Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pace Yourself


A good leader does not routinely operate at anywhere near his physical, emotional or intellectual capacity.  The good leader is always pacing his efforts so that he has enough reserve to sustain his concentration as long as necessary when unexpected events require.

A person operating near 100% capacity is a person operating at the edge of his envelope of reliability.

That person will not have the ability to take a bullet - of any caliber.

No individual is so good or so indispensable that he is immune to professional trauma.  It's all in the leadership game.  Susceptibility to taking a bullet is one of the downsides of the game.  The ability to recover from adversity is an ability a leader must have.

From RADM Dave Oliver's great book LEAD ON!


Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

Leadership is not only about taking a bullet, it is also about doing what you say you are going to do. This is a quality that many will be unable to achieve, unlike those who have fallen by the wayside, your efforts to present at least one post per day of meaningful and thought provoking items for each year has been achieved again. BZ Captain Lambert!

Very Respectfully,

seanheritage said...

I certainly agree that it is important that we pace ourselves and I also believe that the pace at which we "run" matters just as much, if not more.

James Hammersla said...

A very good point but I would also offer that there are times you need to "sprint.

Case in point: Many years ago when screening for a particular platoon, we were encouraged to give our all in every event (even though most of us knew what the events of the day would consist of). Later as part of the platoon cadre conducting the screening, I learned we actively looked for candidates "pacing themselves". The thought being that anyone with physical or mental gifts may be just going through the motions and not giving the events their "all" ... we wanted to know exactly who would push themselves to the limit and then keep pushing.

I do feel that far too much today we have too many people who 'pace' themselves whether it is personally, professionally, mentally or physically. These people are those personnel who find a comfort zone and do their best to not operate outside of it, who are satisfied with the minimum standards, who simply don't want to push themselves and are content to tread water. Unfortunately, the rewards for above and beyond are not always tangible and personal satisfaction is not always enough to get people to want to excel.

Mike Lambert said...

@ James

Thanks for your post. I agree. Sometimes we need to sprint. Admiral Oliver was suggesting that we might want to keep a little reserve in the tank.

Navy Grade 36 Bureaucrat said...

Repeatability is more valued than being able to do a great job once. The one-trick wonder isn't helping anyone, because the reality is we have to perform every single day.