Posts Tagged ‘Teamwork’

…who’s happy?

May 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Memorial Day, in the US is always a bittersweet time of year. A time for reflection and remembrance for those that died during conflict. Also, it marks the beginning of Summer vacation season The few days leading up to the day, are usually marked with mixing of the adulation and reverence. The pinnacle of this mixing, often culminates with the utterance of “Happy Memorial Day!”

Really…do you want to wish someone who has lost a loved one a happy day?

Many people have forgotten the meaning of this observance and in 2000, The National Moment of Remembrance resolution was passed. It asks that at 3pm local time, that all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way, a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence, or listening to Taps. I have done this for years and do not think it is too much to ask, considering the cost.

Most people also do not realize, that traditional observance requires that the US flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff, then slowly lowered to the half-staff position – remaining there until noon. Only then, is it raised back to full staff for the rest of the day. Flying the flag at half-staff is a remembrance to the more than one million service members who lost their lives for their country. The notion being that, at noon, their memory is raised by the living – to continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

So take some time, if you will, and remember the fallen. Wear a silk poppy…then carry on into the summer season.

Don’t, however, wish anyone a happy Memorial Day…that’s just

…make wise choices






…multidimensional excrement

November 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Often within the workplace and/or in our personal lives, we talk about the notion shit rolling downhill.” The vernacular, in spirit, is meant to convey downstream decision-making having an often catastrophic cascading effect on individuals further down the perceived power ladder.

Also, being in a position that allows the foresight of impending doom and stepping aside is almost worse than making a bad decision/letting others suffer. When this is a systematic issue along multiple levels of the power ladder – you have a perfect storm that creates a poisonous culture.

Now, enter the impact of technology on the above. Shit rolling downhill only works if there is a limited form of unidirectional communication (i.e downhill)  that is shaped and controlled. There is the notion of the Crest of Ignorance which basically pools all the bad news until it overflows down the power ladder. This is beautifully illustrated, using real-world-scenarios here.

That is no longer the reality and communication activities flow in a non-linear fashion. There is a communications bubble that is dynamically shifting based on amount and urgency of information being shared.

So, in fact, shit can no longer roll downhill. There is no downhill. The proverbial shit ends up seeping everywhere. Good for visibility, bad for channeling accountability.

…make wise choices

…the straw

October 14, 2012 Leave a comment

In previous blog posts, I have shared my thoughts on drive, discipline as well as what I feel contributes to success. Not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination – but key as far as I am concerned.

Upon some of these foundational elements, is an interesting point that I do not believe I have ever explicitly mentioned.

That one thing

Recently, I was having a discussion with someone on the topic of switching jobs/careers and the merits, pros and cons of that decision. After a few minutes of discussing various scenarios, risks, and rewards – I asked a simple question (simple in my mind).

“What is the one reason that you want to leave and will your new job/role address this reason?”

In my brain it is a simple thought pattern. When someone wants to make a change (no matter what it is), they often create a list, weigh choices and start to take a micro-view of the issue…almost to a fault. I am not saying that is a bad thing, just not the first thing that I believe should be addressed.

Sometimes we get too involved in the answer and do not spend enough time on the question. Answer the first question and you may find that there is no reason to continue down a path that will ultimately leave you in a similar position…just in a different location.

Noodle on that!

…make wise choices,


…pull my finger

February 26, 2012 2 comments

Many of us spend the entirety of our day glued to some gizmo that transmits our thoughts, often with little to no emotion, context or tone. We do this due to convenience, having geographically distributed acquaintances, friends and co-workers and in some cases – sheer laziness.

Of course, this is not meant to be an umbrella comment, meant to slight the use of fantastic technological advancements that allow us to sit on the porch, drinking coffee and write a blog entry that is read by hundreds of people, for example.

My comment is specifically geared towards casual colloquy, which is fading as we rely more and more on technology vs. conventional conversation. One of my favorite staples of human interaction is humor and comedy – nothing eases folks, breaks up tension or initiates conversations better, in my opinion.

Being a frequent traveler, it never ceases to amaze me that when I am in a room (airport, train station…etc), most folks are glued to their technology crutches. Recently, I entered an elevator and as if in some synchronized swimming event, the other four people in the lift took out their phones. Now maybe I look like a nutter and they dialed 9-1-1 and hovered over the call button…perhaps.

Aside from the occasional emoticon – really hard to connect with someone via electronic means. Maybe we need to develop a whole new genre of e-humor…

…make wise choices,



…service providing “partner”

December 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Often we rely on a variety of people and systems for the delivery of what we will ultimately consume. All too often, there is no clarity of product/service provided within IT such that you get what you get.

We must endeavor to provide clarity as to the services we provide, the way in which they are measured and their overall inherent value. Would anyone go to a restaurant and order “Dish 1”, without knowing what it costs or what it actually is besides “food”? The answer is hell no. All too often, service providers position themselves as partners, in order to obfuscate accountability.

If you cannot tell the difference between a Service Provider and Partner/Team member – then it is time to reconsider your overall relationship.

…make wise choices


…farmer or gardener?

November 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Let’s talk about scaling talent a little bit. There are plenty of content out there centering around developing leadership as one grows throughout the enterprise. The topic of being self-aware, evolving your style and approach as you climb the proverbial corporate ladder is a popular one.

I believe, that a lesser explored topic is just as important and relevant to the overall success of a leader. That topic is Personal Elasticity. Ultimately, an individual needs to understand the dynamics of larger (or smaller organizations), map them to corporate culture and marry them to an execution plan (over simplifying here I realize…). The reality is that leading a co-located team of a handful of individuals is vastly different than being a part of a larger, globally federated team with both direct matrix relationships.

While this seems like a no brainer, it never ceases to amaze me how often we as leaders make the fundamental mistake of repetition on previous approaches to organizational leadership and simply failing to adapt. Often, there is no awareness of this as we do not take the time to build peer relationships that provide this type of valuable perspective.

…Who are you?

…make wise choices.