Kevin Pashuk

5 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Nasty, but Necessary


I'm a huge proponent of strengths based leadership.

Let me explain.

Strengths are not necessarily what you are good at, but doing activities that engage your strengths bring fire to your belly, a sparkle in your eye, and time flies by so quickly it seems like you just started.

For example, based on a StrengthsFinder assessment, one of my top strengths is "Analytical". I love gathering data, then seeing the patterns that form. I love solving problems and puzzles. On a day that has challenges, I am truly happy.

But I'm not talking about the things that bring you energy. I'm talking about the activities that you find soul sucking, uncomfortable, or perhaps just boring.

Kinda like the stack of dirty dishes after a big meal.

Now the interesting thing is that the list of soul sucking activities is different for every person.

Some people hate budgets while others love "the story the numbers tell you". (I am not making this up, I actually heard someone say this.)

Some hate interacting with people, others love it to the point of not getting any work done.

Some hate persuading others to see their point of view (otherwise known as sales, politics, or executive leadership) while others thrive in this area.

Some people thrive on change, while others love consistency.

But that doesn't mean you get to choose to do only the things that energize you.

Being a leader doesn't give you that luxury.

You are responsible to ensure that everything necessary gets done.

Sometimes you are lucky and have someone on your team that gets energized by the things that you don't. Delegation is a good thing in this case.

But sometimes it is up to you. There is no one to delegate to.

That means it's really up to you.

In this case, there's not much passion to draw on.

So you draw on another leadership trait - discipline.

Discipline is not the most popular word in the world, but without developing the self discipline to do the "nasty but necessary" activities, you will never be effective in your role as a leader.

Without discipline, important things will be left undone.

Discipline - the art of doing the nasty but necessary is one of a CIO's key competencies.

If you have followed my postings for any time, you will notice that most of the posts are written to remind myself of the important things I need to stay on top of. The fact that others read these posts is still pretty amazing to me.

But just in case someone else is reading this... what are the things you find "nasty, but necessary"?


Image: MS Office Imagebank

This post has been previously published on LinkedIn


About the Author:

I'm the Chief Information Officer for Appleby College, in Oakville, Ontario Canada, where my team is transforming the delivery of education through innovative application of technology.

I'm convinced that IT leadership needs to dramatically change how IT is delivered rather than being relegated to a costly overhead department.

In addition to transforming IT in my role as CIO, I look for every opportunity to talk about this... writing, speaking and now blogging on BeBee ( , LinkedIn, ITWorld Canada, or at

I also shoot things... with my camera. Check out my photostream at

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Kevin Pashuk

5 years ago #6

Thanks for sharing this Javier C\u00e1mara Rica!

Kevin Pashuk

5 years ago #5

If you are a fan Jim Murray, then my life is now complete.

Kevin Pashuk

5 years ago #4

Thanks John White, MBA for promoting my 'nasty' post.

John White, MBA

5 years ago #3

Kevin Pashuk: Thanks for a great buzz! I have promoted on Twitter via @beBeeProducer @beBeeBuzzworthy @beBeeSocial @beBeeMarketing. I hope it brings in some additional readers.

Jim Murray

5 years ago #2

I decided a long time ago to get rid of all the nasty but necessary stuff. There's probably a pile of it sitting around somewhere. But I don't go there. So it doesn't exist. Now you might think I'm being satirical, but it's a fact. The only nasty but necessary thing I really had in my life was dealing with clients who I knew were idiots. So about 5 years ago I changed my policy. If I meet with a prospect and my gut tells me that person is a moron, I just politely and professionally let them slide away. Have I missed opportunities by doing that?...maybe. Have I lost money? Well that all depends on how you value your time. In my experience, seldom if ever is there any profit in dealing with the clueless. Mainly because no matter what you do for them to help them attract business, they will generally figure out some way to screw it up and blame you for it. So if I have no more of those people in my life, and that's fine. Just means I have room for more good people who appreciate what I'm doing for them, and who will actually be able to build on it. And we'll all live happily ever after in a nasty but necessary challenged world. Nice post Kevin. I'm a fan and you know it.

Kevin Pashuk

5 years ago #1

Thanks for commenting Tony Rossi... It would appear that you are a person who likes new things, new directions, and new projects. Me too.

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