Life lessons; Business best practices

by. Kelly Schmit

As a hard worker, daughter, wife, and mother of two, I would like to think I have experienced a fair amount in my almost 32 years of life. At CUES’ Directors Conference early this week, I was reminded of how small and insignificant life can be in comparison to the world. I was humbled, teared-up and better understood the great debt of gratitude we owe to those serving in our military.

As I listened to Commander Kirk Lippold, USN (ret.), Commander, USS Cole, recount the Oct. 12, 2000, Al-Qaeda attack on his ship in the port of Yemen, I was engrossed in every detail of the story. His tale was harrowing, but what struck me more was his crew’s ability to act under pressure.

Commander Lippold spoke about his five pillars of leadership: integrity; vision; personal accountability and responsibility; trust and investing in people; and professional competence. As I see it, each of these pillars can be applied in any job situation to improve the outcomes of your business.

When all staff members understand their roles and how their work affects results, buy-in to the cause is increased. When a clear, high bar is set, and you give your staff the training and resources they need to do the job right, anything is possible.

Next, practice, practice, practice those five pillars with your staff. This way, when a crisis happens (like the economic crash and bailout), staff can act in the now—within their roles—but still be thinking ahead.

continue reading »