Culture shift and it is time to move on down the road…

For a number of years I have had a job where the primary goals were to ensure that my leadership was successful and that our team would deliver on our promises.  Technically, this team should have been eliminated with one of the many reorganizations that we have endured, but we weren’t.  As a matter of fact, our breadth of influence has continued to expand over the years.

I take great pride in the fact we have not only survived, but thrived.  What makes me sad is the lack of understanding about what it has taken to ride these waves of change and continued forward.  It takes a lot of hard work to remain relevant in an ever-changing environment.  Essentially, what we did yesterday is not necessarily what we will be doing tomorrow.  The only way that we have been successful is through honest, open communication and a trusting relationship.

The most recent direct leadership change broke the rules.  The recently promoted Gen X’er is clueless.  There is a lot of power-tripping going on and a complete lack of communication.  The team has never been this disjointed and the morale can’t get much lower.  To be honest, these are the results of poor leadership and devaluation of the individual.  Ironically, this Gen-X leader reads lots of materials on how to manage and tries to implement them.  We have more checklists than anyone has ever seen, but they are just that – checklists.  Checklists without culture are worthless.  I equate them to lousy phone trees you encounter on thoughtless interactive voice response systems.  You do them just to get through to the next prompt, but the experience is anything but delightful.  There are no trusted relationships left of the team.  There are people going through the motions and there is absolutely no room for feedback or negotiation.

Since the latter years of MCI/Worldcomm, my favorite message has been ‘Perception is reality.’  That was their tagline and it really is a good reminder for anyone who ever engages in communication.  The message you are sending may mean one thing, but if the receiver perceives it to mean something different, the reality is the receiver’s perception is the meaning that will be consumed.  Advice to all leaders out there, when someone tells you this is their perception of your message, listen to them.  It is important to hear what is being said.  This is your opportunity to clarify an misperceptions and shouldn’t be used by you to defend what you meant.  If there is a strong disagreement between what you meant and the actual perception, work needs to be done together to bridge that gap.

I realize that this under-qualified leader has been promoted beyond her capabilities and we have spent the last few months trying to improve the situation, but without active listening and participation on this leader’s part, nothing will change.  This leader has broken the trust and is on an all out war against successfully achieving team goals.  My perception, which is my reality, is that we no longer have a solid vision and without vision, we are dead.

In years gone by, I would have dug in and tried to improve the situation, but not anymore.  My reality is my perception and currently I am perceiving a lack of appreciation for what it truly takes to get things done and I don’t feel like explaining it anymore.  What does that mean?  It is time for a new job.  So I am starting a quest to locate an organization that shares my values of professionalism, hard work, open, honest communications, accountability, reliability, fairness, honest days work for an honest day’s pay.   I used to work in that environment, but the recent culture shift has eliminated those shared values.

 

 

 

Partner to realize the vision

This is what I want!  I want the opportunity to partner to realize the vision.

Interviews are a joke.  Everyone shows up with their checklist.  The interviewer knows what they need to do, the interviewee has a set of pat answers designed to help them get the position.

Everyone has a checklist.  Everyone is trying to answer those questions in such a way as they can exemplify they know how to do all of that stuff on the checklist.

The reality is that anyone who gets the interview has already proven they have the basic skills necessary to do the job as defined by the job requisition filed to be able to publish the position.  From there, it is all a matter of mood.  The offer goes to the person who fits the emotional state of the interviewers at that point in time.

I am actively looking.  The culture of my current environment has become untenable and it is time for me to take action.  I deserve better!

 

What does ‘pokey’ mean?

Essentially, I interviewed for the job I have been doing for the last five years to join the company as a full time employee.  What can I say?  I live in the land of reorganization, so there are always job openings and title changes.  It was communicated to me that they won’t be making me an offer.   At some level, I take that as a compliment, but I am still digesting the feedback.

I know the hiring manager and she was courteous enough to schedule a one-on-one debrief to provide me post-interview feedback.  To her credit, she had a checklist.  I was actually thrilled, hoping to get some constructive criticism that will help me rise to that next level.  We had a brief discussion.  For the record, it has absolutely nothing to do with my skills.  My skills and abilities were seen as stellar.

We had a good conversation and she did provide two specific examples of communications that were negatively interpreted during the entire interview process.  I get where she is coming from and it is probably best that I don’t get an offer, because I don’t think I truly could thrive tied to such a sensitive environment.

The whole application/interview process was disrespectful.  Looking back on this now, all of the scheduling/re-scheduling shenanigans that happened to get this thing on the books was a clear indication they truly were not interested in making me a full-time-employee.  If they were truly interested, they would have gone above and beyond to get it right, but they didn’t.  In the end, it feels like we only went through the exercise in futility so someone could keep their word.

Ultimately, I thanked her for the opportunity to interview and I walked away with a couple of things to think about.  The one item that continues to go over and over in my head was a slice of the direct feedback where I was informed that my relaying of the story about how mis-managed this whole process had been ‘felt a little pokey.’   My head almost exploded!  First, I was shocked at this response to my honest feedback about how the ‘we-want-to-hire-you-candidate’ was awful was not appreciated and second, the only pokey I could think of was from my childhood.

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Pacific NW Term: Moist

I couldn’t believe it, I used the word ‘moist’ today.   The bright side is I used it properly. It has been dribbling rain off and on all day long and this is the absolutely appropriate term to describe the day.

Growing up in the high desert, moist was one of those terms we only ever used when describing a washcloth or to create a giggle amongst our friends.  Moist was never a term I used to describe the weather.  Definitely one that has wormed its way into my vocabulary since relocating.

2015 – I am healthier

So it is that amazing time of year where everyone starts to look back on the year that has passed and evaluates.  It is inevitable.  If you don’t, you should.

This year, I set some goals for myself.  I didn’t publish them, against all of the evidence provided by the experts telling me this is the best way to make them accountable.

I am proud to say that I more than surpassed my expectations in the most important goal I set for myself – to be healthier.  I am proud to say I am.

This one is really easy to identify.  I was so overweight and out of shape that I couldn’t do things I wanted to do.  Now I can and it is easy to see the progress if you haven’t seen me in awhile.  Will I now be ‘checking the completed box’?  No.  This goal is a lifestyle change that must become a habit, so it will never be checked off completely.  All I can do is measure the progress and I am okay with that.