As some of you know, I am the Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop here in Columbia Falls.
One of the things that my guys have to do before earning the rank of Eagle is to complete the Personal Management merit badge.
I think it’s one of the hardest ones they have to do – because it requires 3 months of fairly consistent effort on topics that most 14-17 year old boys just don’t think about. Planning, money and “time management”. For 3 months. For a high school kid.
Getting a high school kid to do anything consistently for 3 months is an accomplishment in itself, most of the time:)
The requirements for the Personal Management merit badge (pdf) aren’t that hard, but a lot of people struggle with this badge. I think it is one of the most valuable things we teach other than outdoor skills, self-reliance and leadership.
I’ll bet a lot of adults would struggle to complete those requirements, whether they are the person you look at in the mirror, or the guys wearing the “Assistant Manager” name tag at the local Burger King.
It shouldn’t have to be that way. There’s a glut of how to books and other resources on getting projects done, managing time (kind of a misnomer – you really are managing yourself) and so on.
The key is implementation.
I see this in the boys when they guys get to the point where they feel ready to start work on their Eagle Scout Leadership Project – those who have taken the PM badge seem to have a better handle on what is required to plan and thus get things done.
Do your employees a favor – and don’t forget the kids and even a friend. Give em the link to the Personal Management badge and see if they can accomplish what it requires. It’ll make them a better and wiser person who can organize things, plan them and get em done – the money related items are a bonus.
Joel Spolsky says that his 2 most important qualifications for employees are “Smart and gets things done.”
A major part of that “gets things done” equation is being able to plan, focus and execute – as well as identify and eliminate the reasons why things dont get done and have the backbone to do something about the time wasters, interruptions and other productivity killers.
Speaking of time wasters, interruptions and productivity, Dan said something to me 4-5 years ago that still rings true: “I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is, you are your best employee. The bad news is, you are your worst employee.”