The Leadership Puzzle

When I think about doing a jigsaw puzzle, I think, “How can I apply this to leadership?” Here is what I came up with:

1. First you must take a good look at the picture for the puzzle you are putting together. You need to have the big picture so you can put the correct pieces in place.

2. Then start building framework. Figure out the foundation of what you are building. Start with the outer edges. They will help define the big picture. Likewise, have your management in place.

3. Group the pieces by where they will go in the big picture. Make sure your employees have the necessary tools and skills to fit into their specified area with their management.

4. Don’t try to jam a piece in where it really doesn’t fit. Take a look at your staff and make sure you aren’t giving them the tasks they really aren’t “cut out” for or putting them in places they don’t belong.

5. Invite others to help you. You can always delegate some areas for others to oversee. That’s where your management comes in. You will still be in charge of the big picture but you can ask the other leaders to help in the smaller areas.

6. When the puzzle is completed, it will be as if your job is done. Everything is in place and the big picture matches the original. Every piece fits, and so every employee fits in their spot and your business runs smoothly.

Jody Victor

Jody Victor Talks About Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the son of a frontiersman from Kentucky. He struggled for a living and for education. Although he had no formal education and never went to college, he loved to read and was self-taught.

Five months before receiving his party’s nomination for President, Lincoln described his own life this way: “I was born February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families – second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks … My father…removed from Kentucky to … Indiana, in my eighth year … It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up … Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher … but that was all.”

Lincoln worked on expanding his knowledge while working on a farm, splitting rails for fences, and keeping store at New Salem, Illinois. He spent eight years in the Illinois Legislature, and rode the circuit of courts for many years. His law partner said of him, “His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest.”

He married Mary Todd. They had four boys but only one of them lived to maturity. Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas for Senator in 1858. He lost the election. The debate with Douglas gained him a national reputation that eventually won him the Republican nomination for President in 1860.

As our 16th President, he was able to build the Republican Party into a strong national organization. In 1863, he freed the slaves through the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln won re-election in 1864.

On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth.

You can read more about the great presidency of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, on the website.

Jody Victor Tells About Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the 34th president of the United States and served as president for two terms from 1953-1961.

Before his presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower was commanding general of the forces in Europe during World War II. He was able to obtain a truce in Korea and worked to ease the tensions of the Cold War during his time as president.

He was born in Texas in 1890 but brought up in Abilene, Kansas. Dwight was the third of seven sons. He came from a Pennsylvania Dutch background and his family was from a sect of the Mennonites. He was later baptized as a Presbyterian. He was eventually was admitted to West Point. While he was stationed in Texas, he met Mamie Geneva Doud. They married in 1916.

In the early army days, he served under Generals John J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur, and Walter Krueger. In 1942, he commanded the Allied Forces landing in North Africa and on D-Day, in 1944, he was Supreme Commander of the troops invading France.

During World War II, he serves as Army Chief of Staff under Harry S. Truman. Later, he became President of Columbia University after the war and then took leave to command the new NATO forces that were being enabled in 1951. He was convinced that he should run for president in 1952. “I like Ike” became his campaign slogan and Eisenhower won the election by a landslide defeating Democrat hopeful Adlai Stevenson with Richard Nixon as his Vice-President. He is the only President that was also a five-star general.

He planned to only serve one term. In 1955 he suffered a heart attack but was convinced to run for a second term.

During his presidency he continued the New Deal programs, especially Social Security. He started the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He was the first to fly on Air Force One. He signed a bill in 1956 authorizing the Interstate Highway System. Eisenhower also created NASA as a civilian organization as he wanted to keep up with the Soviet’s Sputnik in 1957. “Peace and Prosperity” were his watchwords. Alaska and Hawaii were admitted in 1959 as the 49th and 50th states. He pushed to have “under God” added to the pledge of allegiance and to have “In God We Trust” become our nation’s motto.

After his presidency, he spent time on his Gettysburg Farm, puttering around and dabbling with the farm, gardening, playing games, reading, and some other mundane activities. He spent his final year at Walter Reed Hospital and drew his last breath March 28, 1969. He was buried with a full military funeral.

Lessons from Retired Marine General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis

Jody‘s crew found an interesting article on Business Insider filled with some leadership advice from Retired Marine General James Mattis looking to help inspire and motivate employees in the corporate world. He said to “lead by example.” The retired General is writing a book on leadership and strategy. At a lecture at Stanford University that Business Insider attended, they came away with a few key points.

Be passionate about your role to inspire your workers. He said that as a leader you need to be passionate about your work.
Back up your subordinates when they make mistakes. This will help you earn their trust.
Empower your people by delegating responsibility. He said you want to delegate to the lowest capable level to get the job done. Reward risk-takers.
Get the corporate culture right. Culture starts at the top and cannot easily be overcome.

Read the full article here.

You work for a company not a family

How many times have you heard employers describe their company as a “family?” This simply is not so. They want you to have that fuzzy feeling of belonging and that is the relationship that comes to mind.

In a Harvard Business Review blog post, Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh expound on the idea that you should be described as a “team” not a family. In a family, you do not fire your children for underperforming. When a CEO invokes the “family” word and then fires someone, it brings a lot of feelings of hurt and betrayal.

The article goes on to explain how sports teams can work so well together and how to bring that to the work relationship. Read the full article.

Jody Victor

Hello. My Name is…

You may have heard of the “nametag” guy. He is Scott Ginsberg. Jody‘s crew came across some of his material and although he seems a little quirky, has some good pointers.

Scott wears a nametag 24/7 since 2000. Literally. He has had a nametag tattooed on his chest. So why the nametag? He says it makes him more approachable. People are likely to remember him and talk to him.

He has written a number of downloadable books you can get for free.