At a crossroads…

I am not in a great company.  My boss was fired, there are a lot of personal agendas combined with some clownish characters in power, and I learned this week that my new compensation plan essentially caps me at less than what I am accustomed to earning.  But I have a decent title in a large brand name, and frankly I am tired of the job changes as my industry addresses various pressures through restructuring and consolidation.

But I have an offer in front of me with what I believe is a better quality but much smaller company with staying power (it has weathered two recessions).  I would be an IC, which is good and bad.  It is a step down as far as company brand names goes, but on the other hand I’ve learned over the years that I thrive in small companies that need an ifusion of revenue – there are less politics and personal agendas to distract me from what I am very very good at – Sales in general and Business Development in particular.

What to do?  I am leaning towards the small company. It is my calling, and I’ve always been an outlier.  I just have to get comfortable with the idea.

    

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At a crossroads…

Took a day off – I didn’t realize how much I needed it!

Our COO told me last week that I need to work harder.  So I decided to take a day off.  And it felt wonderful… Why?  Because I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for the past six months, trying to turn around a troubled team/office.  We’ve doubled expectations, but *company* numbers are down (largely because of poor corporate strategy two years ago that hit us last year) which means all Directors like me are under a ton of pressure to squeeze more miracles out of our teams.  

But after countless 12 hour days, our COO told me last week that my team needs to show more urgency.  I’m certain he’s had the same talk with every Director, but this had the opposite effect on me — I can’t work harder, and my team can’t perform any better, so if that is not enough — if he is just going to increase the pressure — than it is up to me to ease off the gas.  After all, he’ll take everything I give and then demand more.  If I get burned out and can’t perform (or look for work if he cuts me), who loses?  Me.    

The result?

I took yesterday off for R&R.  And it was ***awesome***. I feel soooo much better.  I may take some more days off.

And to think I wouldn’t have done it if the COO hadn’t told me that my 12 hour days weren’t enough. 

Took a day off – I didn’t realize how much I needed it!

Sis was implanted/fertilized today: we are divided about how much to encourage/inquire

My sister was implanted with donated (fertilized) eggs today, which means hopefully she could have a baby by Christmas!  I am super excited and have been checking in with her, but my wife M thinks I should play it down, since there is a realistic chance the eggs won’t take, leading to disappointment/pressure for her if we are too excited.  But my fear is this: when we *aren’t* excited for her, when we aren’t cheering her on and rooting for her, she might feel alone…  

When I was battling lung disease most people were afraid to ask me how I was doing.  They might ask my wife privately, but they never asked me.  Which made me feel so alone while fighting a potentially fatal and emotionally devestating disease (devestating, because it took away so much of my identity, such as extremely high energy and terrific health).  I don’t want to make that mistake with other people – I’d rather make the mistake of asking too much, or showing too much interest and having her tell me to back off, then to not ask at all and have her feeling privately isolated.  

Along the same lines, she has been feeling emotional and alone through this two year process, which has included hormones, fertilization tests, etc. etc.  She said at breakfast a few weeks ago that it is hard not to feel alone.  Believe me, I get it – I never felt so alone as those months I was recovering from my disease.  It took me a few months of therapy to recover from that – I suggested she get therapy, but I don’t think she will.  Which is too bad – therapy took me from feeling utterly alone and devestated to feeling very grateful for being alive, something I don’t think I could have done on my own.

So I will moderate my approach, but will continue to check in.  And to keep my fingers crossed that in nine months I’ll have my first nephew/niece.  

Sis was implanted/fertilized today: we are divided about how much to encourage/inquire

So much of my day is Data Entry hell

In the 90s, there were fairly well paid data entry clerks who entered data.  They were paid pretty well because no one wants to do data entry.  Now, they are all gone, and each of us is mired in our data entry hell so some Exec somewhere can stare at an Ad Hoc report.  The result is so much of our day is spent entering data into various web forms.  Ugh.

So much of my day is Data Entry hell

Inspired by Chris Rock, we watched – and loved – Superfly.

Chris Rock interviewing black people about the Oscar-nominated films inspired our family to watch Superfly, the 1970s blaxploitation film  Loved it!  Great performances, gritty plot twists and — I never thought I’d say this about 70s fashion — cool clothing.

My son R made the comment that he (R) would never be in the protagonist’s dilemma because he’d never sell drugs, and that is awesome, but I pointed out that if you grow up in that environment and have no other hope, an entrepreneur will see drug dealing as way to provide for himself.  Besides, is a drug dealer that much worse than a sociopathic CEO who emotionally and financially destroys the lives of working stiffs for his/her own gain?  Our government should be — but is not — protecting us from both, not just the drug dealer.  Our friend works 40+ hour weeks for 8/hr while her CEO paid himself a 20M bonus – is that truly any worse than a drug dealer?  I personally don’t think so…

Inspired by Chris Rock, we watched – and loved – Superfly.

Leadership is about one interpersonal interaction at a time

Our SVPs send out *long* emails filled with caps and motivational quotations reminding us that we can be successful and that we should be successful.  But then anytime they have a chance to talk to any of us 1 on 1, they are short and distant.  

It is not inspiring.  And it reminds me of the  famous picture of Eisenhower talking with (not at) paratroopers the night before D-Day. 

Leadership is not about speeches or fist pumping, it is about getting people to believe in you, to want to follow you.  To me, this starts 1 interaction at a time.  I developed this philosophy when I was teaching, when I realized I was more influential working with a student or group during class then the lecture at the start of class.

Leadership is about one interpersonal interaction at a time