Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Sabbatical is...Over!


Well, the excuses are over. I can’t account for my negligence in writing any longer by saying, “I’m busy running a multi-billion dollar construction company” or that, “I’m busy fighting the Taliban.” My year in Afghanistan is complete and...I’m back! My little sabbatical is over! I’ve got a head-full of ideas, concepts, and data points that I can’t wait to share. It’s time to write. I am embarrassed to see that my last blog posting was….uhhhh….January 1st. Well, let’s change that right now!

I will use this first posting to update you all on several things before I start writing again. And yes, this shameless update will NOT be the last you hear from me for the NEXT 6 months! I promise!!!

So, about me. I am back from Afghanistan after the most amazing 12 months of my life. I lived the dream, running a multi-billion dollar construction company in combat conditions, where every decision, every single day, truly mattered. As strange as that might sound, it was the thrill of a lifetime and I would not have missed it for anything!

Now that I am back, it is time to work on some projects. First, I want to spend some time getting the word out about my book, Leader Business. This “best-seller” is a good read and (I hope!) worth your time understanding the cross-over appeal between the military which I have served for 26+ years and the rest of the world in which we ALL live! Would you consider picking up a copy HERE if you have not already? In fact, if you will simply email me and tell me you want a signed copy of Leader Business, I’m prepared to do so!

I am also working on speaking to a number of groups about the Business of Leaders. If I can come speak to your group, as I have booked engagements for a dozen (+) groups already, would you drop me a note and let me know of your interest? The working title of my presentation, "3 Cups of Tea, 2 Bags of Cement, and a Truckload of Leadership" highlights the mix of leadership lessons and great lessons from building in Afghanistan that I can't wait to share!

We have a lot of catching up to do. I’d like to talk to you about things like how we developed a strategic plan for a multi-billion dollar company; how we aligned people, processes, systems, and our communications with that strategy; how we executed to meet the ever-evolving demands from our customer and from the environment in which we operated; and how we conducted After Actions Reviews (AARs) to ensure that learning could be factored into subsequent plans to get continuous improvement. That is the “Leader Business Cycle” and something that I found to be the basic framework for how I approached my time during deployment to Afghanistan. It continues to be a good reference for me. I hope you agree.

So, for a preview, here are some of the upcoming topics you can find on these pages:

-- More on the Drumbeat. How to communicate a vision.
-- Metrics and why they matter?
-- Creating a sense of urgency in your organization.
-- Strategic planning in a combat environment.
-- Finding balance in a 24/7 environment.
-- Energy and why it matters to those we lead.
-- Stratcoms (Strategic communications).
-- Continuous learning when the stakes matter most

Well friends, I am looking forward to re-starting our dialogue. Despite my time away, I could not be more excited about the opportunities we have to re-connect. As I turn on my TV and see what is happening in our world, I am certainly aware of the lack of leadership in so many sectors of our world, especially right here in the United States. Is there something I can offer to help? Who knows. Let’s just open a discussion. You tell me when you’ve heard enough. I’m happy to be back! This is Leader Business! Hooah!

PS. Just so you know I am serious about writing again, I am finishing up this blog as I sit on the porch early Maui. The picture at the top is from last night's sunset from the beautiful Hula Grill. Nice!! Yes, a little post-deployment R&R! I'm not sure I'll ever leave this place but...I DO have a good internet connection! :)


Randy said...

Welcome home. Thanks for your service.

Aridog said...

Colonel Magness ....

I'm very pleased you are home again, safe and sound. At the same time I am sorry that you're retiring or retired from the Army. The Army, hell the military in general, needs officers who conduct themselves as you do. Your book expresses the best of it translated to universal application.

Your "list" of topics, however, is missing one of your most salient points (in my less than humble opinion), posted on a while back: "When to stop something and knowing how." That proviso alone clears away clutter and enables accomplishment when and where it counts. I can count on one hand the number of commanders, or executives, I've worked for over 50 odd years who "got it."

I saw it in action, enhanced by your willingness to lend an ear to a middle manager who made a habit of ambushing you, when I needed to, in the hallways during your daily walk-arounds between 1500 and 1600 hours. I didn't need an audience, just a moment of time to answer this or that and assure myself I and the people I worked with were on the right track. Not once did you fail to provide that. You made some supervisors and senior managers nervous, but not me.

At this point in time I wish you the very best in your future endeavors and hope that you can gain a "civilian" audience that is not put off by your KISS principle common sense focused approach.

Most of all I want you to know it was both an honor and a pleasure to have worked for you.

R. Thompson, USACE-Detroit, retired.

Kim said...

Congrats on your triumphant return!

I must say, it's still strange being home even after a month or so even with the "reintegration leave" (our trip was to the Caribbean)...

You'll have to somehow publish a schedule of your speaking engagements so we can crash the party somewhere and hear your thoughts instead of just reading them. :)

Charles I. Bechtold said...

We will miss you here; but the battle rhythm continues . . . as well as the blogs. Remember about sowing and reaping? You should plan on a huge harvest for the impact on the lives you touched here.