Friday, July 11, 2014

Are you just out for a walk? Forced Followership -vs- Inspirational Followership

     My friend Chief Master Sergeant (Ret) Anthony Brinkley, who is now the CEO of "On the Brink Consulting," Once told me that if someone was leading and no one was following, then that person was just out for a walk.  When I thought about what Brink said, I realized that the implied concept of leadership is that more than one person must participate. The second implied concept is, one of the people must lead and the other must follow.  Although it sounds obvious, many people in leadership positions fail to realize that it is their responsibility to increase a followers willingness to participate in the leader/follower relationship.  With that in mind, a military leader has the ability to put all of his subordinates in a formation and march them in any direction.  That is easy enough to understand. In essence, forced followership. In the civilian world, although it does not sound right, leaders are also working with a forced followership.  Employees need money, that is why they get and keep a job.  The concept of forced followership is proven by volunteer civic organizations. Volunteers that do not have a greater purpose for participating, quickly quit the organization never to return.  Military and civilian leaders must find a way to inspire followership and get people to follow without coercion.  Voluntary followership might begin with an idea, monetary compensation or some other reason, but to insure long term survivability of a group, leaders have to provide compelling reasons, to the follower, to continue the relationship.  When a leader inspires followers with epic leadership concepts like, duty, honor, country and context like "this will change the world" or "your mom would be proud" followers get personally invested and inspired to raise their game to levels beyond just showing up for work.  
Inspirational followership produces better results for a leader because followers are internally compelled to work by respected character traits entrenched in our psyche.  The military uses words like duty honor and country and there is no reason why civilian counterparts can't use them as well.  The concept behind inspirational leadership is simple: If the leader inspires a follower in the right way, neither one of them ever has to walk alone.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Being productive in the morning matters!!!

This is a picture of the sun coming up behind my house.  When a real leader wakes up, he or she does not think about what they have to do, they think about what everybody else has to do.  They ask themselves, "what is the team going to do today?"  Many people say that if the leader focuses on the small things the big things will take care of themselves.  That is BS.  I have found just the opposite to be true.  Leaders have to start with the big ideas and let subordinates figure out the details.  Every morning you also want to get started as soon as you possibly can!  Why? Because every minute of every hours that the team is productive equals amplified success.  For example, compound interest is effective because it builds upon itself and takes advantage of time.  Work is the same way!  The sooner the leader acts, the sooner subordinates get their marching orders and the more time that they have to successfully reach an objective.  If a leader makes a decision at 11AM and 5 workers have until 4 PM to get the work done, the total number of hours that the workers can work that day is 25 hours.  If the decision is made at 8AM the total number of hours the workers can work is 40 hours.  The difference between 25 hours and 40 hours is 15 hours per day or 75 hours per week.  That is equivalent to almost two employees working full time. Leaders can't afford to waste that much time.
Here is the deal: Time is precious!  When the sun comes up, leaders need to focus on the big picture so that they can get orders to their subordinates as soon as possible.    

Friday, July 4, 2014

Hello World! I am HeySarge!

Welcome to HeySarge Leadership!  My name is John J. Spillane IV.  When I was 20 years old, I started a career in the United States Air Force.  I must have done something right, because 30 years later, I retired at the highest enlisted rank authorized by Congress, Chief Master Sergeant.   Somewhere along the line, I recognized that I lived in the greatest country in the world and we had the greatest military ever assembled.  I knew that these things didn't happen by accident.  These observations, and many others, lead me to the conclusion that the single biggest factor in the success of any endeavour is leadership.

HeySarge is my philosophically driven alter-ego! He was born 25 years ago when I realized that great leadership can change the world!  I believe that there is an answer for every leadership challenge if leaders trust in concepts like integrity, honor, respect, dignity, forgiveness and determination.   Now that I have retired from the United States Air Force, I am ready to share my uniquely powerful, “HeySarge Leadership Tenants” with the world!