10 Beautiful Tweets That Will Make You Book a Trip to Hydra, Greece Right Now. Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally | www.goombaytally.com | Hydra, Greece | Please contact us at [email protected] for feedback, writer and advertisement requests. For those that are unfamiliar with the Greek Islands — “Hydra” is one of the […]
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Failing to Do the Small Things Can Lead to Hellish Consequences.
By Scott McGinnis, CEO, XGrunt Inc. | www.goombaytally | Business Leadership | Business Management | Please contact us at [email protected] for feedback, writer or lecture requests, and advertisement details.
On one cold, fateful night on April 15, 1912, in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, historians tell us that British Merchant Navy officer, Captain Edward John Smith, made a series of avoidable maritime blunders which could have ultimately prevented the tragedy we all know as the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Moreover, we now know that captain Smith and his crew failed to accomplish [procedurally] very “small and simple” tasks that [cumulatively] could have saved 1,517 precious lives.
Mind you, Captain Edward Smith is mostly known and praised for stoically and heroically remaining on his “unsinkable” ship as it submerged into its eternal resting place on the bottom of the cold Atlantic ocean. However, inquisitive historical experts have meticulously combed through carefully preserved records of both American and British reviewing agencies, to assess and identify a laundry list of poor leadership decisions, willful noncompliance with maritime navigational protocol, and well … just good ol’ common sense in many instances.
For example, historian Allen Gibson, author of The Unsinkable Titanic: The Triumph Behind a Disaster, noted that Smith was [indeed] fully aware that the world’s largest liner was headed directly into a 78-mile iceberg zone on his voyage from Southampton, England to New York. However, knowing the inherent dangers associated with navigating such a treacherous area would be, Gibson noted that Captain Smith made a conscious choice to dine with wealthy passengers and hit the sack early that night instead of exercising proactive leadership and putting into motion small, but effective actions that would have turned the maiden voyage of the Titanic into a celebratory historical event instead of the disastrous maritime tragedy that we all read about in history class.
In fact, records show us that Captain Smith left the daunting task of dodging icebergs with his first officer William Murdoch that night as he retired to his quarters.
Historians and maritime experts are still scratching their heads today over other equally fateful decisions that Smith and his crew made that would seem intuitive now – but were not accomplished for whatever reason during that 1912 voyage. For instance, why didn’t Smith simply change the ship’s course altogether or at least reduce the ship’s top speed of 22.5 knots at a minimum.
Here’s one: why didn’t Smith’s two lookouts in the Titanic’s crow’s nest have binoculars with them early that morning? Would something as simple as possessing “better optics” in the crow’s nest have given Murdoch enough of a warning and lead to avoid the fatal iceberg? Who knows? But again, these are [seemingly] small disciplines, that could have significantly changed the outcome of the Titanic’s voyage at 2:20 a.m.
Similarly, many aren’t aware that captain Smith waited an entire 20 minutes after his ship hit the iceberg before he finally directed his wireless operators on board to send out distress calls to nearby vessels.
That means that the next time you sit down and watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory, it would have taken captain Smith almost the entirety of the program before he decided to let anyone know he was in deep trouble. The tragic fate of the Titanic was unfortunately facilitated by several [cumulative] missed opportunities and leadership failures.
Doing the Small, Boring, Repeatable, Things Everyday is Vital to Effective Military Operations.
The United States military is not a perfect institution, but it sure as heck is the best in the world by a long shot. And that’s all that really counts on the battlefield at the end of the day. One of the premier attributes of our military leadership enterprise, is its ability to dissect, examine and perform academic autopsies on military accidents, mishaps, or operational miscalculations … and in turn, build digestible lessons learned opportunities around them.
Why do you think there are [literally] checklists for almost every conceivable process or procedure in the armed forces? My basic training buddies used to joke that there had to be a comprehensive checklist in the Army for using toilet paper when you’re sitting on the “crapper.” And if there wasn’t one in print at the time … then there had to be some poor staff officer sitting down somewhere putting one together.
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Yes, there are about a million things in the world more exciting than running a pre-flight check on a F-15C fighter jet … but doing these critical “little” things could possibly prevent this lethal, $27.9 million aircraft from tragically falling out of the sky.
The 1994 Fairchild Air Force Base B-52 crash, the U.S. Army’s Ft. Hood shooting in 2009, and the USS John S. McCain’s collision with an oil tanker in the summer of 2017 … all serve as powerful lessons learned for our nation’s military leaders today. After a disastrous tragedy like the ones mentioned above; evaluators, investigators, or inspector general offices will typically examine every operational guidance publication, training module, management decision, equipping profile, and execution variable that could have possibly contributed to the accident or mishap.
We then use these lessons to help prevent similar occurrences in the future. Consequently, we rewrite lessons plans, readjust our training objectives, and yes … revisit our policies and checklists based on these historical events. That’s what professional organizations do. But in order to correct potentially harmful business or organizational practices in the future, leaders have to be incredibly transparent and painfully honest when examining their critical programs.
What Will the Devin Kelley Investigation Ultimately Tell Us About The Importance of Doing the Small Things Everyday?
Just days following the First Baptist Church shooting by former Air Force Airman, Devin Patrick Kelley, we’re finding out that Air Force law enforcement agencies failed to submit Kelley’s criminal history data to the appropriate federal databases as required by national and Department of Defense policy.
Again, a simple [small] thing to accomplish on the balance, but we now know the potentially hellish consequences of not alerting federal agencies of mentally and emotionally unstable individuals in a timely manner.
Could Kelley still have acquired a weapon even if the Air Force followed DoD guidance and reported Kelley’s required criminal background information to the FBI’s database? Possibly. But that’s not what’s being reported in the media right now. Right now, Don Lemon is talking about the U.S. military failing to “do the small things” — when it counts.
The ironic part of this story is that the Air Force actually has the highest criminal history data submission compliance rate out of all the services. Unfortunately, all it takes is one miss, one failed submission, and one lunatic in Texas to bring you and your organization under the national spotlight.
Invariably, the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, FBI, and finally … Congress will closely examine the timeline of events that ultimately led Airman Kelley to carry a Ruger AR-556 rifle into a peaceful, quiet church outside of San Antonio, TX and take the lives of 25 (plus one unborn child) innocent Americans.
Inevitably, we will find out that people in critical and trusted positions of authority and responsibility, probably failed to follow DoD guidance and neglected to accomplish a series of small things that may be time consuming, boring, and tedious … but at the end of the day, could have [potentially] saved precious lives, and kept the U.S. Air Force off of the front page of the Washington Post.
Ensuring Your Organization is Taking Care of the Small Things.
As leaders and managers, this incident should force us all to stop … pause, and think about what small things or processes our teams may be “dialing in” on or just going through the motions procedurally, and not exercising the required attention and focus that it demands.
By Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally | Share us on Linkedin
10 Tips to Help You Keep Veterans Day and Memorial Day in Proper Context
By Scott McGinnis (CEO, XGrunt Inc.) | goombaytally.com | Veterans Day and Memorial Day
The one thing I truly love about this great country is the appreciation many Americans show for our dedicated 1% who raise their right hand to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic …” We also do a wonderful job honoring those who gave their lives for this beautiful and complicated experiment we call America.
Unlike my father who fought in Vietnam, I experienced what an appreciative nation looks and feels like as I returned from a tour in Afghanistan and walked past a line of (easily) two-hundred faithful Americans clapping, cheering, and waving flags as I hauled my bags and weapons toward the airport exit. Yep … I’ll admit it, I had to hold back tears that night at BWI as I quietly walked into a brisk and cold night to hail a taxi.
For years, Facebook and Twitter has placed an unintentional but incredibly enlightening microscope on some of the confusion in our country regarding the history and meaning of Memorial Day and Veterans Day. In fact, many readers have made it a mission to point out and poke fun of the well-intentioned social media posters who genuinely want to show their patriotism, but are just a little misinformed about the general intention behind these observations.
Here’s a few tips to assist in keeping these important days of remembrance and appreciation in their proper context and also help you dodge major social media “shade” for confusing or even mixing the two holidays.
Better yet, if you don’t have the time to peruse this short article, the below tweet pretty much simplifies the two holidays in one single tweet. At the end of the day, enjoy these two occasions but please remember those who sacrificed [literally] everything for our freedoms in addition to those who still stand on that wall today.
“God bless ‘Merica Y’all!”
Memorial day we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. On Veterans day, we honor those who came home. pic.twitter.com/xLD4rZg1vP
— Archer (@Archer05) November 8, 2014
Veterans Day vs. Memorial Day Tips
1. Memorial Day is a federal holiday celebrated in the United States for remembering those who died while serving in our nation’s armed forces. Memorial Day originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868 and is now observed on the last Monday of the month in May.
2. Remember that Memorial Day is a time to honor those who are no longer with us due to their selfless actions while serving. That means people are grieving over the loss of these heroes. Although the phrase “Happy Memorial Day” is heard rather frequently in our country or mentioned on social media…the word “Happy” probably shouldn’t be used in the same sentence with Memorial Day. Imagine losing your nanna and your co-workers coming up to you the next day and saying “congratulations” right? Try tweeting “we remember and honor those who sacrificed their lives for our country,” or “remembering the men and women who bravely served,” instead.
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! For there is no better holiday than a holiday that includes flames and beef.
— Burger King (@BurgerKing) May 30, 2011
3. If you fashion your social media Memorial Day messages like the following…you’ll be on the right track. Follow their lead!
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) May 25, 2015
Spent the morning at Arlington. Take time today to honor our fallen heroes. We're forever indebted to their families. pic.twitter.com/hChhhOVCS3
— President Obama (@POTUS44) May 25, 2015
This got to me… Don't forget pic.twitter.com/tyQNMlGvcv
— Bro Confessions™ (@BrosConfessions) May 25, 2015
4. If you’re in business, avoid advertising that makes tenuous connections with your product or service and Memorial Day. Again, this is a holiday to remember those who gave their lives for our great country. Not only will many veterans find insincere and hollow promotions inappropriate… it may actually cost you business.
— Vegas Blow Dry Bar (@Vegasblowdrybar) May 22, 2014
5. Veterans Day honors all veterans who have ever served in our armed forces and is observed on 11 November. NOTE: For perspective, out of 319.2 million Americans, there are approximately 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces today.
6. Veterans Day began as a commemoration of the armistice that ended World War I, which is why you’ll see that other nations will also celebrate it on the same day–e.g., the UK, Canada, and other countries that specifically fought in World War I.
7. Common mistake: Remember…Veterans Day is spelled without an apostrophe, e.g., “Veteran’s Day…”
8. If in doubt…you’re Veterans Day social media messages will hit a home run if they look something like this…
We owe our veterans an infinite debt of gratitude. This Veterans Day, thank those who have served or serve today: http://t.co/dpFPgLvk
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 11, 2012
A BIG shout out to my Pop Pop Frank who served in WW2. ❤ Thanks to all the veterans who've made Freedom possible in our country. 🇺🇸
— Candace Cameron Bure (@candacecbure) November 11, 2012
We must never forget that our vets' sacrifices abroad allow us to maintain our freedoms here at home. #VeteransDay
— Scott M. Stringer (@NYCComptroller) November 11, 2012
9. Veterans Day specifically honors all who served, with a particular focus on thanking living veterans for their sacrifice and contributions to our national security. Saying or posting “thank you for your service” is infinitely more appropriate during Veterans Day than it would be for Memorial Day.
10. This Veterans Day vs. Memorial Day meme is boss! Save it. Use it Liberally.
— Redneck Romeo (@jasonwcox1) May 23, 2017
Written by Scott McGinnis | goombaytally.com | Share us on Twitter/Facebook