Posts

Passing The Last Test Doesn't Mean You Don't Study For The Next

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Just because you passed the last test you aren't guaranteed to have the same success on the next one. Yet you always have winners that get cocky. The hare stops to take a nap because it expects to win, and we know how that turned out. I see this in dance with my girls, they often compete with others groups from our own studio or see the same studio and dancers at another competition. How they placed last time doesn't mean anything. You have different judges and different levels of performance. Finding success in the past should encourage you though. You know that you are capable of doing it, just need to recognize it isn't guaranteed. You still need to put in the work and effort that got you there last time. You might need to do even more because this time the competition recognizes you are the defending champ. Nothing in your past guarantees anything for the future. Past success doesn't guarantee future success anymore than past failures have no indication on if you wi

Better Electronic Communication And Trying To Not Be That Person

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I hate email. Which is kind of unfair, because my real issue is any type of communication when it is inefficient. Today we have so many different methods of communication. On a typical day at work I will get messages in email, Teams, Slack, Basecamp, three different service desk ticket systems, project tickets and issue logs. Every tool has its purpose and value. I work in a world with different clients and vendors who all have different preferences and tool sets. I don't really mind it. What never ceases to amaze me though is the number of times I will get a message in one medium asking if I saw a message in another.  Now, to be fair, I'm probably just as guilty as the next person. I can recall sending a Teams message to a developer asking if they saw the update in Basecamp and if they need me to create a Jira ticket for it. That is insane. Here are the rules I try to live by to hopefully make sure I'm not adding to the problem any more than is absolutely necessary. Other

The Lost Art Of Constructive Criticism

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Back when I was in school, we often did this exercise where we would have to review a fellow classmate's work. We were taught how to point out things they do well and to share our thoughts on something that could be better. Constructive criticism is what we were taught that was. How to tell someone that something needed to be better without making them feel bad. I think we've lost site of that as a society. It seems like if you on one side you are not allowed to criticize anything. If you are not touting it as the greatest thing ever, perfect in every way, then you aren't a true fan. On the other side, if you are against something you have to shout from the roof tops that it is the most wicked creation that has ever existed on this planet. Of course I'm thinking some about politics, but maybe politics is just reflecting the state of our society that we react this way over everything. Employees aren't allowed to criticize anything about their work. Teammates can'

The Dichotomy Of Emotions

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If you've been a reader for some time you know how I love the idea of dichotomies. Things like how often our greatest strengths can also be our greatest weakness. Recently I've been thinking about emotions at work and how they are both a positive and a negative. There are many sayings about not taking things personally and getting upset. "It's not personal, it's just business." What a load of crap. Tell it that it isn't personal to the small business owner when the big box moves into town. Tell that to the person that just got passed over for a promotion they've been busting their tail for. It is virtually impossible to not react emotionally in those situations. In my career I've had every emotional state. I've felt anger, joy, jealousy, boredom, happiness, pride, ambition, fear, surprise and disgust.  It is good to be passionate, but you can't become so overzealous that bumps in the road consume you. You can't be so frustrated that you

Overcome The Obstacles In Your Mind

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We all face obstacles, every day. Part of why I look for things that inspire me is because it gets too easy to focus on the things blocking our path rather than the things making us believe we can get over the obstacles. No persons obstacles look the same, but we can learn something by watching others and how they handle their obstacles. Even when they don't look like ours it could give us ideas on how to overcome them. Part of why I like studying a broad array of subjects is because there are always lessons to find and apply elsewhere. I've done that a lot with dance. Having three daughters who dance tends to dictate the amount of time you spend talking about and watching dance. You learn stories and then you see things that jump out at you, like this clip of a young dancer. Dream your dreams. Live your dreams. Best thing you’ll see today... pic.twitter.com/Mt8fbPCcps — Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) February 4, 2021 Watch the clip again and think about whatever the problems are y

Internal And External Competition - Where Is Your Focus?

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I live in a very competitive house. My wife and I don't really play games together because neither of us like to lose so it tends to get a little too tense. Being great parents and all we have passed that competitive spirit down to our kids, who all stomped off after losing in a kids vs. parents Pictionary grudge match. My girls also dance so they have had it ingrained early from their very first dance competition. Competition is just a part of life.  Competition is funny though because it can be a good thing, but if taken too far or not looked at correctly it can become a problem. You see on any team you have internal competition and external competition. For instance in sports, you have competition on a team where you have to see first who is going to make the team, then when you figure out who your starters are going to be. So the competition is also your teammate. When you are teammates you then need to work together to beat the competition. Whether you are the starter or the b

The Perception Of Time With The Passage Of Time

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I read an interesting fact posted by @chrisderose  about the show The Wonder Years , which premiered 33 years ago in 1988. The show depicted events 20 years earlier in 1968. A similar show today would be set in 2001. His tweet about this blew up because it is crazy to think about. I, like so many, remember watching that show growing up and it seemed like it was based on events from so long ago. It makes me wonder, did my parents recall those events as easily as I can recall events like 9/11 or the hanging chad of Bush vs. Gore?  I was thinking of music the other day when I realized I was listening to the "oldies" station playing music from the 80's and 90's. I remember growing up listing to music from the 50's and 60's, I spent some time searching for a station that played that era of music and I couldn't find one near me. You could find a channel on Spotify or Amazon Music of course, Alexa would serve it up for me no problem.  Things change as does our pe