Right before Labor Day I fractured my ankle in two places and partially tore three ligaments. It was obviously painful as hell, but it could have been a lot worse. Three months later, with the end of summer looming, I am still rehabbing. Walking around a city is fine, but running, tennis, and hiking are still distant. It’s been a process.
One constant in this that I am proud of has been my positive mental attitude. I anchored this in the hope that weeks on crutches would heal my plantar fasciitis (it didn’t fully) and a resolution to focus on what I could or would do while my injury limited more habitual routines.
This started with a handwritten entry in my journal: a practice I love and at times have done more frequently but which I hadn’t touched in YEARS.
It’s a truism that communication is vital to a team’s success.
But the umbrella of communication hides a lot of nuance around who is communicating with whom, how ideas are being conveyed, what norms govern the individual interactions and on and on.
Getting on the same page and rowing in the same direction is HARD.
This post summarizes a presentation I gave to around 25 managers at CB Insights last year which aimed at underscoring how important establishing a common language is within a team (and company). Because if your team can’t communicate, it can’t get things done.
I’ve written a bit about the interfaith journey my wife and I are on, but mostly this has centered on the conversations around what it would mean to marry.
Now we’re married and the process of forming a rich tapestry from our combined backgrounds is well underway.
Some of our tensions and questions and feelings and choices around this inter-weaving feel quite comfortable already.
Many others do not (yet).
But I think this dichotomy of comfort and discomfort is precisely the point.
Data slog: The often grueling and mind-numbing process of cleaning and standardizing your data to ensure it is reliable enough to use for analysis
Data slog: A management tool for operationally oriented teams
In operations, no one is above a data slog.
That statement is core to the operations team I lead. And it’s not just because 75% of what we do depends on good data (the value of good data is generally obvious).
What’s seldom talked about is how orienting your team around thankless data projects contributes to both a better functioning system AND a better functioning team.
The first time I fired someone was one of the hardest experiences of my life.
It didn’t make it easier that I had zero doubt that this was the best decision for the company and my team. It didn’t help that we had exhausted multiple measures to try and course correct.
Sometimes knowing something is right does nothing to make doing it easier.
So OK, it sucked. Obviously. You have to pretty messed up to not be affected by making this kind of decision.
But the emotional side isn’t really what I want to focus on here.
I think it’s probably more useful to walk you through the key mistakes I made during the entire three month process from making an offer to letting my team member go.
You know those movies where the bad-guy caresses a giant suitcase of money like it’s his favorite lover? How many times have you thought to yourself, man I’d love to have that cash!?