This post is an excerpt from my book Leadership Is/Isn’t Easy. I’m confident in sharing this article, not necessarily because I think it’s good (which I do) but because this is the first of two parts, the second of which you’ll only find out about if you buy the book. Sales can be sneaky sometimes. 🙂

This post was written about 3 or 4 months after the incursion into Iraq, June 2003. I’ve left the time component in because it fits, but the article is really about management perspectives and thus still relevant today.

iraq
Creative Commons License The U.S. Army via Compfight

The war has come and gone in Iraq and the vaunted battle never really materialized. Yet here we are, months removed from the official end of the encounter, and things don’t seem to be progressing one bit. If we view the situation in Iraq as if it were a business, one can find several factors that were overlooked, causing this “hostile” takeover of the business to, at this point, look like a miserable failure.
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A couple of days ago I shared a story on Twitter from Scientific American titled Women May Find Management Positions Less Desirable. I disagreed with the premise of the article, and I shared it with a couple of people I know who I thought might be interested in it.

leadership

One of the people who responded is Dr. Christine Allen of Insight Business Works, Inc. We started discussing the merits of the article, and I said my problem with it was that it singled out women instead of addressing the problem overall. When she asked me what I meant I shared an article I wrote a few years ago titled People Don’t Want To Be Leaders, which also has an attached video addressing the same topic.
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I don’t know how many people remember the original Star Trek series. For those who don’t, there was an episode where a guest character had created a super computer with the intention that it could run an entire starship on its own, such that it wouldn’t need a crew or a captain. As the computer was given the reins to the ship, a commodore from another starship called Captain James T. Kirk “Captain Dunsel”, a slang term used in the Federation Standard language to describe an item that was completely useless in Starfleet service.

thinking like a leader

I sometimes get the feeling that a lot of people in leadership positions are worried about being considered “dunsel”, even if they don’t know the term. My reasoning is that many of them not only don’t understand the concept of leading others, but they don’t understand the benefit of working hard to train others to be leaders in their own right.
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All of us have problems with organization. There’s just so much stuff and too little time to get to all of it. When we have to deal with our office space, the desk becomes the repository for all sorts of clutter. If you’re like me, sometimes the piles end up being taller than I am when I stand up.

storage bin

I know some of you are thinking “Hey, this isn’t about leadership or diversity.” Well, I sometimes talk about general business issues because I’ve been self employed for almost 16 years come June. As a matter of face, in case you missed it, I did a video on business tips for my 13th anniversary:
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There’s many things I do that get accolades for that, sometimes, I start to think I can’t do anything wrong.


Usually that’s when reality kicks in. It can feel harsh or just disappointing but it’s the type of thing that brings me back to reality, even if I didn’t actually make any mistakes.
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