Pinterest is evil

So maybe pinterest isn’t evil, but it sure can be a time waster.  I am on pinterest.  It is a great place to stick things that I trip over in my day-to-day life.  I follow people.  I follow topics.  I do it on my own time.  What blows my mind is how many people are on it every, single day.  Who has that kind of time?  Yikes.

Tonight I received a pinterest notification to check out what fellow pinners have been saving and liking.  Wouldn’t you know it?  The name of a person I work with was in that listing.  I clicked on the link to review what she has been doing.  Heaven’s to Betsy!  How does she have time to be on pinterest every day of the week?  I might get there once a week, if I am lucky, but this woman has been there daily.  All I can do is shake my head.

That is why I say ‘Pinterest is evil!’

Day 2

This has been a week.  This has been a year and it is only March!  Yikes!

Today’s challenges – attempting to convince a corporate IT guy that it is okay to technically break the rules, because my boss said so.  Yea, that went about as far you might think it would or should.  Why do we have all of these processes and procedures if all it takes is a handshake agreement to get a ‘pass’?

I don’t care and none of this would be bothering me if it wasn’t interfering with the rest of my workload!  I am not one of those people sitting on a lackadaisical job here.  The woman who reminds me a minimum of 3 times per week to do a task that I have been doing religiously for almost 5 years – she has a lackadaisical job, but I digress.

These are the things that delay my progress in onboarding a new team member.  I reiterate, my process works as long as you dot all the “i’s” and cross all the “t’s”.  Folks there are no shortcuts.  Every step is there for a reason.  Each task has a prerequisite.  If you skip one or the other, or take a left instead of a right, that will cause a delay in your processing toward productivity.

I digressed again.  I think this is bothering me so much because this delay in processing is really putting a crimp in my week.  If we had followed the process, we would be done.  I would be able to focus on my personal life during my off hours.  But no.  Not this week!  This week, I have to keep noodling on creative ideas to solve this randomly introduced hiccup into the whole process.  What pisses me off!  (Here comes the truest statement I have written in weeks!)  This whole damn thing could have been avoided!  I stated very clearly in August that if we did this option, my process would not only break, but I would not be able to use my secret sauce to get ‘er done.

If I wasn’t already annoyed about the whole chaos step introduced into my world at work, my life gets a nasty wrinkle too.  Guess this is a reminder to care about what is important. We have an appointment to do our taxes tomorrow – that means homework for me tonight.  Then had my nightly family call.  The news is the oncologist will be doing additional research, putting together the history and present it to essentially a board of experts.  We should have treatment recommendations next week at this time.

Yeppers this has been a challenging week.



My secret sauce?

I have an onboarding process that works.  It is valuable because it gets everyone productive in a very short time frame.  So what is the one way to set me up to fail?  Drop the ball.

I gave them my checklist.  I have been defining, writing, revising, producing the right steps for years.  When I have the time, I use it to keep it updated.  Well, of late, I haven’t had any time to do that because I am already trying to complete an 80 hour per week job in 40 hours as it is, so there isn’t a lot of lull in my schedule that allows me to produce updated tools in one of the most evolutionary environments I have ever experienced!

The interesting part is that even with my checklists, they can’t execute.  The reason my process works is because I do it.  I personalize every encounter.

Why does this have to be done this way and in this order?  Well because I understand the cadence necessary to optimize the transaction.  Maybe it is my old school database theories rising up from deep in my soul, but ultimately I am trying to optimize the employe eXperience for the newest team member.

I need to work in a ‘trusted’ environment again.  When I look back on my career, I realize I was the happiest when I was deep in the belly of the beast and optimizing transactions.  In some way, this has tainted my view of the world.  I see everything I am doing as a transaction to be optimized; so if I can remove roadblocks to completing that transaction, shouldn’t I do everything in my power to do so?

But it is more than that.  In my effort to be effective and efficient, I try to never forget that these are not just messages I am sending about, these are people!  At every step of the way to get the job done it is all about the people and the relationships.  I think I am one step closer to defining my own personal secret sauce!



Perception: no longer a fair deal!

I had the worst 1:1 I have had in my entire career last week.  I am not really sure the fallout is over.  We have been having issues.  This has been ongoing for quite awhile.

This little encounter has helped me understand why I am being so picky about my next move.  I am really efficient, effective, and courteous.  That last one gets me into trouble, because I always consider courtesy to be a given; big mistake.

There is a huge gap in our communications styles. But at least I understand why I am looking so hard for a position working with professionals.  If I were truly working with courteous individuals, I wouldn’t really have to explain why interfering with the communications between an agenda’ed presenter and the facilitator is disrespectful and creates confusion.   That wasn’t very thoughtful, let alone discourteous.

In the past, I was measured by a different measuring stick, so I would do the work it took to get the job done on time and we would work out a ‘fair’ treatment.   This relationship worked a lot better for me as it encouraged me to do the job right, at the right time.  I could de-prioritize the hygienic/sustainment tasks until we had some down time.    This allowed me to keep my hours steady.  I always had something to do in the lull.

My situation changed, as expected with all of the moving and shaking going on at the client.  Now the focus is not on doing the right thing at the right time as it is on accounting for every minute you are billing.  The things that matter are different.  We are in total ‘cover-your-ass’ mode, it blows my mind!

Writing this little note has really helped me understand what is going on.  The forces in my situation have changed my perception of the situation is no longer a ‘fair deal’.

One of 2 things is happening here:

  • The immaturity of my indirect leadership is so weak they don’t understand what to do.

  • The immaturity of my  indirect leadership is so evil they know exactly what they are doing.




Vision statement stab

In addition to my epiphany this week that it is time to go, I was assigned the task of bringing on a variety of new folks to my current teams.

What can I say?  I am passionate about all the “X’s” – User eXperience, Customer eXperience, Employee eXperience.  A person is at least one of these roles in every transaction.   Each X is on a journey and mapping that journey is greatly influenced by how the whole thing started.  Personally, that accurate map requires we begin with a purpose statement that includes a stated vision for the activity.  Today I am focusing on the Employee – welcoming him to the team and explaining what we really do in all of these activities he will soon be performing.

Our team seeks to design and deliver above and beyond the ‘heuristic solution’.  We look for the appropriate solution rather than defaulting to the collectively adopted rote, safe solution to every problem.   We strive to deliver experiences that meet the brand, identify and meet the users’ greater goals, and differentiate the solution from the other options available.



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.