Applying leadership principles at home.

by Nathan Darling - Oct 02, 2009


Many times over the course of my life I have heard the phrase, “That man is a born leader”, but never have I heard “that person is a born manager”,  nor a “born supervisor”, nor even a “born boss”.

Ordinarily such a thing would be of little to no interest to me, but my wife was out of town for a couple of weeks, and as I struggled with the complexities of getting my children to school on time, and cleaning the house, and making food, and generally not destroy anything, I found my leadership skills called into question.   I watched a training video from our Management and Leadership series titled Quality Focused Supervision.  It trains on “influence-style leadership”, which focuses on influencing your employees with praise and good listening skills.  This I had to try.   After watching the video a couple of times I went home and called a family council with my 3 sons.  I set them down and calmly explained that the house was a filthy disgusting rat hole of doom and decay, and that a change was needed.  They didn’t much care, but seemed ok with the idea.  Then I suggested that they would each be responsible for part of the process.  This didn’t go over well.  I tried to address their concerns, but it turned out their concerns were that they did not want to do anything, but hang around in their underwear all day and play guitar hero.  We were at a bit of an impasse.  Had I followed the advice of the training module, I would have had no choice left but to fire them.

guitarheroboyx

This is when a stroke of brilliance struck me.  I turned to my oldest son (who is 18) and pointed out that if he was not on board with the family cleaning, cooking, and caretaking schedule he was certainly old enough to find lodging elsewhere.  It was heartwarming how quickly he remembered his familial obligations and volunteered to pitch in; truly heartwarming.  Unfortunately my other sons are 10 and 8.  Legally I cannot make the same offer to them.  I bought them a couple of pack of Yu-Gi-Oh cards and taped them to the ceiling and told them they could have them as soon as the chores were done.   (The training does not specifically suggest offering your employees Yu-Gi-Oh cards.)

Anyway, the news is the children pitched in and a semblance of order was restored, and when my wife came home….well I guess my cleaning standards don’t really match up to hers, but that’s not the point.  The point is that I found a way to influence my children to do what was needed without having to threaten them.

(except for the part about kicking out my 18 year old.)…  Ok maybe I need to watch the training again.  I’ll let you know if I learn anything new.


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Are You Leadership Material?

by Nathan Darling - Sep 29, 2009


There is no direct correlation between being appointed to a position of authority and having leadership skills.  In fact, as you think over your previous job assignments you may recall a number of people who you would have followed even though they were not appointed over you.  You may also recall a number of supervisors that you had no desire to support.  Leadership is a skill.  Do you have it?


3 Responses Filed under: Insights

A+ 2009 Webisode Part 4

by Nathan Darling - Sep 22, 2009


The Saga Continues :  Consider this question as you watch.  Did Ammon shoot this entire scene just to justify getting a replacement phone?


1 Response Filed under: Insights

Vote for the tagline.

by Nathan Darling - Sep 21, 2009


t-shirt artwork


Honorable mention goes to the guy who suggested : Making Brains less appealing to Zombies.

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A + 2009 Webisode Part 3 : Mike Meyers take

by Nathan Darling - Sep 17, 2009


First we had an introduction, then Ammon showed what he goes through to get things rolling.  Now it’s Mike’s turn.


8 Responses Filed under: Insights

A + Webisode 2

by Nathan Darling - Sep 14, 2009


The second episode is here!


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A+ 2009 Webisodes Begin

by Nathan Darling - Sep 10, 2009


We felt it would be a nice change of pace to give you a taste of what goes into producing one of our training courses.  It begins here :


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Managing Disagreements course Saved my Marriage!

by Nathan Darling - Aug 31, 2009


A bath in Cheerio’s can relieve itching from chicken pox, poison ivy, or even sunburns.  Rubbing French’s Mustard into your hands can relieve the symptoms of arthritis.  Rub a dollop of Jif Peanut Butter into bubblegum, to remove bubblegum that gets stuck in your hair.  And here’s one more product that does more than it was originally intended.  LearnKey’s Managing Disagreements course saved my marriage.

(I am the one wearing Orange)

(See, there we are. Boy she sure looks blue.)

Here’s the thing. I was asked to write a blog about one of our training programs, and given cart blanche to choose whatever interested me.  I approached the assignment thinking I would pick A+ Certification, or Microsoft Office, you know something technically enriching.  As my eyes scanned the list of courses I happened upon one titled “Managing Disagreements.”

Perhaps I was a little biased because of the disagreement I had with my wife the day before, but this looked interesting.  After all, if I can learn to “manage” disagreements, I can learn to “win” them right?

Disclaimer : This training does not guarantee that you will win future arguments. It does not even teach you how to avoid them.  Nor will it necessarily save your marriage, as it did mine.

Somehow by taking a scientific approach to the causes behind disagreements, and identifying the 9 management styles, this course helps you understand yourself better.  Once you understand what is going on with you, it helps you to stay in control of yourself, and recognize the subconscious management styles of others, so that you can come to an accord more easily.  I doubt I would ever be allowed to claim this course can even provide marriage counseling, so I won’t say that.  I will say that my style of Maintaining did not mesh well with her style of Collaborating, and we were unable to get past it until I was able to find issues upon which I could Yield.

Look it over, it’s called Managing Disagreement (and it was probably originally meant for business manager to improve their interpersonal skills with their employees.)


4 Responses Filed under: Insights

Adobe Illustrator CS4 training…

by aranftl - Aug 26, 2009


Adobe Illustrator CS4 training is finally ready! Vector Graphic Artists Rejoice!


1 Response Filed under: Insights

Neuroscience, and brain mapping…

by Colin - Aug 24, 2009


Neuroscience, and brain mappings. Sounds kinda like science fiction, but may lead to new and improved learning. http://tinyurl.com/mudcfn


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