January 27, 2010
The Etta James melody lingered in my mind as I casually strolled into work this Wednesday morning, wearing my jeans and running
much (much) later than usual. I didn't have any worries today because my boss is attending a conference. It's about time we
get a much needed break from him! Lately, the pace has been incredible, and our boss has really applied the pressure - it's
becoming pretty unbearable and his tiresome droll is really wearing on all of our nerves (not just me, I can assure you!)
It was so enjoyable to sip on my coffee, sitting at various desks and catching up on office gossip. Heck, by the time I made
my rounds, it was already time to take my 2-hour-plus lunch! I'm a huge believer in some veg time to re-energize, but it's
hard to do so with "Mr. Let's-Walk-Around-Acting-Important" lurking nearby. At least I have two more days this week
before he returns. I already dread Monday, having to pretend I'm actually interested in the new ideas he is sure to tell us
all about - over...and over...and over...
9:24 pm cst
I'm so glad to have aired these pent-up frustrations, but I do hope
this doesn't get back to my boss. How embarrassing for him to find out how his subordinates view him (or how HAPPY we
are when he is gone!) Good deal he is in Las Vegas and is taking a break from reading this blog. Knowing him, he's trapped
some other poor soul, talking dribble about the good ole days and TRS80's. He really is a geek. Gotta give him credit though,
he does have a great wife and kids (and of course, employees). At least he has something going for him.
January 26, 2010
Are you more letter or spirit?
5:02 pm cst
A fellow colleague I admire shared an interesting perspective with me on how people follow rules one of two ways. We both
agreed that one group of people require a definite set of rules to guide them, and they measure success based on whether
one adhered to the rules or not. These people follow the "Letter of the Law." For instance, a manager
dictated by the "Letter" will be more likely to reward/criticize based on the methodology taken during a project
rather than the end result. On the other hand, those who view rules more as guidelines, follow the "Spirit of the
Law." I myself am less concerned with the means by which a project is completed (assuming all was done ethically,
legally, etc.) but rather by the results. When I was a supervisor, I would often give vague instructions and begin by telling
the employee what I wanted done and what I wanted to achieve. Whether that meant the employee was to create a PowerPoint
or a spreadsheet was inconsequential, as long as the end goal was achieved. More often than not, the employee empowered at
the front end to explore creative solutions completed tasks more effectively, efficiently and successfully than I ever
Knowing how others in my world approach rules is important - it helps me better react to assignments
as well as communicate more effectively. Furthermore, how I perceive others's actions, whether with fellow leaders, coworkers
or family members, is often filtered through this point of view.