Archives For vocabulary

Oh To Leverage Synergies

joe —  Sun 22-Jan-12

SOTPWould 75% of the people in the world writing vision and mission statements please stop.

Seriously. Just stop now. They are bad and doing more harm than good.

If you are president of a company and want to know if yours is worth a sparrow’s fart, just ask your employees. Scared to do that? Try the Mission Generator website and see if it sounds anything like yours.

It shouldn’t.

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Ryan StilesI was a huge fan of Whose Line Is It Anyway, the British and later US improv comedy show. Those guys and gals were amazing. Having watched a lot of bad improv I can appreciate how difficult it must be to pull this off successfully so I wanted to learn the secrets of the trade.

Using the search phrase “improv comedy rules” I found that nearly all of the sites list the number one rule as “Do Not Block”. Blocking is when one actor sets up a line like “my you are a fine looking rooster” and the other doesn’t like the setup so replies with “I’m not a rooster, I’m a penguin” because he knows that penguins are funnier. This is never funny, it insults the previous comedian, and actually makes the newly self-titled penguin look weak – he wasn’t up to the task given to him.

It dawned on me that I see the same roosters and penguins conversation daily at work; Continue Reading…

What Do You Do For a Living?

joe —  Sun 28-Nov-10

Do for a Living.pngIt’s a mutual friend’s Christmas party and I’ve just been introduced to you. After a few minutes of conversation I ask you “What do you do for a living?”

How did you respond?

How do you describe what you do for a living? I always wrestle with that. I’m a degreed electrical engineer that became a software engineer and haven’t written a lick of professional code in 15 years of engineering management and leadership. Yet none of those are the right answer.

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Want a Job?

joe —  Sun 26-Sep-10

Interviews suck.

They can be one of the most anxiety soaked events that leave you feeling spent and judged. Today, though, let’s take away a little of the anxiety by disclosing one critical thing you can do to get to the final stages of the process.

The ancient Greeks said it best.
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Your Mother Wears Combat Boots

joe —  Sun 27-Jun-10

Did you ever watch someone apply their best mental jujitsu in a heated discussion only to see them flame out with a look of “what just happened?” Not only have I seen this, I seem to be a regular participant.

One of the reasons it happens to me is that I make a simple incorrect assumption about how to approach the other person. While I think I am doing the right thing the Law of Unintended Consequences comes Continue Reading…

Crossing the Line

joe —  Fri 12-Feb-10

I believe that no matter how happy you are, you have at least 10% of your psyche dedicated to bitching. For many, it can be quite a bit more, but everyone has at least 10%.

If you are a leader and want to help your teams it is critical that you know a little bit about this and how it may cause you to do exactly the wrong thing despite your best intentions.

Despite having a great day, week or life, there is always some natural tension eating at us that we need or would like to change. This dissonance Continue Reading…

Hollow Statements

Joe —  Fri 8-Jan-10

Buck Stops HereYesterday I was listening to a senior politician state the “buck stops here”. What exactly does that mean? No, I know what the phrase means but what does it really mean? What happens as the result of the buck stopping there? Continue Reading…