Mice End Up Dead

Hung Out.jpeg

So there are three main ways of reacting when in a bullying situation by someone:


1) Passive – You can sit back and take it for now, shutting your mouth and turning off your feelings, maybe even running for safety, as you get temporarily scr*wed, but perhaps maintaining the moral high ground and smartly saving your chips and choosing your battles for the right time and place to set things right and the record straight. 


2) Aggressive – You can fight back, make sure you have a good strategy, but you may nonetheless end up blamed or bloodied, or who knows, maybe you actually win the day, but also you need to be sure to win the war. 


3) Assertive – You can hold your ground, assert your rights, maintain your own opinions, and do what you believe is right, being firm in your self-determination, but you could be reprimanded or punished for not falling in line or best case scenario, you could actually end up being respected for it.


Listen, there is no one right answer, but you need to be a man and not a mouse.


Protect yourself–and as long as you don’t go overboard or act like a jerk–be you, be proud, and don’t let anyone mistreat you. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Thank You, See Ya

Robot.jpeg

So one of our contractors was moving on to a new position. 


It was toward the end of the day, and I saw him getting ready to leave the building.


I went over to him to thank him for his service, tell him how we appreciated his contributions, and wish him well for the future. 


Someone nearby overhead me talking with him, and in a lighthearted joking way says, “That’s not what you told me about him by the elevators [one of our typical watercooler chat spots],” and then he gave a big smile.


He is another wonderful person and I understood he meant it in complete fun, but I couldn’t help feeling bad for the other person, and his thinking perhaps that people were talking bad about him somehow. 


I know I am a sensitive person, but somehow I could sort of feel the possible sting for the person leaving.


Sensing maybe something gone wrong, the other person came over afterwards and sort of apologized that he didn’t mean anything bad, which I knew of course.


We all like to have a good congenial relationship in the office, but I suppose even well-intentioned joshing around has to be thoughtful and with good timing. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Closed And Closed

Left and Right Lanes Closed
This is sort of hilarious.


Check out the signs on either side of the road.


– Right lane closed.


– Left lane closed.


Even more stupid, notice that the signs are reversed (the left closure sign is on the right side of the road, and the left closure sign is on the right side of the road)…oops.(


Thank G-d, there were three lanes–at least for a little while. 😉


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Better Early Than Never

Zero Tasking
So I learned a new word/concept today…PREcrastination (New York Times)

 

It’s when you do things early!

 

The better known opposite word is PROcrastintion.


That’s when you put things off or delay…often until the very last minute.

 

We know why people procrastinate–they don’t want or like to do something, have more important things to do, may be overwhelmed with too many taskers, or perhaps they are just plain lazy.

 

But why do people precrastinate?

 

Well, it’s sort of the inverse of the above–they may like doing it, it may be a priority, or they just may want to get “ahead of the curve” on all the things they have on their to-dos, or they may be a Type A personality and don’t rest until they’ve “got a handle on things.”

 

Getting things done at the last minute (procrastination), can push off stress until later–perhaps a better time to deal with it, but getting it done early (precrastination), can help eliminate stress by just getting it over with.

 

Some of us who get things done right away, may be doing extra work, because at times, the necessity of the moment is “overcome by events” (OBE) later on or we may start something before we even have all the directions or information and do it wrong altogether.

 

While others who dilly-dally, may find that they waited too long to get the job done or have other things going on later that precludes them from meeting the timeline–as they say, “if you fail to plan, plan to fail!”

 

Is there a right or wrong in terms of Pre/Procrastination?

 

I want to tell you now, but I think I’ll wait until later. 😉

 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Starbucks Playbook

The Starbucks Playbook

I’m in Starbucks and this young lady is drawing one of Starbucks promo signs.

This one was for the new Starbucks Caramel Flan which is a latte (coffee with a shot of expresso and frothy steamed milk) with whipped cream and generous topping of caramel.

In making the sign, the girl was nervous that she wouldn’t do a good job because of her drawing skills, but she was actually doing pretty well.

I learned some interesting things from her that the big picture of the cup of coffee on the sign is actually a magnet–so that just snapped in place and was a big help.

Then as you can see on the left, she is a holding a playbook from Starbucks Corporate that has a miniature version of the sign that she is supposed to draw with instructions.

So this is her guide and the same used by all the other Starbucks putting up this promo this week.

From a marketing and branding perspective, this helps keep it tight in terms of the messaging, timing, and look and feel.

Starbucks leaves nothing to chance with their coffee sales and this methodology of having each store draw the promo by hand but from a playbook makes it both authentic and professional.

Nice job with the Caramel Flan sign! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who hasn’t Been There?

Who hasn't Been There?

So I was teaching a course this week in enterprise architecture, and some of the students asked about EA having a bad rap and brand (i.e. that it seems to not work so well in many organizations) and why is that?

We had a pretty robust discussion around this–why some organizations fail and others succeed with EA.

We discussed the critical success factors that as the CIO or Chief Architect you can impact, and how these can drive planning and implementation for the organization to succeed.

At the same time, we also acknowledged how–to be frank–not everything is in our control.

This was a class full of CIOs and Vice Presidents, and I gave an example and said you are all successful now in your jobs and careers, but raise your hand if you haven’t been there–where you were on the outs and you boss or colleagues just didn’t like you?

This was a class of about 20 people, and out of all these highly achieved folks, only one hand went up–a young kid–with only 3 or 4 years out of school, and still learning the ropes.

Yes, this one person had not yet been on the losing end, but everyone else–all these successful people had been–ALL of them!

The point is not to say that success is just a chance event–it isn’t!

You have to work hard and try your best– but no matter how much you think of yourself–it’s even more important to remember that you don’t control all the factors of your life that determine whether you succeed or fail.

The same people that now had big, successful jobs, were the same people who had in a prior job or time been the person who could do no right at work.

I tell myself to remember that there is personality, chemistry and fit at work; there is timing–and it is everything!–and there is how the stars are aligned.

It helps a lot to be humble and learn, grow, work hard, never give up, have fun–and have faith in a mightier power above.

From what I’ve seen, life is a cycle and today you may be down, but tomorrow you will be up (and the opposite is true too–so don’t kick the person that is down and hurting).

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)–for everything and for everyone. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Seesaw, Yeah It’s For Kids

There is an interesting new crowdsourcing application called Seesaw.

And like a seesaw goes up and down, you can take a picture and crowdsource decisions–thumbs up or down for what you should do.

Food, clothes, movies, more–I could imagine people even going so far as to use this for dating–Go out with them or not? Keep ’em or dump ’em?

While the possibility of having others chime in on your everyday life decisions is somewhat intriguing, social and fun…it also seems a little shallow and superficial.

Do you really need to ask your friends about everything you do or can you make simple day-to-day decisions yourself?

And when it comes to big decisions, perhaps you need more than a picture with a thumbs up or down to give the decision context, evaluate pros and cons, think through complex issues, and make a truly thoughtful decision–perhaps some genuine dialogue would be helpful here?

Finally, many decisions in life come at the spur of a moment–should I or shouldn’t I–and you don’t have the benefit of saying hold on “let me take a picture and get some of my friends opinions on this”–life waits for no one and timing is often everything!

It is good to get other people’s opinions (i.e. the proverbial “second opinion”) as well as to do what my father used to tell me which is to “sleep on it,” because things look different over night and in the morning.

But while you should consider what others think–in a meaningful way–in the end, you need to trust your inner self and take responsibility for your own decisions. 😉