Archives For words

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.

Continue Reading…

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…

Mmmmm, Tacos

joe —  Sun 18-Apr-10

There’s a busy street corner in the northern suburbs of Atlanta that seems like a great location for a restaurant. Lots of traffic, a movie theater across the street, a Home Depot next door and a WalMart across the street. That’s apparently what at least eight other entrepreneurs have thought over the last 15 years – each one having put in a low end Mexican eatery into the exact same location after the previous one failed.

Let me replay what I envision the conversation between the last owner and the loan officer 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…

Mind the Gap

Joe —  Fri 29-Jan-10

“Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.” – Marcel Marceau

Being very new to this writing world, one in which I have very little skill but a great eagerness to learn, I am amazed at some early discoveries. My favorite is learning how many words need to be written to find the right ones. I would guess that I probably cut out 4-5 words for every word I include. This past sentence alone was originally a whole paragraph.

The main reason so much material gets cut is that it takes the place of the reader and doesn’t allow them to become part of the conversation. In other words I fill 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…

I Love a Good Challenge

joe —  Mon 4-Jan-10

I really despise suck-ups. In building a management team I first look for someone that can challenge me and my ideas. There must be an honest, respectful tension of ideas in order to build confidence in the decisions we will make.

The key word from that previous sentence was not honest or tension, but rather respectful. Continue Reading…