Friday, August 21, 2015

Because Self-Loathing Ever Solved Anything..........

I saw a film about a guy who was so consumed with creating an alternative reality that he overlooked the fact that he was the lifeblood of his organization. We all want to be CEO (or at least we think we do). We have ideas about what we would do if we were "running the show"... but we're not and we probably never will. So, there may come a time when we have to accept our role in our organization and perform it with exceptional grace.

The times I have failed in navigating an organization have usually resulted from a lack of patience. In politics, most lose their first election. Sports are filled with stories of failure creating the experience and courage to finally succeed. Many Entrepreneurs have developed and closed up to 10 companies before they finally found their extraordinary idea.

Sometimes we have to accept where we are before we can get to where we want to be. 

Our excellence reveals itself in supplementary roles that lead us to greater opportunity.

Your Life or Your Work
We've come to learn that time spent in the office can actually be less-productive than remote work. Meetings can be a time suck, we get caught up hearing about our co-workers personal struggles and when we actually need something our resources may be consumed in other work. 

I know, however, that structure is necessary to success! Work/Life Balance is now mandatory in creating meaningful work, but consider the following:

~ Do you hate your work because you don't have a girlfriend?
~ If your personal life was more abundant would you be more productive at work?
~ Is it your Boss' fault that you have trouble interacting socially?

Find It Within The Structure
There is a rule breaker in each of us. I always tell people that they can oppose any idea as long as they have a better one. If you oppose the system without an alternative, you are just complaining! No one ever gained anything through complaining.... save it for (un)Happy Hour.

We cannot be stifled by an inability to adapt. We need new ideas and the courage to try new things to stay relevant. There is a difference between Constructive Disruption and complaining through the virtue of inability.  

Navigating the Emotional Component  
We spend the majority of our waking hours at work so it's hard not to take our profession personally. In fact, if you are not emotionally invested in your work, you are probably a dispensable commodity. It may not be your organization's fault that you have failed to engage in your work

The key is to differentiate what is worth fighting for!

How often do we allow a mundane detail to derail a meeting? Then, there are times when we keep our mouth shut and hide our passion for the sake of harmony. 

How do we discern when it is time to put our flag into the ground?

Who is responsible for Employee Engagement: 
The CEO?
Middle Management?
Human Resources?

How About You Take Control
We can wait around for our Manager to tell us we are doing a great job. We could take that thing our CEO told us at a company banquet to heart. We can hold high our certificate of achievement.

OR.... We can take control of our own professional development!

There are things you have to do and things you want to do. My advice is to check the "have to dos" off your list so you can get to what you want to do.

If you do your job well, you will be rewarded.... with money, additional opportunity and an eventual promotion. If you are not receiving the aforementioned accolades or you are too impatient to wait for them.... Quit Your Job! If you are too cowardly to find a better job, quit complaining about the one you have.

Come up with a bold idea, build a network to support you and develop data to validate your proposed organizational development.... OR DON'T but stop telling us how you "would do things if you were in charge".

Work hard, be creative and find avenues for evolution.... then get a pair and be bold enough to share your vision!

Or Don't and keep your trap shut!

Don't Forget to Remember!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Creativity, Self-Expression & Professional Advancement

Let's cut the crap and be frank about Employee Engagement:
You ever feel like your being lied to? Is said Bullshit masked as a Best Practice?

Stop believing the hype and be realistic about what works, what doesn't, and what you can do that no other organization does.

It's Shiny & I Like It!
I love Medium because the platform is sexy. I love because the imagery drives the perception. I love Instagram because of the ability to photoshop regularity into awesomeness.

You can pretend there is no ROI to graphic design... but you are wrong. If your platform is clunky, no one will use it!

Everyone Sings!
There is an artist is each of us. We all sing in the shower! Everyone reading this post has pretended to be in a movie at one point in an average day. Admit it, you've done it.... and there is NOTHING wrong with that!

The dullest people in the world have a strong creative force (they have repressed it because the one time they tried to speak in front of a group, everyone laughed at them). There cannot be Innovation without Creativity! We face extinction every day and we figure out how to keep moving forward.

What Color is a 12th Place Ribbon?
If you know the answer to that question you have compromised your ability.

There is absolutely a way for everyone to win in the workplace. You don't have to be an asshole to be successful! The best Leaders understand that Leadership is an act of servitude.

We need to be authentic in our expectations. We need to push one another to live a life that is meaningful. Life is too short to allow 'best practices' to create a convenience-driven existence that is shrouded in quite desperation.

You Wouldn't Allow Yourself to Be Regular... So Why Do You Promote Programs That Turn Your Employees into Cogs in a Gearless Shit Storm!

Rise Up! Think Proactively! Put Work In!

... it will be hard! You stand to embarrass yourself and little failures are inevitable.

So Why Even Try?

If Not YOU then Who?

The workplace is evolving with whiplash intensity. Progress is based in a combination of bad ideas, failures and the willingness to be vulnerable. Success will no longer be a protected climb. Transparency is here.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Chasing The Gjallarhorn

Last week I quoted Jim Valvano's advice to be moved to tears every day. I was recently moved to tears in the seemingly most moronic of ways when an astronomical revelation of adulation was brought to my attention. Apparently, one of the greater achievements in playing the game "Destiny" is earning a Gjhallarhorn.

~ Why would anyone get so excited to receive a capability upgrade on a stupid game, you ask?
~ How much time is spent on such a meaningless achievement?
~ What type of lifeless douche do you have to be to get excited over such an innocuous event?

Without the slightest need to investigate the response to these questions, my only retort can be:


To hear excitement coming from young people inspires me to live a better life. To get back to what matters, to recreate the joy of accomplishment, to remember that there still can be joy in this napkin of a world. I'm not concerned that it took a little person six months to achieve the aforementioned badge of achievement. This accomplishment can be held as high as a trophy or any certification.... why not allow people a little bit of joy...?

As we grow older, pessimism replaces wonderment, uncertainty is replaced with predictability and the magic gives way to joyless process.

The question is pretty simple: How Do We Get It Back?

When was the last time you were moved to tears? Remember the Little League Championship, the speech contest you won, a movie you witnessed or that time you were overwhelmed by the beauty of the world around you. These things happen all the time, we've simply forgotten how to recognize them.

Before You Got Jaded
The world celebrates visionaries in ones. For every person crazy enough to change the world there are thousands who came up with an idea and were chastised for disrupting process. Others gave up trying new things because it brought them more work without adding to their credibility. In order to change the atmosphere you have to be creative, bold and resilient. Very few of us possess even one of those virtues.

Bystander Behavior
The responsibilities of the day fill our calendars from inception through sunset. We simply do not have time to laugh, cry or think. When the work bell rings we scurry off to forget what we have learned. We tend to find joy in things that disconnect us from our work. We live a double life of production without reward... supplemented by free-time spent complaining about our jobs.

It doesn't have to be that way....!

Chasing the Gjallarhorn
Occasionally, we are awakened from our disengaged work trance by someone who thinks different. Have you ever been knocked off your schedule through the positive force of another. That person who tells you your idea is not stupid despite your behest. That person who counters your complaints with a request for a better idea. That person who pisses you off because you know they are right.

...And then you take action.

Back a man in the corner long enough and he is going to come out swinging.

Find your Gjallarhorn!

... that achievement that would move you to tears (or at least laughter). That thing deemed impossible that can be conquered. That action that would implement enough change to silence your critics.

You have to be willing to make a fool of yourself, to try and fail, to propose and counter, to stand up for what you believe in, to rise against mediocrity.

... and they say video games are a waste of time....

Don't Forget to Remember!