Leadership lessons from a lower leg tattoo

As I was laying on the table while Kevin Stress of Enso Tattoo was finishing up my tattoo, I thought about the experience and, as always, looked for the learning I could gingerly walk away with.

I think that leaders will see some correlation to how things may/may not work within organizations through my experience. I believe the processes work at both micro and macro level and we can learn from any experience...not matter how small. The real "a-ha" moments for me were the last two in the process.

It seems odd to me that the accepted "process" for life is that we work for 40+ years doing some job with great plans for when we can finally retire and enjoy ourselves. It appears that reaching retirement age is viewed the same way as someone in prison would view being paroled...we are finally FREE!

There is a definitive difference between a complicated and complex issue. As leaders we must be able to quickly discern what we are facing in order to address it appropriately. There is real danger in mis-categorizing so it is necessary we have a process we can leverage in these situations. Having a sense making process is critical not only for ourselves but it is also something we must teach to others as we always want to ensure our teams are continually learning and growing.

Ever wonder why it so hard for people to complete projects or tasks you delegate to them? Do they seem to be confused or off-track? Do they fail to make adequate progress or even seem to be working on a completely different project? Have you ever considered that it might be you? As Pogo said in the comics years ago..."We have met the enemy and it is us". If you would like to have some objective feedback about your delegation skills, feel free to take this quick quiz.

Leader, writer, speaker, thinker, golfer, strategist, procrastinator, runner, hiker, decorator, gardener, boater...the list could go on and on. We should take great care to never label ourselves, label others, or accept labels from others. Labeling is one of the most dangerous things we do to ourselves because they immediately limit us. Note than I am not differentiating between "good" or "bad" labels because they are all bad.

I can't say there are many times when I disagree with the founders of our country but I do take exception with the concept of "pursuing happiness". In fact, I think this particular phrase from the Declaration of Independence has been twisted and abused and used as a justification/excuse for actions that are mis-aligned with our goals as a society.