Been reading and listening a lot so far. I have Audible to thank for that. And of course, I thank Mr. Willink, Mr. Babin, Mr. Peterson, and Mr. Michler for their words of wisdom.
I thought unload what I have in memory today just to see where I stand. These are some of my takeaways from Extreme Ownership, The 12 Rules Of Life, and Sovereignty.
Cover And Move.
Cover yourself. Make sure that you are prepared in every aspect possible by owning every item on your checklist, down to the details. Cover others. Ensure the safety and stability of the team. Only when all possible outcomes are listed and taken care of do you move, and you move as a team. Make sure you cover your people before clearing them to move. Make sure they cover you before they move.
Simplify the mission enough for it to be portable, but not too much that it is easily lost. Keep your details simple enough for retention, but not too simple that you risk being misinterpreted. Pair the simple task with repetition so the team is always on the same boat.
The simplest solution may not necessarily be the easiest, but it expends the least resources and therefore yields greater overall returns.
Prioritize And Execute.
Not to be taken separately, it is one thing to know what to do first, it is another thing to take the first step. Father always stressed the importance of taking one step back and two steps forward: In this case, you may take one step back to plan so your priorities are established, so that you can bound forward twice as effective, making your real first step a good start towards a goal.
Pair this with Jordan Peterson’s Rule – Prioritize what is meaningful, and not what is expedient. He points out that what is meaningful may not necessarily be comfortable, versus what is expedient which allows for quicker but definitely shallower rewards. Sacrifice comfort in the name of what is meaningful, that the impact would be great on you, your loved ones, and those whom you influence.
Consider also Andy Stanley’s ideas on budgeting and spending – Pay off your debt first; debt is one of those things that are meaningful AND expedient, in the sense that the borrower is slave to the lender. These ought to take priority and should be dealt with as soon as possible.
Eliminate threats, and prepare for them in their absence.
“Prepare for war, for you have found peace intolerable.” – Scipio Africanus, to Hannibal
You can’t do everything.
The Burpee is a great exercise. It is a combination of successive movements that hit as many muscle groups as possible. It may strike the balance between cardiovascular conditioning and strength training, but we should not neglect the importance of the jump rope when it comes to burning calories. It is said that you can accomplish more with jumping rope in less time compared to running or jogging.
The difference between the burpee and the jump rope is that while burpees combine successive movements, the jump rope requires simultaneous movement of the hands and feet, and of the entire body. You work one muscle group after the other with a burpee, but they all work together when you skip rope.
So it is when you have a team and you work with a team. You can certainly achieve something when one’s task guarantees the efficiency of another’s, but you can have greater impact when everyone works together.
Pair this together with the Dichotomy of Leadership principle, Hold People Accountable, But Don’t Hold Their Hands. Trust your team to do their part at the right time. Taking charge and overriding should only be a last resort.
Pair this also with Simple. Constantly communicate your easily retained yet solid mission to the team so they do not lose track of the importance of their role in the bigger picture.
I just want to go back to Simple for a little.
I’m reminded of a time back when I was still starting off in the ministry when I was in a meeting with other fellow church workers, and one in particular who was, say, more experienced than us. We were planning our next moves, and when it was my turn to speak, I said, ‘Let’s keep it simple.’
In Tagalog this ‘more experienced’ worker immediately lashed back at me, saying, ‘Hindi dapat simple!’ (It can’t be simple!), and he followed it up by saying, ‘dapat simplicity!’ (It should be simplicity!)
I’ll admit that at the time I should have kept my cool and asked him what the difference was between what I said and what he suggested, but to be honest with you, all that came to my mind was, and I quote – What in fuck’s name was that?
I mean, did he just take my thought, wrap his own bullshit around it, and present it as a better idea for everyone?
For some reason this still sticks to me to this day, and I’m going to approach it the same way Ryan Michler suggested when he was talking about Self-Awareness.
I still interact with this guy. I’m trying so hard to respect his authority but this incident had me convinced up until today despite all of his good intentions that (1) he’s full of shit and (2) he’s full of himself.
Perhaps I should go back further into my past and have a look at other times I was unnecessarily assaulted for someone else’s gain.
There’s that one time that we were in high school assembly. I knew I didn’t fart but this one other kid suddenly announced that I did, and then conveniently gave me a nickname of ridicule which probably sticks to this day.
These are a couple of instances out of others I probably chose to let go, of times when I was a target – I was looked down on, and was stepped on for other people to gain. It made me angry of the audience just as much as the perpetrator, considering that they actually bought into the bullshit these people were feeding them, or they were in it too.
But I’m learning now that this is the way of the world. This is the fallen world we live in, where people don’t give two shits about what you know and who you are, and would gladly ruin your own reputation in order for them to gain their own.
What’s sad is I’m seeing this sort of behavior in my own team whom I claim I am influencing, and while I’m not doing anything about it, I’m clearly tolerating it – ignoring it won’t make it go away.
I can’t change the world.
I can only find peace and power, in this time, from the Truth – that Christ changed me.
In spite of all the good that Christ was doing in this world, in spite of all the value He was giving and pointing out to one and all – You could say He was just minding His own business – other people chose to step on Him and throw all sorts of baseless accusations against Him, and in the process they would (1) be rid of Him and (2) advance themselves.
I’m not going to touch on why they did what they did, but I would like, rather, to see the heart behind Christ’s response, and that was one of resoluteness and determination – to stay true to His mission no matter what the setbacks.
It was from God’s love for Him, that He loved us so dearly, that He stayed focused on us, no matter how the rest of the world would slaughter Him so dishonorably and so selfishly.
And so, I suppose, that’s how I ought to respond, when this sort of thing happens to me again – when someone comes at me with baseless threats and accusations and with no cause and lacking reason, I ought to remember that I have a mission to do, a mindset that keeps me together, and a Rock on whom I certainly can stand.
When the world tries to take something away from me, I would do well to hold on to what it can never take away… and in realizing this, I would recall that what I hold on to – WHO I hold on to – will never, let me go.
By Christ and His finished work I know that I am covered. No less than the Creator of the Universe has my back. Whether the need to move is expedient or requires some preparation, Christ covers me – and so, I can move. And as I move, I can cover others, for them to move as well.
It’s simple to understand that Christ has made it all simple – perhaps, too simple for those who seek complication. The finished work of Christ is simple in that it is a singular demonstration of God’s deep (personal), wide (for all who believe), long (forever), and high (grand and glorious) love for each and every one of us – I know God loves me, because of Christ.
The finished work of Christ would have us understanding what is truly meaningful in this world – it puts His words into place, when He told us that what our senses perceive (money, sex, and power) are temporary, but what is unseen (relationships, grace and truth) is eternal. Because He lay down His being – His body and blood – that we would be reconciled, so we are able to lay down what is seen (prioritize) to achieve the unseen (execute)..
And in all this, we celebrate, as individuals, or even better, together as the body of Christ.
I’m sorry, I didn’t expect to share all this today, but I knew it had to be done. Perhaps I will talk about it more later.
Also shelved for now: Stealth, Surprise, and Violence of Action.