Tag Archives: excellence

How do you decide what is Critical vs. Important – Battlefield Leadership series

The Difference Between Critical and Important

The understanding of self and team dynamic is paramount to success in the business world. The definition of success is ‘the achievement of the general objective.’ All too often individuals, teams, and companies lose focus and become distracted during action. Knowing what is important, being able to recognize a distraction, and refocusing resources on what is most critical are the best steps to success under fire.

Hillman Battery

Even today, A walk through Hillman Battery shows the defensive position of the Germans in the immediate path of the British Infantry. The Allies’ most critical task was to liberate Caen after the invasion, but the Allied (British) unit became distracted with destroying a defensive obstacle and resulted in being stalled for an entire day. Ultimately, The Allies were forced to repel counter attacks by the Germans along their flanks which delayed liberation of Caen until July.

If you are unaware of this part of D-Day, you can check out Stephen Ambrose’s book D-Day, which provides some rich details.

Business Reflections…

In business the correlation of ‘team’ and ‘self’ is critical. Often times, important resources are lost when the team is disjointed. For example, wasting time (our most valuable resource!) can occur when you lose sight of the bigger picture. Thus, breaking down the big picture and defining what is important to you and your team allows for clear establishment and allocation of resources.

How does one avoid distractions? How can these be identified, measured, managed, and pushed off? Is the philosophy of saying ‘NO’ to everything but that which is the ultimate goal valuable? How does one position teams to understand the big picture and their critical objectives? Is the communication chain with choke points necessary, or can these be empowered within the teams?

  • Myself: The ‘big picture’ is being a parent directly and in the presence of my daughter. My secondary task is racing, training, and writing to better myself and others.
  • At Ernst & Young: Our Big Picture is realizing vision 2020, the creation of a Better Working World. My teams constantly seeking to create the best security and compliance programs based on global standards that are realized through the eyes of practitioners 
  • What are yours?

 

What is Battlefield Leadership and what is this series about … 

This is the fourth paper in this series. As part of my pursuit to learn and grow, I sought out the excellent management training team at Battlefield Leadership. I am professionally leveraging this across multi-million dollar projects I am overseeing (currently I am the lead executive building global compliance and security programs specifically in the online services / cloud leader space). Personally I am bringing these lessons to bear within my pursuits to cross the chasm. To often I see brilliant technical individuals fail to communicate to very smart business leaders and to the common person on the street. My new book – How Not to be hacked seeks to be a first step in bringing deep information security practices beyond the technologist.

Most exciting the Battlefield group for this training placed it in Normandy France. This allowed for senior executives to be trained in a setting where serious decisions were placed by both sides, and each provided a lesson. This series represents my notes (that I could take down) and takeaways. I share to continue the conversation with those great individuals I met, and with the larger community.

Kind regards,

James

A practitioner’s leadership behavior – Battlefield Leadership series: Pegasus Bridge

An interesting leadership insight found here is how Major Howard was recognized as an elite candidate and then promoted as a leader. He was promoted twice in only two months. This is especially interesting since he had a bias against him for not being part of the British Aristocracy. Throughout war time, Howard’s aggressive actions and leadership skills gained him full command of the unit (160 men).

Major Howard believed in being where the critical decisions were happening. As a leader he took the following actions:

  1. Be where the critical decisions are required.
  2. Be where the hardest tasks are happening (Major Howard lead the team for the toughest actions).
  3. Cross-training. Major Howard’s teams were trained and cross-trained on every objective and task.
  4. Rewarding “A” players. Major Howard was able to select the best of the best across the organization.
  5. Training and competitions to hone the skills of the team.
  6. Garnering his own experiences.
  7. Organizing athletic challenges. Howard required for the team to not only continue mental toughness but also physical agility.
  8. Leading by example. While Major Howard was not loved by many, he was respected by all.

Business Reflection Questions…

  • How are you building cross-functional teams?
  • How are you yourself learning skills and demonstrating ability to achieve objectives?
  • What are you accomplishing with teams?
  • How are the teams performing as a result of your leadership?
  • What marks of distinction do you and your team’s bear?
  • How are you making your team excel and treating the “A” players?

Basically… What is your competition, internally and externally, and how are you performing?


 

What is Battlefield Leadership and what is this series about … 

This is the third paper in this series. As part of my pursuit to learn and grow, I sought out the excellent management training team at Battlefield Leadership. I am professionally leveraging this across multi-million dollar projects I am overseeing (currently I am the lead executive building global compliance and security programs specifically in the online services / cloud leader space). Personally I am bringing these lessons to bear within my pursuits to cross the chasm. To often I see brilliant technical individuals fail to communicate to very smart business leaders and to the common person on the street. My new book – How Not to be hacked seeks to be a first step in bringing deep information security practices beyond the technologist.

Most exciting the Battlefield group for this training placed it in Normandy France. This allowed for senior executives to be trained in a setting where serious decisions were placed by both sides, and each provided a lesson. This series represents my notes (that I could take down) and takeaways. I share to continue the conversation with those great individuals I met, and with the larger community.

Kind regards,

James