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Ian O'Byrne

The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between the two, the leader must become a servant. - Max De Pree In TL;DR - subscribe at #leadership


Ian O'Byrne

The palace is not safe when the cottage is not happy. - Benjamin Disraeli In issue of my newsletter. You should subscribe at #civilian


Ian O'Byrne

March 30, 2016

1 min read

Don't be a bottleneck. If a matter is not a decision for the President or you, delegate it. Force responsibility down and out. Find problem areas, add structure and delegate. The pressure is to do the reverse. Resist it. - Donald Rumsfeld

In leadership, there are times that you will need to delegate authority and responsibility. In this process you're not only empowering those beneath you, but also clearing your workflow for more high level decisions. 

This delegation process involves the need to identify, in granular, concise terms the objectives, your expectations, and deadlines. 

As I work with others, I demand and clarify these elements to make sure that I am a success. As I work and lead others, I will:

  • Provide more explicit expectations
  • List the steps necessary to live up to those expectations
  • Set deadlines for these goals to be met
  • Add in feedback loop for people to indicate progress, or when they have questions they cannot solve 

Ian O'Byrne

March 22, 2016

2 min read

Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them. - Paul Hawken

Near the end of my time at UNH, I was increasingly interested in leadership, and what qualitiies and interactions go into creating a worthwhile leader. 

I focused on the leadership of individuals around me that were successful and had some challenges in effectively communicating, positivity, and being transparent with others. I continue to think about leadership, and my ability to lead. 

I am an ideas person, and can come up with worthwhile projects and initiaitves to advance the field and systems. I can work with people to get those initiaitves kickstarted and get things rolling. Where I struggle is when the newness wears off, and people's jobs get in the way, how do we keep things advancing?

The quote above about problem solving, and collaboration only goes so far to address the challenges. There is also the problem that exists with communication, clarity in goals, and "calling people out" when they don't live up to expectations. 

This can prove to be a problem when not working for money, or paying someone. In a volunteer capacity, it can be tough to hire/fire/motivate others. It's also hard to bring in volunteers and get them to buy in, and want to collaboratively solve that problem.

For now, I'll work harder to lead the way, and hopefully bring on others.

Ian O'Byrne

March 21, 2016

2 min read

There is no value in anything until it is finished. ― Genghis Khan

Over the weekend I took all of Saturday and changed the brakes on both vehicles. In this process, I was dreading, absolutely dreading having to get both cars done at once. I knew that both cars needed it. The wife's truck was making this weird noise as you would drive slowly. My truck started squeaking again as I would slow up. 

I knew how to complete the job. I've done it many times, but it's the process and long time it'll take to get it done. 

While working on this, I was listening to the series on Genghis Khan on Hardcore History. I knew I had a couple of hours to kill and this was the perfect opportunity. 

I found it fasincating the leadership and brutality of Genghis and the value system that was primarily defined by the area in which he was raised. 

In looking for quote and aphorisms by Genghis, I was struck by this one in particular. In my "one side project" and other activities, I'm frequently busy and sidetracked as assignments take my focus away. In the end, especially when working with technology...there is no real value in talking about, or time spent worrying, etc. on something...until it's done.

Time spent worrying about the brakes, now seems silly as it's done. Time spent planning, and kvetching about the business plan, or model of the "one side project" is pointless...if it's not completed. It's better just to get it done...and then relfect and iterate.