Friday, March 27, 2009

March 2, 2009: Leadership requires Involvement

"Every soldier deserves competent command. Air conditioned officer's quarters are no place for a leader whose troops are under fire. General Fred Franks once said, "You gotta get onto the fight. Commanders must be visible. They must be present in order to ignite the soldier's resolve. They must provide a bottomless supply of courage for soldiers to feed on when their own supply begins to dry up."

...from Axiom by Bill Hybels.

I've been putting together a presentation based on the Covert PMO topic and this quote struck me. Imagine being in the midst of a battle and receiving an email telling you to advance on the enemy. Maybe it is just a text message from your commander who is sitting half way around the world in an air conditioned office. Would that instill the courage you need to rush forward and attack?

Wouldn't you rather have someone in the trenches with you, guarding your back?

Are you visible to your team or do you sit at your desk and lob email at them like hand grenades?

With dispersed teams it is more difficult yet just as important to make that connection. Pick up the phone or get a webcam set up. Use a proxy (i.e. a team lead or manager on the other end communicating directly). Get connected.

Be involved enough that your team can't claim you just showed up at the end of the battle to take the credit.