Tag Archives: work

One Reason

If you ever wondered why I left the corporate world, this post explains it.

Each of these people got handed a turkey, and some money, along with instructions on how to somehow improve it, promote it or otherwise dress it up. Alas, no one had the guts and the leverage to say, “stop.”

Basting the turkey might sound like your job description, but ultimately, we’re known by the projects we get involved in. Saying “no” or even “stop” is the hallmark of the professional you want on your team.

In my corporate world, saying ‘stop’ if you weren’t the person designated as the gatekeeper was forbidden.  I know, because I did it.  We were going to activate a market to install and service a brand new piece of equipment (if you recall who I worked for and what I did, you might be able to figure out what it was).  The requirement to activate a market was 40 scheduled or committed placements.  We had 1, and it was a customer test location.  I said stop.  I got told in no uncertain terms to shut up.

Eventually they listened (they are  a successful company, nonetheless), but I don’t think that helped earn me many new fans.

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Want Success?

There’s something successful people, in whatever pursuit have in common.  They decide, then they do.  They don’t decide and then half ass, they don’t decide and then come up with excuses.

Everything, every activity, every thought is focused on the thing.

I came across this post from Rob the Bouncer today, and was reminded of just how this works.  (If you are not familiar with Rob Fitzgerald, you should be.)

During that conversation, which took place in April 2011, Chris told me he’d only given up his original plans—he has a masters degree in education and was coaching wrestling at Hofstra University—because he intended to become the UFC middleweight champion.

With most guys, I hear things like this and think, “Okay, dude. Good luck with that.” With Chris, however, there was something about the way he said it. I’ve been around sports my whole life—including boxing and MMA—and this wasn’t delusional positive self-talk or empty shit-talking. The guy had a plan, and doing what he’s about to do tomorrow night was part of it.

He gave up his CAREER.  He and his wife lived with his parents.  All in pursuit of the thing.  The people he beats?  They didn’t work as hard, or want it as much as he did.

The same is true for all of us, whatever the thing may be.  Want to lose 20 pounds?  If every decision you make starts with ‘will this help me lose 20 pounds?” and you stick to the plan, you will do it.  Want to make more money?  Want to get promoted?  Want to have a better relationship?  Want to bench 400 pounds?  Want to take your life back?  They all require the same approach.

And if you don’t get what you say you want?  You didn’t really want it.  You are responsible.

 


Still Gaining Control

Not quite there yet.  I’m amazed that I’ve had absolutely no time to write anything or train, but it’s so.  Was also sick this week, which kept me from getting back to training.

Next week I’m driving around to all of the distribution centers in my market unit to meet with all my folks.  More very early starts, more long days, so I think it’s realistic to plan to get back to training next weekend.

Work/Life balance certainly has tipped way too far to the Work side, but I am enjoying the work, so that’s a good thing.


Life/Training Stuff

I’ve been distracted lately.  My company is going through a very significant reorganization.  I’ve known for a couple of months that there would be significant reductions in headcount, and that I would be affected in some way, as what I do significantly changes due to the reorganization.

Put another way, there are 23 people in the country who do what I do.  There won’t be anywhere near that many in the new organization.

So, I’ve been distracted.

I found out yesterday that I made it, but I am going to be in a new role.  Don’t know yet if it’s lateral, a promotion, or a demotion.  (I think the latter, but I think there’s going to be a lot of that going around.)  I will have direct reports, something that will help further my career and help out the old resume if I decide I don’t like the new gig or the new organization.

So there’s a big weight lifted.  I’ve got mixed emotions, though, because it’s been a bloodbath, and they aren’t done yet.  A lot of really good people (and friends) found out yesterday they don’t have jobs.

There will still be a period of uncertainty as we get the new world figured out, but I’m optimistic that everything will turn out well.

On the training front, you may have noticed I got a little more consistent.  That was helping a lot with stress.  So naturally, as is my tendency, I’ve found a creative way to stay out of the gym:  I broke two toes (and dislocated one).  It was bad enough for a trip to the ER, and bad enough to need a orthopeadic surgeon to take a look (and put the dislocated one back in place, which was somewhat unpleasant).  I’m totally out of commission for at least a couple of weeks, as I can’t walk very well and can’t get a shoe on, so I can’t drive.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get in and at least do something soon; anything on my feet will probably be out for about a month.

Decided to grow a beard.  Right now I just look like I decided to quit caring about my appearance.


I’m Busy and Distracted

But it’s not all bad, in fact, some of it’s quite good!

First things first though:  I haven’t trained for about a month.  It’s my own fault that I let other stuff interfere with getting done what I need to get done, and those mistakes will keep me from achieving my goal of totalling 1200 in a meet.  The MD State PL Championships is scheduled for November 20, and I will just be getting back in to lifting shape, I don’t have any gear, and I’m just not prepared to commit what it takes to get there and perform well.

So I’ll go back and reevaluate where I want to go this next year, and come up with a plan.  Maybe this time I’ll execute it. Continue reading


Off the grid

As usual, you can tell that I’m busy at work when blogging comes to a complete halt.  There’s a lot going on, and I need to stay focused on what I’m doing, which means less time to write on the internets.

I’m involved in a couple of projects that are taking up a lot of time, and we’re also going to take a little vacation, so for the next month to 6 weeks posts will be sparse.

Training is still a priority, although I tend to be a Blast/Dust person; I’m going to stick with it as best I can, but there may be some changes as I may not be able to train much during the work week.

I’m going to bench today, though!


Looking for the bag

Dave Tate shares a couple of things he does when deciding to work with a vendor.

I look in the trash can. I’m not going to give away all my secrets, but if the can is empty with no liner – I’m not doing business with them EVER. This can mean only a few things.

1. The don’t complete their work.

2. They get distracted easy.

3. They are not detail oriented.

4. If it isn’t their job, then they don’t check the details of their staff’s or custodial service work.

5. If they ran out of bags, they don’t know how to plan ahead.

There are some other things I think it can mean but the important part is that there’s nothing that can be good about this.

The one thing I always look for is if they have a BAG. If so, THEN I look for the balls to go with it.

Last week I was in an Operational Effectiveness workshop at one of the vendors working with me.  (My role is to both manage the relationship between my company and the vendors doing service work for us, as well as support those vendors to ensure they are profitable and effective.)  We were working on a process that is so screwed up we don’t even know if we have a problem.  Anyway, the Director of OE at the vendor noticed the Director of Service Operations always parks his car next to the door of the warehouse in an area clearly marked as a no parking zone.  The OE guy rightly called him out, saying that if the Director doesn’t follow the posted rules, why should anyone else?

Solution:  if you want to park in the no parking zone, make it a parking spot.  Otherwise, don’t park there.  Likewise, when you see trash piled up somewhere instead of where you say it belongs, maybe where you need to move the trash can.

These little things say a lot.  I know the guy who parks in the no parking zone is working hard and does a great job; but his entire organization disregards no parking zones.  Which leads to things  so out of control you don’t even know if you have a problem, much less what to do to make the business better.


Quick training update

Now that the snowstorms are over and my wife and I can get around without my AWD, I can work on getting my schedule back to normal.

That is until I have to be on the road most of next week.  Lots of long driving days coming up, so I’m not sure how training is going to fit into that.  Gotta get it figured out.

When I get back, I’ll do several weeks of pretty basic stuff to get back in the swing of things.  At least I got some conditioning done shoveling snow.  Be back to posting my training log soon.


Career Hindsight

Way back when I got out of college, I had a job as a CSR for an insurance company.  A year or two into that, I seriously considered changing my career path and going into law enforcement.  I wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with the corporate grind.  I ended up sticking with it, and I thought I was doing OK.

Looking back now, it appears I did make a mistake.  I can’t come up with how I could work out a two year paid suspension.  While pulling down more than six figures, mind you.


The best player plays

A lesson from football that applies to everything from the Angry Coach.

If there is a better player on your team at your position, he’s the one who’s going to play, not you. I had to explain this to one of my ex-players last night. This kid is a senior and three year starter at a 1-AA school whose starting spot has been taken away from him by a freshman. Jim Wendler wrote about this years ago, and I’m going to back up what he says. If you’re not playing, especially on the college level, it’s not about “politics” or the coach “shitting on your life,” it’s because the guy playing is better than you.

The coach, or your boss, or the hiring manager, gets paid to win. They are responsible for putting the best team on the field, and while they might make mistakes, it’s not about politics or who they like. It’s about who can win. If you lose a job opportunity to someone else, it’s because they were better than you. Man up, find your weaknesses (call the hiring manager and find out why the other person was better, find out what you can do to improve), and fix them. Deal with it, move on.

This happened to me not too long ago. I posted for a position (a lateral move) that would have given me the experience to move to a position I thought I wanted. I didn’t get it and lost out to someone I was convinced wasn’t better than I am. We work fairly closely on things, and you know what? He’s better than I would have been, by miles; and I add more value having stayed where I am (I’m one of the best at what I do). Turns out, I’m not so sure I want the job I thought I did, and I’m not so sure I’d be all that good at it. They made the right call.

Handle the situation with class, and do what you need to do to help the team win.


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