Saturday, January 12, 2013

Who goes first? A Naval Officer!

A telling article here:

You'll find that your job as a Naval Officer will often involve going first. Whenever you watch an old movie set in a time when ships were made of wood and men were made of steel, you see a young midshipman jumping across first to board a ship, sword drawn. Naval Officers were expected to go first, to be the first ones in the line of fire.

You can't lead your sailors from behind. You must be in front. You must be the first to implement ideas. You won't always have the best ideas, but you need to be the first to champion the ideas of your sailors. Once you get out in front, you'll be surprised how many will follow you.

Full article repeated below.

Who goes first?

Initiating a project, a blog, a wikipedia article, a family journey--these are things that don't come naturally to many people. The challenge is in initiating something even when you're not putatively in charge. Not enough people believe they are capable of productive initiative.

At the same time, almost all people believe they are capable of editing, giving feedback or merely criticizing.

So finding people to fix your typos is easy.

I don't think the shortage of artists has much to do with the innate ability to create or initiate. I think it has to do with believing that it's possible and acceptable for you to do it. We've only had these particular doors open wide for a decade or so, and most people have been brainwashed into believing that their job is to copyedit the world, not to design it.

That used to be your job. It's not, not anymore. You go first.