Chapters

Chapters represent a start and an end.

An individual chapter often does not deliver a whole story.

Recall of previous chapters is necessary to have context of the later chapters.

To move on and not keep prior chapters in mind is to loose sense of the story line.

Your story needs the textures and complexities from prior chapters.

Relish the experiences from prior chapters and use them while moving into the next.

Using experiences to shape your modus operandi

In most companies, managers become leaders of people after several years of performing as an individual contributor.

A good manager makes sure to keep their experiences as an individual contributor in mind as they lead people.

Remembering how it sucks to be micromanaged.
Remembering how valuable it is to receive communication and context.
Remembering how empowering it is to be trusted.
Remembering how valuable it is to be mentored.
Remembering how good it feels to be treated with respect.

Reflect on your methods and strive to be a manager you would have appreciated.

Selling a Proposed Direction

One can drift off in the idea that if only ‘I’ could make all the calls and set all strategic decisions everything would work SO much better.

Sorry to burst the bubble, but rarely does anyone have complete control and direction. When it does exist, I think it is called a ‘dictatorship’… which doesn’t always work out so well.

In most companies, direction must be set in a collaborative manner.

Ideas and concepts of how to move forward must be sold.

It takes not only technical know-how, but articulate communication and soft people skills to build trust and confidence before receiving authority to move forward with a strategy.

It can feel tedious. It can feel slow.

However, taking time to properly vet and validate a plan should be expected.

It helps to prepare for push-back. Be ready with research and data to demonstrate justification.

Don’t expect immediate gratification. Moving too fast typically results in oversights and long-term issues.

Keep this in mind as you work with people and you get challenged. These pressures are intended to sharpen your ideas, not stifle.

Cloudy Days

It’s cloudy.

The average number of days with sunshine here is 194. So the clouds are no surprise.

It is nice to enjoy the serotonin release when the sun is out, but here we have to make due without on a regular basis.

When it is clear the day will be dark & gloomy, take a moment to reflect on a happy moment. Your outlook on they day will brighten.

Long Term Goals

“I’m a slow walker, but I never walk backwards” – Abraham Lincoln

Moving forward requires a mind set that remains focused on a far off goal.

You may have to climb over a few barriers. Perhaps a mountain is in the way.

Step by step, maintaining momentum.

It may take years.

Then all of a sudden… the desired goal will be right in front of you.

Don’t stop now.

Empowering Others

Being empowered is one of the most satisfying feelings.

Spending each day, month, year feeling that you are stuck and unable to move the boulders in the way can be disheartening.

So, do what you can to empower someone.

Be available as a sounding board and mentor, but not as a blocker.

Most people want to make things happen. Do your best to not stand in the way.

As long as you can do the following…

  • Articulate value of moving your idea forward
  • Have an execution plan
  • Have a communication plan
  • Have a maintenance Plan

Go!

Vacation to Work Whiplash

This year, my family has opted for taking multiple short trips and long weekends in lieu of a multi-week vacation. It has been great. We’ve been camping at 5 different locations. My kids have met friends. We’ve had lots of water time. I’m super tan!

What I have to be careful of is the associated whiplash that happens when I have to quickly jump back and forth from vacation-mode to work-mode.

Be careful not to get too buried in missed email. Attempt to ease into the day. Make a list of priorities. Hold on for the ride through the first day.

Credibility

In High School and College, I remember being lectured time and time again about the importance of referencing ‘credible’ sources in our work.

Credibility is an odd thing. What actually makes something credible?

Well, according to wikipedia…

“Credibility comprises the objective and subjective components of the believability of a source or message.”

See what I did there, right?

I’m not so much tied up on Wikipedia, I’m thinking more about the sources where we get our news and information.

I’d like to think that a credible source is considered as such because the information is non-biased and based on independent research and validated facts.

In reality, there is high potential for influence due to sponsorship and philosophical agendas.

I feel for the social media companies right now as they are the targets of pressure to better scrutinize and restrict false information.

All it takes is a small amount of funding to establish a digital media outlet, create advertising and hire writers and on-screen personalities. The production seems ‘professional’. Does this mean that this media outlet is now credible?

I think not.

We have to remember that sensationalism sells. And the likes of CNN, Axios, New Republic, etc., have bastardized the concept of news. Cherry picking information and mixing in opinion.

So, who can you trust?

Yourself.

Don’t take anything at face value. Check the content to see if actual research is being referenced. Does the data seem to be manipulated or partial?

There are fact checking organizations out there. snopes.com is great!

Be skeptical. Restrain yourself from knee jerk reactions. Remember that most of the news out there is trying to play your emotions to drawl you in (and see their ads).

Think critically and keep searching for true ‘credibility’.

Choices

Choices can be hard.

When soaking on the options, you expect the obvious choice to become clear, but sometimes it doesn’t.

After using evaluation systems, pugh matrices, pro/con lists, seeking advice from trusted friends, the ‘right’ choice may still remain illusive.

When you reach the point where the options are too close to call. Think of it as a ‘win/win’ sutuation.

Let the hand be dealt and take comfort in the notion that whichever choice you make (or whichever lands first) it will be all good.

Compensation via ‘creator coins’

I’ve been soaking on the ideas around ‘creator compensation’. It is an interesting time as the major platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, etc. are all evaluating how to better compensate the creators (while still maintaining plenty of profit for themselves).

One interesting development is the consolidation of the concept of crypto and the compensation of individual creators.

From a media company perspective, they don’t want creators to be using multiple platforms as the valuable content will be dispersed to multiple platforms. That makes sense from the company’s perspective, but not from the perspective of the creator.

A creator needs the freedom and flexibility to use whatever platform feels right for the various type of content they want to create. It may not make sense to use Facebook to distribute all the creator’s video, podcasts, newsletters or whatever else. It makes more sense to a creator to use a variety of platforms to deliver the appropriate medium.

The concept of ‘Creator Coin’ provides a direct line of compensation to the creator regardless of platform.

Several companies (such as Rally) are popping up to introduce creator coins where creator can have their own currency which enables compensation that can be used across platforms. This represents much more of a ‘creator first’ mentality.

I think it’s a great idea. There is a lot of potential for the creator to adopt this in their content to avoid reliance (and control) from the major platforms.

I plan to continue watching this space as it will be interesting to see the evolution and consider how it should / should-not be adopted by brands that act as content creators in their own right.