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I have been thinking about this lately. What do you think? Victory depends on conditions that are always in flux. The leader must recognize a momentary advantage, capturing it as it arises. Such victories cannot be set aside for future use, nor can they be taught. These opportunities happen daily. How one takes advantage of them to move an organization forward is what makes a good leader better. One is never completely ready or informed when these decisions are made. It is more of an art than a practice. If done well, things just seem to keep moving and changing without issues. ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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Numerous opposing generals and admirals have expressed frustration at fighting Americans precisely when we've not fought in a predictable, orthodox manner. Ricky Roberts Director of Technical Support Northern Arizona University (928) 523-6950
Message from cheneghan@gmail.com

Mitch,
 
I agree with your observation and your perspective.
 
I think I might just add a dash of Ben Franklin and some Seneca in there, too.
"Diligence is the mother of good luck". B. F.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Seneca

 

So, ultimately I see it as having a larger vision for what needs to happen in an organization and, to some extent, a clear ideas as to how these liminal change moments will happen. (what and how)

The part that is in flux, and plays out daily are the specific moments of when. (time / when)

 

When do I give this person an opportunity to step in as a leader? When do I remind them of a blind spot that they have? and

when do we all stop, clear our perspectives, and objectively assess where we are, what we are truly good at and what we are not?

 
Ultimately, changes are often effected in myriad ways which are, perhaps, only barely perceptible to those they impact.
But the water is heating up, slowly, and eventually it boils.
Being in the unique position of being able to see each of these discrete changes happen is one of the benefits, and responsibilities, of being in this leadership position.
 
On an unrelated note, I'd have to check the Library of Congress to be sure, but there are probably thousands of books that have been written on leadership.
Most of them are from the last 50 years.
There are, undoubtedly, many different ways to be an effective leader.
 
Ultimately, the challenge is to find a way to take your unique combination of skills, personality and experiences and convert them into galvanizing tools which you can use to assemble, motivate and lead successful teams.
 
Back to your original point though, I wholeheartedly agree.
 
Timing, (recognizing and acting on fortuitous timing) can be everything.
 
Good luck!
 
Sincerely,
 
Christian
 
 

That's a book worth spending time with :-)  The quote reminds me of some others:

Chance favors the prepared mind (Louis Pasteur)
and
Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. 
(Said by Dwight D. Eisenhower, and attributed to general wisdom he'd heard in the Army.)

It also reminds me of the "Immaculate Reception", and what Franco Harris said about it later.  It's illustrative that the similarity crosses domains.

No matter what your endeavor, chance will offer opportunities that are ephemeral and difficult to discern. Real mastery in any discipline equips one to notice the opportunities, to understand their implications—often intuitively—and to act so as to tilt the odds towards the desired outcome.   

Leadership is no different from other domains in this regard. To go back to Eisenhower, it is the art of "getting other people to do what you want because they want to do it" (close as I can get from memory). In leadership, the outcomes are many and complex, and we have to execute amidst a lot of uncertainty. So there's a great deal of subtlety in how unplanned leadership opportunities present themselves and how they can be used.  Mastery of leadership prepares us for this. Sun Tzu again:

The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him. 

Ethan



——
Ethan Benatan, Ph.D.
Vice President for IT & 
Chief Information Officer
503.699.6325   

MARYLHURST UNIVERSITY
You. Unlimited.



Message from shelf@westernu.edu

I served in the United States Air Force, and in OTS (Officer's Training School) one of the very first quotes they taught us is the following, which shares the spirit of what Ricky has said already, albeit less politely: "If you fight fair, you're stupid." Of course, this applies to war, and not healthy conflicts within an organization, civil society, and amongst peers (and even certain rivals). Use sparingly, if at all. Sincerely, Scott Helf, DO, MSIT Chief Technology Officer-COMP Director, Academic Informatics Assistant Professor Department of Academic Informatics Office of Academic Affairs College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Western University of Health Sciences 309 East 2nd Street Pomona, CA 91766 909-781-4353 shelf@westernu.edu www.westernu.edu
"Opportunities multiply as they are seized"; Sun Tzu; The Art of War


Regards,

Jim 

James M. Dutcher - Chair - SUNY Council of CIOs

SUNY Cobleskill - CIO: PMP, CISSP, SCP/Security+, CISA


-------- Original message --------
Subject: Re: [CIO] The Art of War Modified Quote - CIO situational awareness -
From: Scott Helf <shelf@WESTERNU.EDU>
To: "CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU" <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
CC:


I served in the United States Air Force, and in OTS (Officer's Training School) one of the very first quotes they taught us is the following, which shares the spirit of what Ricky has said already, albeit less politely:

"If you fight fair, you're stupid."

Of course, this applies to war, and not healthy conflicts within an organization, civil society, and amongst peers (and even certain rivals).

Use sparingly, if at all.


Sincerely,

Scott Helf, DO, MSIT
Chief Technology Officer-COMP
Director, Academic Informatics
Assistant Professor

Department of Academic Informatics
Office of Academic Affairs
College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Western University of Health Sciences
309 East 2nd Street
Pomona, CA  91766

909-781-4353
shelf@westernu.edu

www.westernu.edu


Interesting discussion -
There are two types of victory, right? Sort of subtle differences between the two. One type is victory between two opposing forces, doing battle directly against each other, each reacting to the actions of the other.

Another type might be exemplified from the literature genre of "Man versus nature".  An individual may emerge victorious by perseverance, overcoming obstacles, maintaining energy, seeking ongoing points of progress.  Nature isn't trying to outwit man directly, but continually presenting new challenges and obstacles. 

I think this second type of victory is where Mitch started, with the recognition that conditions are always in flux.  It is an art to continually assess the situation, the environment, the organization, the culture and the mood, then to recognize possible actions in the moment that move the organization forward.  Those are change opportunities, and it does feel so productive and positive when you can act and change ensues in those moments. 

One such situation emerged from the Chronicle interactive article about graduation rates this week.  There is so much to consider with graduation and retention.  What is the culture around graduation rates, for example; does you campus even buy into and agree with the idea that graduation rates are a measure of university success?  When your campus looked at your numbers, what was the mood?  So there are forces at work that are not necessarily battling against us in IT, but that may present obstacles to moving forward.  The "natural world" may be a cultural shift that pushes us to use graduation rates as a measure of success and maybe our campus cultures didn't see it that way initially (i.e., maybe we thought it was a good civic duty to educate as many people as possible for whatever time, regardless of graduation).

In a small way, we've used the retention and graduation rate data to support changes in our portal design that emphasize academics and progress to degree.  Then we've tied that into portal upgrades that move us to mobile-ready platforms.  We feel very positive about these initiatives.  We are reacting and pushing through the tornado.

Does that make sense?

Theresa


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