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.


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?



Posted by Andrew Netschay, in Blog, Leadership, Nov 07, 2011
How often do you come across a new opportunity? Compare that to how often you actually follow through and take action? Seizing an opportunity implies that you have developed awareness skills to first perceive it. This is the Moment of Recognition which I’ll refer to as MOR for the remainder of this post.
Taking action and exploiting the opportunity is initiated by the Moment of Commitment or MOC. The delay between the MOR and the MOC is Gap Time.
The greater the gap time between the MOR and MOC, the lower the probability of the opportunity translating into a success. Minimizing the gap can be the difference between being a market leader or an ‘also ran’ that follows the pack. If you’re reading this blog, I’ll assume you strive to be the the former.
Exhaustive 360-degree analyses breed indecision. Fear silently shows up as procrastination. All combine to further extend gap time to a point where the window of opportunity has now closed. That ship has sailed and now you have to play catch up to maintain status quo.
Leaders don’t maintain.
A parallel exists in the fight world. A key difference between a title contender and the champion is gap time. Both fighters perceive hundreds if not thousands of MORs during the course of a fight. The champion however is able to respond quickly and his MOC occurs within microseconds. In other words, he exploits more openings than his opponent, consistently beating him to the punch.
The MOR is obviously important as without it we would remain blind to the opportunities before us. It’s realized value however is worthless if we delay our MOC. Reducing the gap between MOR and MOC is a critical attribute of a consistently effective leader. Our efficacy depends on it. Stay tuned for future blog posts where I discuss how to decrease gap time.

Follow Through

Posted by Andrew Netschay, in Blog, Leadership, Psychology, Aug 27, 2011

Whether you’re breaking boards in a dojo or making commitments to your board, follow through is critical. The job is not done until you’ve confirmed it’s been done.

You’ve read the report cover to cover, you’ve held the finished product in your hand or your customer has thanked you for delivering a quality service on time (or ahead of schedule) and on budget.

These are all examples of follow through. Many leaders make the false assumption that simply directing their teams to deliver means they have. Risky move.

Any martial arts instructor, boxing coach or MMA trainer who understands how to achieve maximum impact, teaches his students to follow through the target. When a young Mike Tyson was quoted as saying he visualized punching his opponent’s nose bone through his brain; that was his way of explaining follow through. This may appear barbaric to some, but it effectively illustrates how effectiveness is not about ‘playing tag’, it’s all about following through.

Starting out in sales, most reps are instructed to follow-up. As a leader you follow through. Don’t just instruct your team to get the job done. Know that it’s done. That’s how you build consistency and a solid track record. That’s how you lead.