Succeed OR Fail

So I liked this saying from a colleague of mine at work:

We succeed or fail as a team.


It’s not me. 


It’s not you. 


It’s not him.


It’s not her. 

It’s us!


No one can do it alone. 


– If we fail, we fail as a team. 


– If we succeed, we succeed as a team. 


So let’s come together and be a team and give it our best shot! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who’s Da Boss

Boss

At work, we all report to somebody–no matter high up the chain you go. 


IMHO, I think it’s always important to remember though who the Big Boss is and He/She is the top of the food chain and is the one who really calls ALL the shots–and if you keep that in mind, you can show proper respect to your boss at work and follow their lead without falling on your sword in human antiauthoritarian revolt. 


Thus, in the earthly world, the boss in the corner office and on the high floor is the one who tells you what to do at work. 


Of course, the cardinal sin of management is be a micromanager–EVERYONE hates that and just wants to be told the goal but then let loose to get the job done–and not stood over and berated on how to do it and torn apart for everything they did [differently] “wrong” than perhaps their boss would’ve done it in their self-presumed all-knowing wisdom. 


Also, bosses who laud their boss status over their subordinates by telling and showing them how bossy boss with information and power, belittling them, they are–often these people are resented by the “plebeian workers” and as in the servitude of Egypt thousands of years ago, the Big Boss hears their prayers for justice and meets it out accordingly. 


The best bosses are human, humble, and admit mistakes, see people as children of G-d, have compassion, and treat their workers with due respect; genuinely listens to others, are inclusive, and values what each person brings to the table; says thank you and means it; looks for opportunities to recognize and reward people; and treat people as teammates and not indentured servants. 


Certainly, workers have a responsibility too–to give it their best and keep their commitments; to respect the “chain of command”; to tell it the way it is with some modicum of diplomacy and keep their bosses fully informed, to not demand the unreasonable or play games with the rules (that everyone at work lives under); and to generally be collegial and a team player 


One colleague on an interview told me that they were asked a really smart, tough question that put them on the spot, “Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with management?”


That could be a telling question or answer depending who’s been naughty and nice at the office. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

>When Butterflies Sting

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Butterfly

Stage freight (aka “performance anxiety”) is one the most common phobias.

While often attributed to children, this is really a fear that everyone experiences–to a greater or lessor extent.

Organizations like Toastmasters help people overcome their fear of public speaking by having them practice regularly in front of the group.

Yet even the most experienced speakers and performers still get that knot in their stomach before a really big performance.

We are all human, and when we go out there and open ourselves up to others, we are vulnerable to ridicule and shame and being seen as shysters and charlatans.

So it really takes great courage to go out there and “do your thing” in front of the world–for better or worse.

As the child poet, Rebecca says, “when I go on stage, it’s me, myself, and I.

What a wonderful perspective in being yourself and doing your best.

Here’s what she has to say–in a poem called Butterflies.

(Credit Picture: scienceray.com)

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Butterflies

By Rebecca

Butterflies, that’s what I feel before the poetry slam.

It’s 2 minutes before I read my poem.

I feel them tickling around my stomach making me want to puke.


My mom always tells me just imagine the audience in their underwear but it makes me feel even worse.

I told myself when I came up here you’ll do fine but, I know I’ll just stumble on a word.

Buzzing noises start in my ear.

I feel like I want to just go up on the stage and conquer my fear.

I shouldn’t care what people say because it’s my thoughts that matters.

When I go onstage it’s me, myself, and I.

1 minute till showtime.


Finally I hear my name.

I walk up to the stage unsteadily and all the lights are on me.

Everyone’s eyes beam towards me, almost as if they are watching a movie and I’m the show.

I read my poem.

I’m shaking.

I’m sweating like a dog running in the heat of summer.


I stumble upon a few words, but I survive it.

I am almost done. Just be done, already.

I read the last sentence but the time when I’m reading that sentence feels the longest.

My life is not going to end.

I’m done and I feel accomplished.

>Workaholics and Enterprise Architecture

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How do you know when you are a “toxic” workaholic?

Fortune Magazine, 12 November 2007, identifies 4 “bad signs” of workaholism from psychologist, executive coach, and author Debra Condren:

  1. Marital conflict—“you and your spouse fight about your hours”; this goes beyond the occasional late nighter or weekend stint, when “the expectation is that when work abates, family will once again get top billing.”
  2. Child neglect—“your kids stop inviting you to their birthday parties. Eventually family members [especially the kids] learn not to count on [you].”
  3. Staff rebellion—“your employees sneak out of work. Toxic bosses make everyone around them feel bad about having a life.”
  4. In sickness and in health—“you work when ill. The worst cases think they are the only ones who can get things done.”

I’d add to this list that if you are feeling bad (i.e. overly stressed or burdened and not good about what your doing and how your living your life), your conscience is trying to tell you something.

I read a book recently that said no one at the end of their lives wished they had spent more time in the office, but often they do look back with tremendous regret at not having spent more time with family, friends, and at worship.

All this doesn’t mean to take away from having a full, meaningful professional life and being a productive human being. No one should have to miss out on the opportunity to challenge oneself and “give back” something to society—gratis is nice, but then again there’s the mortgage :)

The key is to be able to balance your personal and professional life. If you can’t do that then eventually it ALL falls apart anyway. So every person has to take control of their lives and live them to their fullest and that means taking care of what’s really important, including yourself and your loved ones!

I had a terrific boss in Enterprise Architecture who used to say, this is “best effort” i.e. don’t “kill yourself” over the assignment, just do your best. And that’s really “IT”, just do YOUR best. You don’t have to be superhuman or try to meet the often unrealistic demands or succumb to the ill-wishing of others. At work, just do your honest best, look out for the interests of the enterprise take care of your people, and the rest will follow.