You Get What You Take

Despite what that title sounds like it is not a challenge to run-over, do end runs, or otherwise abuse people or coworkers.

You can be run-over by others or, jump in, be competitive, take a lead, and be smarter. You can influence your critics and respond to challenges through the use of data and facts to solidify your position. Opinion is only that, opinion. And, this can apply to personal discussions as well as circumstances and situations in a work environment

And the “Intrapreneur’s” Ten Commandments can be applicable, however use with good judgement, particularly with items 1 and 2:

But… also consider that avoiding a Don Quote event is a good thing, and there are times where that that age old adage “Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom” yet applies.

***** S&E *****

Decisions, Decisions…

Making tough decisions is not easy. It is always good to understand the broader thinking on the topic as that helps drive an informed decision. Making timely decisions is important and then moving on. The right decision for the circumstance might be the correct one but not always popular.

Crafting a message…

It is important that those affected by the decision understand why it was made. That does not mean they have to agree.

Accurate and timely communication to support the decision is critical. As important, is crafting the message, which can differ for different audiences.

A highly respected professional in the communications field once said, “the greatest oversight in communicating a message is thinking that understanding has been achieved.”

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Driven!

Lots of stuff around about businesses not finding help as people earn more money staying home living off or government doles. Understand there’s more coming thanks to another government family assistance program, $300 per kid and that under special conditions will apply for kids over 18.

Meanwhile…

Well, we are out to eat at a local restaurant and find out our server just received a scholarship from a local hospital, she’s heading for a nursing career, Bachelor’s degree.

But here’s the real story…

drive & ambition, seemingly becoming lost “arts”

She’s a single mom with an 8 year old, working three jobs to pay for her personal, living and family expenses. Three jobs! She’s got the jobs managed so she’s off on the weekends to spend time with her daughter. Her sister helps with her daughter during the week. Her work week, three jobs, around 90 hours!

Do you hear that America, three jobs, 90 hours!

Do you hear that Washington, DC… three jobs, 90 hours.

Driven!

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Politically Blind or Politically Smart?

So the road sign read, “vote republican”. Do you know people who are politically party-blind?

When they vote, when they voice their opinion, do they speak their own mind, offer a fact-based opinion, and not just what their preferred political party or media is saying?

Are they in tune with what is good for the country, what benefits all types of people, what would be good for business, what are the key improvements for the country? And, not just the slanted media hype which has little balance and sometimes lacks factual reporting.

“Political party blind” is voting a straight party ticket as compared to voting for the candidate who will best serve the country. It is voting the party without doing research on each individual candidate, knowing their preferences, past history from a decision standpoint, how they may have voted previously, and what they are saying about, let’s say, the eight most important issues facing citizens today.

There is much evidence out there as to what those issues might be — jobs, health care, national debt, term limits, international involvement, etc. One could use the list to evaluate and guide voting preferences based on candidate behavior and background.

The other list that is so important are things like courage, integrity, leadership, team player. Consider your political choices in the light of people you are proud of in your personal life — siblings, bosses, friends, relatives. Make the comparison.

Candidates often have websites however actions can speak louder than words.

Consider working toward being politically smart… not a blind follower of a single political party.

And it is good to be aware of and sensitive to the slant of media.

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What Vacation…!

Chris worked in HR. He told me at times managers would stop in to discuss various issues and occasionally as a side note would mention they were so busy they just couldn’t get all their vacation in, in the year.

He said his advice on the vacation problem might include:

  1. Look at your department’s workload and assess how the work is delegated.
  2. Are you doing the work of others; over managing?
  3. Do you have the right talent for the work?
  4. Is your department leveraging the support of other departments.
  5. Have your employees map / flow chart the work; look for inefficiencies and process improvement
  6. Make an argument for additional employees; make sure the case is analytical, data driven. Item 5 above might help.
  7. Work-life balance can be a real issue; look for solutions. Ask for help.

And he always would remind the manager, “the company will never come to you and suggest you take some vacation”.

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World Traveling

The cover on the Kindle Reader shows a sailing schooner and the title, “Time to Travel”.

Lucky as it was, the job progressed in size and complexity to where it spanned extensive travel over the course of 19 years, 30 percent of the time, to all world continents. Three years was spent looking over Asia Pacific while living in Shanghai (China).

Busy, Busy… between family and work and many days it went well past the 8 to 5 window, and some weekends, and some weekday nights. There was little time for much else. But no complaints — few have the opportunity for such a rich, diverse and challenging career and life. Anyway, “hung it up” on May 1st.

T-Shirt Art Work

So years into retirement and living the retirement “plan” reading increased 10 fold. It was on the “list”… not calling it a bucket, rather what to enjoy in later years. To cement the plan, or at least to have some commitment to the plan, to have a direction, there was a t-shirt created (better than a mug, a little). It was given to domestic and international co-workers and family as a thanks for my traveling adventures and their friendships, and loyalty and patience.

Back to traveling… the wonder of books is they can take one anywhere, whenever one wants to take the time to go. And one can choose the destination!

(Also, had to put the real travel on hold while the world gets a handle on COVID-19).

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Advice to a mentee

Do not be in a hurry; you will miss valuable observations and learning.  There are those who are successful in “moving up” quickly but miss important learning along the way.  That can threaten ongoing success.

Learn from everyone; learn from poor leaders and managers, as well as the icons. 

Business Acumen is the one of the most important assets you can own. Work within your function and learn all you can about others. Multi-functional knowledge is so valuable. About Business Acumen:

https://www.knolskape.com/blog-what-is-business-acumen-and-why-it-should-matter-to-everyone/

Find a way to work in a foreign country for a few years. Develop local, national and global perspective and knowledge. Alternatively work toward a position with international content and responsibility.

Always be positive, be the bright spot in the business lives or your co-workers and the boss.  Humor is contagious.

Be passionate about your work and performance; but always leave space for others.

Fine tune your professional presence – in presentations, meetings, and in your business travels. Influence is an important factor for success.

Analytics… they are the language of business.  Look for creative ways to analyze your work and use the analytics to support your opinions.

Values drive success and respect – think honesty, integrity, respect, fairness, selflessness; have your own value code and let it drive your life and career. Strive for a balance in your perspective and decision making.

***** S&E *****

“Root Cause”

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, updated 3:17 PM ET, Thu March 11, 2021

The following blog opinion comments on a CNN Politics article entitled “What the immigration ‘crisis’ debate is missing”, from CNN’s “5 Things”, 3.15.21. Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, updated 3:17 PM ET, Thu March 11, 2021

Excerpt from the article: “One effort that was discussed at a White House press briefing this week is an effort to address the “root causes” of immigration (these are the push factors I mentioned earlier). Ambassador Roberta Jacobson, special assistant to the president and coordinator for the southern border, said the administration wants to spend $4 billion over four years to do this (one big question to keep in mind about this: We’ve heard other administrations say they’re going to do this before, too — and they’ve tried. What could the Biden administration do differently this time?”

And it is not about border guards.

From the blog: I can tell Biden what the “root cause” of the immigration mess is on the Mexican border for far less than a $4 billion dollar, 4 year study. The root causes”, there’s more than one, are simple. It is all about seeking a better life. People are hoping for better living conditions, improved health, education, and medical care. And look for opportunity, and relief from inept governments, poverty, crime, and corruption that exist in in Mexico and Central American Countries. The root causes. Are there criminals among those seeking entry, sure. Probably some. But good processes might eliminate most.

Spend the $4 billion on finishing the wall and to hire some talented executives to put in place a process to manage immigration that can be applied at any border. Clearly, the USA has yet to find the talent to do that. And I can’t imagine the size of the government payroll that is tasked with immigration management and that supports the inability to solve the problem.

Government !

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The Importance of Staying Creative


One of the things I miss about working in a global business is the energy, motivation, and enthusiasm that is shared by engaged professionals across the company. It helps with spawning creativity and innovation. 

Even when you have hung up your full – time working life… It is important to stay motivated and innovate in a way that keeps you fresh and prevents you from appearing to others like an innate lump.

From Fast Company (1/24/2021) ….  working or retired, one can avoid being an innate anything!
From fastcompany.com … do-these-5-things-and-youll-never-run-out-of-new-ideas

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Changes at Amazon

From Fast Company  2/2/2021

By Harry McCracken*

(Note:  I believe this is good stuff! That is, as long as it does not become micro  management leadership.  And based on what I have read about Andy Jassy, Amazon’s next CEO,  I very much doubt that that is his style.

“In 2017, Jassy told me that groups within AWS have plenty of independence. But he also stressed that effective management is in part about knowing what’s going on at every level of the organization. “One of the mistakes that leaders make sometimes is that they get too far away from the details of the business,” he told me. “And the reality is that every business is always going to have things that work and things that are not working. And that’s okay. You can fix the things that aren’t working, as long as you have visibility to them. And you can course-correct relatively quickly. But if you get so far away from the details and you don’t have the right mechanisms to inspect what’s happening, finding out about issues that are 6 to 12 months in the making makes it much harder to correct them, because the hole is deeper.”

Andy Jassy, 6 Things to know


*Harry McCracken is the technology editor for Fast Company, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World.

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