- Productive – After I totally dropped the ball on something earlier this week, I decided I need to start using my subscription to Meistertask to manage my work better. I am my boss’s go-to manager in terms of getting shit done. Between that and the fact my team, despite their tenure at this company and in their positions, are not generally self starters, I feel like I lose balls that I have in the air more than I like. I usually find them if they drop, but as this thing from last week proved, I don’t always find them. My rate of finding dropped balls before it becomes a huge deal is pretty damn good, but, well, that’s not me to play the odds. So, I have spent the week making sure things get added to my various lists. It is simple – a Kanban style application where I get to define the stages for my to-do list. Hell, you could just make different areas to think about and use it that way, but I like keeping track of what is new, what is underway, what I have gotten done, what I put on hold, and what I’ve said "screw it – I’m not doing". In two days, I had added about 30 things to either my new list or my in-progress list. Yeah, I have a few balls in the air. And I know I haven’t put them all there yet. It is definitely helping me stay more productive – and is better than paper and pen. Even when my laptop died in a meeting, I was able to add my action items to the list using my phone app. What can I say, it’s the little things!
- Amused – Monday night, my cohorts and I had a therapeutic bitch session after our teams left. They work early, so are gone before 4 pm generally. As I mentioned the other day, there has been a lot of bullshit going on in the groups, so this was sort of an information sharing, idea gathering, snark fueled bitch session that wasn’t totally unproductive. Many months ago, the CIO felt like a few of the managers were being too nice and not direct enough with their leadership, so he brought in his copy of The Prince by Machiavelli and opened our meeting with a passage, almost as if this was his bible. My cohorts and I decided that for the manager’s meeting the next day that we would boost him with a quote from The Prince. So, I brought in my well-marked copy that I read for a leadership class last year. I was looking for a particular passage that I wasn’t finding, but I found this one instead:
"A ruler can very easily win over men who opposed him when he came to power, if they are not in a position to support themselves with their own resources. They’ll be forced to behave more loyally than other in that they know they have to work to offset the negative impression the ruler initially had of them."
I liked it because one thing I think lacking in all of this situation is the realization by the shit-stirrers that they should be trying hard to impress the leaders (aka the CIO) given they have never had resources before, and he is in the best position to get them those resources. But, the more cut throat interpretation is that the CIO holds the power to either make or break them in terms of their employment here. So it is generally a good idea to try to impress the new boss. That is not happening, but maybe they need to be reminded of it as a way of turning the tides. The boss spent the last two days pondering this quotation before responding to a highly volatile email that was circulating. Yesterday he responded – and, well, it was brilliant. He sent me a text confessing it was inspired by the quotation from Machiavelli. That amused me – and it has been even more amusing to realize that his actions has made those part of that email very nervous. I’ve not seen so many people not willing to make eye contact with me or have been extremely uncomfortable around me and the other managers. Yesterday in a meeting, it was silent, like you could hear a pin drop silent. It was amusing. Who says Machiavelli is just an asshole without value? Apparently someone who hasn’t read it since they have spent a good amount of time in business.
- Exhaling – While all of the shit at work has been what it is, it has still be a relatively calm week compared to other weeks. Sure we had an emergency with the rental that drove G nutty and there have been a few things here or there that have been head scratchers, but overall, those in the house have been truly exhaling. I got to spend some time with SB on Wednesday which was well needed. There are plans being made – and I feel we are falling into a good place. Life is good.