LEADERSHIP IN THE LEANING REST #9 – ROBERT NEEDHAM (NAVY SEAL) ON TEAM LEADERSHIP   Leave a comment

Today I would like to continue sharing with you more of my highlights and notes from Team Secrets of the Navy SEALs by Robert Needham (Navy SEAL).

Chapter 1 – Leading the Best (cont.)

1. “If an individual or a Team starts to lose focus, they must step back and review.” — Sometimes individuals or teams feel that they do not have time to step back and refocus. Of course, if you ask if they have more or less time to lose focus, go for a walk in the woods, fail and get miserable, re-focus time doesn’t look as costly as the alternative. That said, I’ve seen people and teams get into “locked up” mode and require a wake-up call to snap out of it.

2. “It is incumbent upon any group that desires true success to set an environment that allows and encourages communication.” I used to pride myself on being a submarine commander when it comes to communication: “If you don’t hear from me, everything is OK.” With time, I have really come to think that all things are possible with good communication. Just the social support provided in communicatin improves the resilience and chances of survival and success of people in tough situations. As I have heard so often said (to me) before: “Communicate, communicate, communicate.”

3. “You must honestly evaluate your own ability and communicate forthrightly about it — for your own good and for that of the Team. If everyone else is unaware of a weak link, they cannot repair it. Unnoticed, the weak link will break, costing money, time, and perhaps even lives.” — Thee’s a strategy called “Fake it ’til you make it!” for self-improvement, which involves acting like the person you want to be in order to become that person. It’s an effective approach. At the same time, trying to “fake out” others by posing or lying about knowledge or ability is misguided and a clear commitment to making disaster happen for self and others. The bigger person on a Team knows to be clear about limits, risks, and look for reality-checks and options from others.

4. “Wat’s important to the SEAL TEAm is important to any team of professionals inbusiness: Stay informed, stay alert, and stay alive.” — Yep!

5. “It is imperative that you stress [to your team] that no issue will be addressed unless the author also includes a viable solution.” — Major General Ronald Bailey (USMC) imposes the same requirement onhis team. You don’t get to complain or bring up a problem without a number of possible solutions. This makes sense if you want to see firsthand descriptions of problems always accompanied by firsthand proposals for solutions. If you’re not there, you really end up counting on the person who is closest to the problem to ascertain a best probable solution. Makes sense!

6. “Challenge yur team to think outside the box, brainstorm, and create. Give them the responsibility and the latitude to be creative.” — Innovation, adaptation and improvement require creativity. It is an invaluable resource asset for any team. Take care of it!

7. “If you can find humor in a bad situation and joke about it, you will have a better chance of salvaging your attitude and coming out on top.” — Humor puts things in perspective, and opens up space for creative thinking and problem-solving. In addition, laughter activates physiological processes that reduce stress and the distracting, demoralizing and fatiguing effects of stress. Use humor like a medicine and a weapon!

I am preparing engaging leadership development modules, including practical exercises, for individuals and teams. If you or your team is interested in engaging with leadership development in a practical and meaningful work session, let me – Tom Delaney – know via e-mail to greatriverfitness@gmail.com. We’ll put it together and make it happen!

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