ADAM’S BLOG

All posts from November 2018

354: The bigger picture ​

The ability to focus for long periods of time is a rightfully-celebrated skill. But we should remember to celebrate time spent outside of focus too, where we can zoom out and see the bigger picture:

  • Electric cars don’t save you money: But they’re trying to save the planet. Only when we see the bigger picture can we make sense of these expensive machines.
  • This advert must get their attention: But not at the expense of who you are. Bring people in under false pretenses means you’ve got one long act to keep up. Only when we see the bigger picture can we remember to be authentic and vulnerable.
  • We can’t choose our customers: But maybe we can. Only when we see the bigger picture can we clearly see how we will attract more of what we’ve come to accept within our teams.

While pausing for thought can feel like wasted time and opportunity, it may actually be the very thing that prevents us from wasting time and opportunity.

353: But I can’t do that ​

How many times have you said that to yourself, in your head?

If you’re like most, probably at least once a day:

  • Outside of my reach: Or maybe steps simply need linking together to make that reach possible. A bit of dedicated thought should clear that up.
  • Beyond our abilities: Or maybe it’s entirely doable, and we need to simply divide up the training among us to make it possible.
  • A problem too big to fix: Or maybe we break it into many smaller sub-problems, and fix those. Perhaps it’s not too big after all.

“Can’t” is merely what we see when we don’t break it down into smaller “Can”s.

352: The human effect ​

The human effect on our work is profound, particularly for those who consider themselves logical and pragmatic:

  • Hours worked vs bonds forged: Hours are trackable, billable, valuable. But bonds are untrackable, invaluable, emotional.
  • Problems solved vs problems shared: When we solve problems, we’re compensated in proportion to the problem solved. When we share problems, we’re bound relationally in proportion to the problem shared.
  • What happened vs what we’re capable of: Ending an engagement because of something bad that happened can make good business sense. So can seeing how forgiveness can motivate a whole new level of contribution.

In all three instances, the latter is worth greatly more than the former. Such is the effect that humanity has on our work.

351: I get to do this ​

So do you. Though the words we choose are important:

  • “I should do this”: Thinking about doing something never gets anything done. Otherwise, we could all meditate our way to project completion.
  • “I must do this”: Raising your necessity gets you moving, but can feel like a grind after a while. Here, we toil without fulfillment.
  • “I get to do this”: Adding gratitude to our musts allows us to toil with fulfillment. Same work, more fulfillment, better results.

What must you do that you get to do?

350: Facebook Un-Rant ​

It’s cool to hate on Facebook at the moment.

They have work to do. Quite a lot, in fact.

But they’ve also built us one of the most accessible advertising platforms in the world. If and when used correctly, it can help good businesses help good people solve important problems.

Don’t judge it exclusively upon the spammers who use it, or the leaders that currently lead it (although the latter is a big issue at the moment). Let’s also remember to be thankful for the good work that has been achieved–and facilitated–along the way.

We should be supporting Facebook–and those like it–into becoming a better kind of company with a better kind of leadership, so that we can all benefit from the progress. Repaying unreasonable behavior in kind only moves us backwards.

349: It’s not how we do things ​

“It’s not how we do things” can be an empowering or limiting statement, depending on its context:

  • Because it’s not what our industry does. So do it. Un-learning industry rules and playing a different game frees us from commoditization and marginal service.
  • Because it’s not our culture. So don’t do it. Standing up for your team’s culture is a rarity that attracts others with similar values, be they comrades or clients.

Sometimes rules are for breaking. Sometimes they’re worth defending when everyone else has forgotten them.