From my files:


The longer I live, the more I realize
the impact of Attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.
It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.

It is more important than appearances, talent, or skill.
It will make or break an organization, a church, a home.

The remarkable thing is we all have a choice every day regarding the Attitude we will embrace for that day.

We cannot change our past.
We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way.
We cannot change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have; and that is our Attitude.

I am convinced that life is 10% what happens TO me and 90% how I react to it.

We, alone, are in charge of our Attitudes.

by Charles R. Swindoll

Organizational Transformation

When you are brought into a new leadership position, most organizations expect a change for the better; a transformation. When an organization is considered a “train wreck”, it is often easier than stepping in for a departed or elevated popular leader with a track record of accomplishment. One thing is for certain, it spells opportunity.

The 2013 Philadelphia Eagles have a new Defensive Coordinator; a 21 year veteran of the NFL, Bill Davis. The Eagles defense has fallen from its perceived peak under the late Jim Johnson, and in need of a new identity under Chip Kelly and Bill Davis.

The Eagles open their 2013 campaign on Monday Night Football against division rival, Washington Redskins and Robert Griffin III. “I know this, wherever we start against Washington, good or bad or somewhere in the middle, it has to continue to get better by the 16th [last] game,” Davis said. “No matter what I wish for or what I want, [that] doesn’t matter. The game will show us who we are.”

Agreed. The performance on the field or in the office day in and day out demonstrates who you are, at that point in time. Everything you do as a leader – strategically, tactically, personnel enhancements and training, and execution will, hopefully, demonstrate the improvement and transformation you are seeking.

Father’s Day Extrapolation

I love Father’s Day! For one, it almost guarantees me a touch point with all those I care about, and, for another, it usually provides good points to ponder.

My Mother’s card said, “Being a good father starts with being a good person.” I agree. Being a good person also contributes to wider success as a husband, son, nephew, neighbor, and employee or business partner.

I was a Boy Scout – Troop 2 – Bridgeton, NJ for a few years. The words Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent still roll off my tongue, and I still thank my Parents and relatives, friends, teammates, classmates, and co-workers in helping make me who I am today —- a good person. And I’m also confident and proud that I have contributed to future generations of good people.

From my youngest: The Greatest Gifts a Father can Give His Daughter — smiles, self-confidence, advice, pride, affection, memories, and, most of all, it’s just knowing that whenever I need you, you’re there – and thanks for always being there.

A good person is always there for those he cares about. Thanks for Father’s Day!

The Most Important “tool” in your IT Leadership Arsenal? People, of course…

The participants in a recent blog came to this conclusion very quickly, which pleased me, although the subsequent discussion wasn’t as focused as I would have liked. An IT Leader’s goal is to work effectively with The Business leadership to help shape and understand Business Strategy, and rally the IT organization to deliver quality products and services that are aligned with that strategy.

I believe that it is the “People Skills” of the IT Leadership that drive the success of IT within an organization. An effective leader must have the ability to interact effectively at all levels, from the Board Room to the Mail Room, and externally, with both Customers and suppliers/partners.

In my view, the IT Leadership must possess the following key people skills:

Be a Listener – you must have strong listening skills – and listen to everyone; both concerns and great ideas can come from many different sources

Be a good Communicator –

  • constantly communicate the mission, vision and direction of the IT organization to not only the IT Team, but Business Leadership, Key Stakeholders and Business Partners
  • situational awareness – communicate not only organization successes (constantly), but keep people in the loop and manage expectations throughout projects and operational hiccups

Be Empathetic

Be a Relationship Builder (up, down and across the organization and externally) – based on trust, respect and productive interactions

Be a good Mentor and Coach – mentoring is personally satisfying and rewarding; coaching underperforming team members up-or-out is challenging, but best for the overall health of the organization and the individual

While “people skills” are important in any organization, I believe they are most important to the success and growth of SMB organizations, where the existence of stellar performers or poor performers is magnified; thus, making the people skills of the IT Leader even more important.