Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Make It a Habit

Sometimes, the best advice is not to worry too much about trying to catch up. Just jump in wherever you are and start from there.

If it's a really big task or an overwhelming project and I want to be sure I stay with it, I start very small. I find that I am so embarrassed by how little I've accomplished and there was so little time involved, that it is easy to get back in the next day and do it again.

And again.

And again.

That's the point. I remember being told by my guitar instructor as a kid taking lessons and then again by my orthodontist as a teenager that I couldn't get in a whole week's worth of {practicewearing bands} crammed into one day. The same principle applies here. Small amounts repeated over long periods of time - that's where the pay-off is.

So, today, I've got a new habit starting. It's just one data point - hopefully after a while, we'll see enough more to call it a pattern we like!

Is there a pattern or habit you'd like to start? Email me at and I'll respond here.

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Thinking Broadly

I took this past week off - I started a new job, building a tech support organization for a startup. I'm excited about the prospect - the building of a way of doing things, supporting product again and that sort of thing.

I was going to add "while still getting to exercise a broader way of looking at things and having my ideas heard", then I realized that was very limiting. Yes, it's been easier as a manager. AND I've always believed strongly that my ability to think broadly and find ways to get my ideas heard (usually through some form of 'marketing', not force) was what led me to management and allowed me to grow into that role & flourish. Not the other way around.

As people who report to others, I think it furthers our common goals and our individual interests to think at the level of the people we report to as much as possible - not that we think LIKE them (we have to think like ourselves) but that we take into consideration the same things that they do. It helps them do their jobs more easily (which helps us out in the long run) and it makes our own jobs "taller", more interesting.

The reverse is true of managers - I believe I make a better manager by understanding and taking into consideration the same things that people who report to me do. Right now, I don't have anyone reporting to me. I'm doing all of it. And when there comes the opportunity to share that load, I expect I'll have a better understanding of the issues at hand. And you can bet I'll be looking to hire someone who also has the capability to think broadly.