Byron's Babbles

Insight From All Vantage Points

Posted in Blue Bloods, Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Vantage Points by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on January 9, 2021

In leadership development I talk a lot about using all Vantage Points©️ (MG Taylor Corporation) in order to get to the right decisions when making changes, developing new initiatives, or any decision that involves people. The Vantage Points Model©️ has us making sure we have insight from seven distinct, yet not mutually exclusive, vantage points: philosophy, culture, policy, strategy, tactics, logistics, and tasks. In other words, we can never understand the philosophy of a system or enterprise until we are immersed in the tasks that comprise its daily functions. Conversely, only immersing ourselves in daily tasks can blind us to culture and philosophy, or cause us to accept it too casually. I am such a believer is using the Vantage Points Model©️ as a guide for all decisions. Any decision should have representation from all seven areas before being finalized. I contend that if we always get all seven areas represented the initiative or change had a much greater chance of succeeding. In schools, for example, I have seen good ideas fail because someone dictated the idea to teachers without finding out that the plan for implementing just wouldn’t work when actually used in the classroom.

Last night on Blue Bloods (I really like that show) Erin Reagan, played by Bridget Moynahan, after prosecuting a case had to make a tough decision about a sentence recommendation. She was agonizing over it trying to make the decision all by herself. Finally, her wise New York City Police Chief father, Frank Reagan, played by Tom Selleck, gave her some of that great fatherly advice. He advised her, “If you gotta make a decision that affects people’s lives you might want to talk to all the people whose lives are going to be effected by that decision.” Bingo! Exactly the point of making sure every decision is viewed from all vantage points.


“Easy To Say, Harder To Live By”

“What have I become during the pandemic?”

I had another Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) Blue Bloods quote that made me do some reflecting. He said, “Easy to say, harder to live by.” We all have heard people say, or said things ourselves that are very easy to say, but much tougher to actually do. I wrote about another quote from Frank Reagan in “Life Isn’t Fair, But You Can Be.” It’s easy to set set ambitious goals or say you will do the right thing, but it is a much harder thing to do the work to achieve them.

We talked about this last night during 3D Leadership. The participants made Flat Stanley’s and Flat Sarah’s representing what they have become during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Almost everyone talked about new and exciting things they are doing or have started to do again. Many talked about how at first was easy to get down, but then once they started learning and doing it became exciting to be doing great new things.

Remember, it’s easy to say. Much harder to do. But, it’s the hard stuff that separates the ordinary from the extraordinary.

“Life Isn’t Fair, But You Can Be”

We need to develop dexterity when dealing with others and leading. One uniform way of doing things will not work in all contexts. We all have micro-behaviors we can use to be agile according to situation at hand. We have seen this first hand from many leaders during the COVID-19 Pandemic. During this time we have become, in some ways, more atomized and insular.

The is a great line by Frank Reagan, played by Tom Selleck, to his granddaughter, Nicky Reagan-Boyle (played by Sami Gayle), in the television series Blue Bloods where he says, “Life isn’t fair, but you can be.” It’s true, life is not fair. Life happens in the context of others. Our actions affect others and their actions affect us. However, the actions of others are not some cosmic judgement on your being. They’re just a byproduct of being alive.

As I stated earlier, there just isn’t a uniform style of leading or dealing with others that works for everyone, every situation, or every relationship all the time. When dealing with people, we must remember that most are just trying to do their best, under different circumstances than your own.

Therefore, we, ourselves, can be fair. But, the idea of life being fair isn’t obtainable. Nor would we want it to be. Life would be insane if it actually was fair to everyone. There would be no choosing of anything. There would be no failure to understand success. It’s actually mind-boggling to think about. Many times we get too hung up on our view of how the world should work that we can’t understand how it actually does work. Embrace that life is not fair, but that you absolutely can be.

Discovering What Is Uniquely You

Posted in Blue Bloods, Educational Leadership, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on October 5, 2019

I love the television show Blue Bloods. The show that stars Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan as the New York City Police Commissioner always has scripts that really make me think. In a recent episode, the grandfather and retired Police Commissioner, Henry Reagan told his grandson, Jamie, that “Good cops are made by the world they police.” This really made me think about leaders. We, too, are made by the world we lead in.

We must recognize that there are different parts of our work, community, and our personal lives that affect each other. We, then, by being innovative, constantly learning, and experimenting become and continue to develop into the leader we are at any given moment. At the same time we need to be real, act with authenticity, know your core values, and vision. In other words you need to discover the unique you.

To do this we must harness our passions, interests, purpose, and skills and then make those things that make us uniquely ourselves valuable to others. In order to become uniquely ourselves we must become self-aware. Remember, self-aware is different from self-involved. Self-awareness is means accurately assessing how you show up in the world and what motivates you. Then, a self aware leader cultivates on a daily basis according to strengths and weaknesses.

Change and obstacles should be viewed as opportunities to further develop into the unique you by giving us the chance to be inventive, adaptable, and decisive in the face of adversity. Remember, leadership and learning are not mutually exclusive.