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Showing posts from June, 2020

What To Do With Your Great Idea

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Most organizations will put out the claim they want your feedback and your ideas. If you have a way to make it better they want to hear it. 
The culture dictates what the picture looks like in reality, how people truly share those ideas and feedback. Are ideas received well? Even if you don't do anything with it, thanking the person for the idea and what you like about it.Are ideas shot down nicely? Not all ideas are good. Sometimes they won't work, but explaining why, laying out the obstacles or flaws in an idea so that the idea can be improved upon. Are ideas shared and discussed? Most ideas are not home runs on the first presentation. An idea has to be cultivated, discussed and enhanced to formulate a working plan. Ideas require a feedback cycle to take them somewhere.Are ideas implemented recognized? Do you publicly appreciate those that share ideas, no matter how small, when they benefit your organization?This is true in all levels too. Most think the problems with idea sha…

The Voice We Hear The Most

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All of us have flaws. All of us have things we want to improve on. It is a slippery slope we too often fall into where all we see is what is wrong with ourselves and we forget or overlook the things that are great about the person we see in the mirror.
God created you and He doesn't make mistakes. When you believe you are less than what you truly are, it is the same as telling God He doesn't know what He is doing. God doesn't make mistakes.
We need to change the words we tell ourselves and ensure there is a positive undertone. We need to be our own best coach because the voice we hear the most is our own. Instead of saying, "I'm bad at..." we need to tell ourselves, "I want to get better at..." The first one is just complaining, insulting yourself. The second one is an action plan, a goal, something to work towards and achieve. 
If the voice in your head was a person, do they act like a best friend? Someone to tell you the truth in a kind way but is al…

Sorry To Break It To You, You Aren't The Best

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I play a variety of roles in my job. Roles like project manager, business analyst, solutions architect, application administrator, integration analyst and tester. Every day you can find me in at least one, but likely all of those roles to some capacity. Some of those roles I'm better at than others. Each of those roles I could improve on, there is always room to get better. 
One thing I've learned over time is to accept the fact that in any one of those roles there are thousands of people that are better at it than me. There are people who also have to play each of those roles in their job and they are better overall than I am. Somewhere in this world there is someone who is the absolute best at any given subject or activity, I'm pretty sure it isn't me.
Does that mean that I'm bad at my job? Of course not. I can still be very good at my job even if I'm not the best project manager in the world. The fallacy we fall into is to believe that if we aren't the bes…

Play As A Team But Don't Follow The Crowd

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To be a good team member, you have to adapt and be willing to help the team succeed. Sometimes it means doing things which aren't your strengths, or even things you don't like to do. If there is a process in place everyone else follows it is important as a team to follow that process.
It is also important for you to remember you are a unique individual. You have different strengths and talents. You might have a different approach than others do. You see this a lot in sports where someone has an unusual stance or throwing style. Everything says it shouldn't work but it is effective for them. The same is true for you, you bring a unique view of things. 
You also may see something that is a problem that others don't. Even if you follow the policy you know you are still going to have an issue. You need to be able to speak up, take a stand when something is not right.
It is one of many dichotomies in life. You need to be a good team mate, but you also need to be the best versi…

Life Can Be A Battle, Just Keep Fighting

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I know every day feels like a battle. That is because it is true. Every day is a battle. When you are in a battle you get tired. Sometimes you feel like you are winning, some times you feel like you are losing. There are even times it feels hopeless, that a part of you just wants to give up.
We want to win a battle that is super easy and straight forward. When there isn't a lot of thought or energy needed to coast to victory. But those aren't really battles, those are just practice. Championships are rarely the contest when you are able to put in your second string. Complex problems don't have easy answers, otherwise we would just call them simple problems. 
In life you are going to have battles and there aren't going to be easy answers. So you have two choices, you can quit, or you can keep fighting. Fighting, learning, and adapting until you find a way through.You will find your victories, your moments of joy, and then there will be another battle. It may sound pessimi…

To De-escalate You Have To Want To

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One of the joys of having multiple children are the fights that inevitably happen. I have to admit it annoys me far more than it should. I know when I was younger I had dumb arguments with my sister or other kids too. I just want them to see what took me a long time to learn, how it doesn't do any good to dig your heals in and try to prove you are absolutely right and the other person is absolutely wrong.
When you are in a disagreement with someone, if you want it to end you are going to have to find a compromise. Or at least reach an amicable end so nobody walks away bloody. To reach an agreement there are going to have to be concessions on both sides of the table. If you want to win, your actions typically escalate the tensions. If you want to de-escalate the tensions, if your goal is to actually resolve it, then maybe you will have to be the first to compromise.
If you are arguing a point and end up proving yourself right, but in the process you humiliate the opposition you are g…

Observation Is Key - To Change It You First Have To See It

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I will admit, there are things around the house which aren't as apparent to me as they should be. My wife used to get upset because I was oblivious to things that needed to be done. I'm sure I'm not much better but I do know I try to be observant. Now when I go to put my dirty dishes in the sink and there isn't room, I can usually recognize I should load the dishwasher.
I knew that I wanted to make a change, and that didn't just magically happen. I had to choose to be more observant. I had to notice things lying around that needed to be picked up. I wouldn't act unless I was able to notice that something needed to be done.

Observation is the key. We can't change anything if we don't open our eyes to see it. If we aren't looking for the items that we want to change we are not going to see them. That doesn't mean we are ignoring it either. Ignoring something means you are aware of it but you are refusing to acknowledge. Sometimes it just doesn't…

Before The Last Buzzer Sounds - We Can Still Win

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I write and think about leadership a lot here. It is because I believe we are all leaders. We might not be in high profile management type positions, but we all have a sphere of influence which gives us the opportunity to be a leader. We are in great need of leadership because this year has been crazy, and we aren't even half way through it. That is a huge opportunity for us to change the narrative on the rest of 2020. But we need leadership.

I saw this quote by Doc Rivers and think of the times we've seen great second half comebacks, maybe you've even been a part of one. When you are down at halftime the coach needs to lead, but you also need the players on the team to step up. Everyone can't just throw up their hands, assume the game is lost so try to not to get hurt or have them laughing at you. There are plenty of teams that have that attitude, and we would label their coaches as bad. The great coaches, the great leaders, inspire us to give everything we can to turn…

It Is Time For A Change

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Every month that goes by in the year 2020 we continue to think that the world can't possibly get any more screwed up. We need to all stop saying that because there is always something worse. In May it got worse when we all saw the senseless murder of George Floyd. I was sickened, outraged, and scared. I knew what the state of the country was. I was scared because I knew what the reaction was going to be and we've all seen how that has played out.
I never would have thought I would have to be teaching my children about the difference between protesting, rioting and looting. The words come up as we try to explain why the black community is angry and why they have the right to be. Explaining how this problem does not have a simple solution. How there are people that are trying to manipulate the narrative to make us think something other than the truth. How there isn't one problem to solve but a complex web of interconnected issues that have been built up over time and contribu…