Plan B

Posted by Andrew Netschay, in Leadership, Planning, Oct 27, 2012

I just finished reading No Easy Day-The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden the military memoir of “Mark Owen”, (a pseudonymous former member of the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group) and aside from being in awe of the training, conditioning and mental toughness of these Navy SEALs I’m impressed with the risk management and contingency planning applied to their mission.

The team selected for this mission were all extremely well trained warriors with years of special operations and SEAL training. Even with all this experience behind them, they underwent weeks of mission-specific training for this op. They studied satellite photos and videos and a table top model  of the compound believed to house Osama bin Laden (OBL).

Once the mission plan was developed they were shipped to a US Military base to train on an exact replica of the compound. The selected warriors were divided into two teams that would each ride a separate helicopter to assault OBL’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Each team was capable of completing the mission on their own in the event the other team’s chopper crashed. Two assault plans were also developed in the event their intelligence wasn’t accurate or circumstances on the ground dictated a change in approach was required (i.e. ‘Private Murphy’ greeted them in Abbottabad)

They trained both plans for weeks, rehearsing every tactic until it became second nature to them. They were fully prepared. Period.

As a business leader you can learn a lot from the SEALs. How much effort do you invest in contingency planning when taking on a mission-critical project for your company? Is your team prepared to execute ‘Plan B’ if the economy or market shifts?  Aside from developing contingency plans, do you support your team in training to execute the plan? Your company’s success may depend on it.


Leadership Cross-Training

Posted by Andrew Netschay, in Conditioning, Leadership, Aug 15, 2012

Working on my golf swing has taught me how to punch harder. It wasn’t supposed to work that way. Ironic, as I’ve been training in the martial arts for 28 years I expected the benefits would flow the other way. When I first picked up a set of golf clubs friends assured me I’d have no problem mastering the golf swing given my years of exploiting my hip rotation to generate power in my kicks and punches. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. I’ve struggled for years to post a score under 100 and have only done so a few times in the recent past.

I’ve caught the golf bug this summer and am determined to make significant improvements. I’ve been working on my swing and noticed both the speed and the timing of my hip rotation is off.  As a result of focusing on my hip rotation, my boxing workouts have benefited. I was amazed (and encouraged) to generate significantly more power and snap in my punches; I felt like I was 21 again! This gift was derived from looking outside of the martial arts ‘box’.

How often do you look outside your team, company or industry for ideas or inspiration? Relentless focus to move your company forward is of course a required attribute of a successful leader but fixating on solving recurring problems with old habituated thinking will certainly not bring you new results. You may recall a famous mathematician’s immortal definition of insanity….

You are probably working on your golf game this summer as well. Have you ever noticed that when you fully rotate your hips (i.e. commit) during your golf swing, your tee shots actually land a lot further on the fairway? Can you can recall successfully completing a critical project without fully committing to it? Didn’t think so.

There are valuable business lessons and gifts waiting to be claimed outside the office. It’s up to you to step outside the daily grind and find them. Yes, this is your excuse to hit the golf course instead of the boardroom. Enjoy your summer of cross-training!

Q2 – Are We There Yet?

Posted by Andrew Netschay, in Conditioning, Leadership, Apr 06, 2012

The second quarter is underway. Take a look at those goals you set back in December/January. How are you doing? Are you on track? You probably have an accurate view of your financial goals as they are easy to quantify.

What about that new venture/project you planned to launch this year? Has it launched or are you still ‘planning’ the project? What’s keeping it from taking off?

Fear. Doubt. You.

I’m writing this post for myself just as much as I’m writing it for for you. I’m guilty of shooting for perfection and thereby indefinitely delaying ‘Go Live’

Review your goals, adjust your course and hit those targets for Q2. We’ll check back in again in June and review all those goals you achieved.

Walking Your Talk

Posted by Andrew Netschay, in Integrity, Leadership, Psychology, Mar 17, 2012

Having integrity means your actions support your words. In effect, your actions actually speak louder than your words.

If being an effective leader is important to you, then stop talking and start doing – more people will notice, and follow.

You don’t ‘kind of’ have integrity. It’s a binary condition – you either have it or you don’t. By definition, you can’t fake it either.

If you have integrity, then to a great degree you’re also predictable. This is a good thing as integrity breeds consistency. No one likes surprises in business. Most surprises these days are bad news.

Relationships built on trust support a mutual reciprocity not impeded by the objections and suspicions of typical associations.

By having integrity and being consistent you become trustworthy. Being trusted is invaluable as it enables you to build strong lasting relationships with your partners, team, clients and shareholders.

Who has the time (or desire) to work with anyone else?


Vocabulary Cleansing – Volume 1

Posted by Andrew Netschay, in Leadership, Psychology, Jan 06, 2012

Are the words you speak and even more importantly, the words that permeate your thoughts sabotaging your success? Are you aware of your habits that are based on your limiting (not limited) vocabulary?  The following is a list of words I believe have become obstacles to achievement. I recommend they be removed from your vocabulary immediately.

Fair – how is what’s fair accurately defined? Clinging to some definition of ‘fair’ will only serve as a boat anchor to any form of business or personal growth. Cut the chain and let this one go.

Deserve – another beaut. So many people are consumed with ‘getting what they deserve.’ This is a subjective perspective which seldom has any resemblance with reality. Replace with one of the following:

  1. Earn
  2. Achieve
  3. Work

Entitled – we are living in the ‘Age of Entitlement’ (separate blog post is coming for this one.) With most of the millennial generation’s attitudes and perceptions influenced by shows like ‘American Idol’ many believe they are automatically entitled to a six figure salary, a German sports car and a mansion with an ocean view. Unless your source of income is an eight figure trust fund, drop this one now. The current economy doesn’t reward a sense of entitlement and the afflicted are learning some hard lessons.

Want – unless you’re five years old and telling Santa what you want for Christmas, no one cares to hear it. What you want is irrelevant to any reality based conversation. Again, replace ‘want’ with one of the following:

  1. Complete
  2. Deliver
  3. Acquire
  4. Succeed

Complain – falls in the same category as ‘want’. No one cares to hear your complaints and if you do find someone to patiently listen, you’ve just wasted time in two people’s lives. Complaining is borne from a victim’s mind set which is categorized by reactive thought patterns. Stop reacting to life and replace with one of the following:

  1. Act
  2. State
  3. Declare
  4. Execute

Reasons and/or excuses – the current economy does not provide you with the time to deliver a litany of reasons and/or excuses for your failure(s). Granted, we don’t always succeed but dwelling on excuses will not take you forward it will chain you to the failures that are now in the past. You will lose your audience at because, as in: “we missed the last quarter’s targets because Sally’s team didn’t…” Ultimately, these terms must be replaced with:

  1. Results
  2. Plans
  3. Contingencies

Blame – employing this tactic will place you on the fast track to the door. Combine it with reasons or excuses and you’ll have a lot of spare time on your hands thinking about who to blame for your decimated bank account and vanishing employment opportunities.