Leadership theory of humping rucks and dry socks

5 06 2015

“French fries kill more people than guns and sharks, yet nobody’s afraid of French fries.” ~Robert Kiyosaki

Sexy topics, “Sizzle on the steak”, “Lipstick on the pig” often get the attention of leaders because doing those tasks and succeeding at them are “cool”.  Everyone wants to be the person that lands the $2 million grant, or come up with the next brand new hugely profitable line of service.  These are admirable goals, and they do occasionally happen, so shoot for the moon when you can.

But the French fries (as opposed to guns and sharks)…  Need to be dealt with every day.  There’s boring work that has to be done to make a company run.  Scrutinizing boring spreadsheets, writing training manuals, doing routine QA work, ensuring compliance fills out the 80-page forms, having regular team meetings, walking the floor… these are the things that make the machine run.  While it’s fun to occasionally do something “really cool”, as leaders we have to know that most days we’re being paid to put our head down and get on with the “boring” tasks of checking checklists, taking the temperature of our team, and otherwise “humping the ruck” (and army term for marching many miles with a REALLY heavy backpack in less than ideal climate conditions).  It’s not glorious, it’s just what needs to be done to achieve the objective.  Sometimes, we just have to “suck it up, buttercup”, and move on.  Hopefully you can find a little sizzle now and then to keep things spicy, but when you’ve got to hump that ruck, be sure that whenever you take a break, change into fresh socks that are clean and dry.

Speaking of sharks…

Sharks

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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