitment and dedication. The difference comes from being a a committed and dedicated leader 24/7/365. That’s non-negotiable.

Being a leader is your other full time job. It is going to take up that much time. That is one reason most people feel they are ready to do what it takes to be a leader until it is time to step up and be the leader.

image of clock face

It is nothing against who they are as individuals, nor is it a strike against their knowledge, skills, wisdom and character. Far from it. Those that recognize that at this moment they are not ready to lead are great leaders in the making.

Once underway, there are people that know they cannot hack the toll leadership takes on the individual. Yet, there are those that decide to fake it and never make it are not even worthy of qualifying as a bad manager. The individuals that would rather continue faking it soon become “micro-managers” thus fail to give respect to those they are supposed to be leading. They will soon find themselves without true and genuine followers. Then what good are they?

What does finding the time have to do with knowing when to play your hand or when to fold’em?
Everything. If the individual is not prepared to find the time to work on her skillset or his soft-skills will amount nothing more than a hill of beans.

But there are only 24 hours in a day and eight of them are already spent sleeping!

True, but what about the other 16 hours? Eight of those sixteen are for working and working with the people you leading. That leaves eight hours for personal matters. Matters such as spending time with the family, hobbies, and personal development. All that and dinner, too?

You have to. You have no choice.

One thing to remember you and I and all us one thing in common. We all have the same 24 hours. Believe it or not every Doctor, Lawyer, Computer Engineer, Graphic Designer, Photographer, Janitor, Teacher, Bus Driver, and Student, all have those same 24 hours.

What does all that mean?

It means that while we are all unique individuals were are all, also the same. We have that same amount of time. Yet, there are plenty of people finding the time within those 24 hours to work on the commitment, dedication needed to become a better leader.

As you can see, it will be difficult but you have to find the time to be better. You have to use that time to grow both personally and professionally. In upcoming blog posts I will take a deeper dive into how to properly use your new found time.

As always if you have any comments, questions, remarks or concerns please email me at dave@daveguerra.com

Thank you,
David Guerra

P.S. I invite you to follow me on Twitter: @daveguerra • visit my website: www.daveguerra.com