Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stay Informed

Donald Trump says that, "Ignorance is inexcusable; it's the surest way to fail. No acceptable reason exists for not keeping well informed." As a supervisor, this is essential. In order to excel you need to go above and beyond.

I watched a program on TV last night on the National Geographic channel about Air Force One (the Presidents plane). It was really worth my time. It showed just how much preparing and planning it takes to make any kind of trip - especially overseas. The pilot (Air Force Colonel) oversees EVERYTHING. He's constantly reviewing maintenance, scheduling and weather reports. He knows everything that's going on with that aircraft and plans for multiple scenarios.

The thing that was most interesting was the trip they made with President Bush (W) to Iraq for Thanksgiving. It was kept with the utmost secrecy - at that time Baghdad was a true battleground. In order to be able to pull this trip off the Colonel had to be sure that what his crew was doing was in total sync with the rest of the plans. They had to switch planes at one point and ensure they landed at the precise given time. While on the ground they had to be ready - literally at a moments notice - to take off. Now the Colonel could have had the attitude that, "I have great people and they'll handle everything". Sure. He has a highly trained and motivated crew and they each have a load of responsiblity. But he was the glue holding all the pieces together.

This is not a drill in micro-managing. Ugh - I hate that word. It's a matter of being ready, being prepared. It's a matter of gaining knowledge so you can make better and quicker decisions. It's a matter of being the best. Everyone wants to work with and deal with the best. If you work hard, hard workers will want to work with you. Remember - you are a role model. The ability and desire to keep informed will trickle down to your staff. That will make them more knowledgeable, motivated, and productive.

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