Don’t shatter the glass balls

12 12 2016

“We are always balancing work, life, home, etc.  It’s important to know that while juggling rubber balls, and glass balls, the former may bounce back when you miss, but the glass balls will crack if you let them fall.  So prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.” ~ Nita Ambani

I like the idea of tasks that need to be done, but if  you miss a deadline, or do them a little wrong, there’s little harm.  They can bounce back pretty well, and business can go on.  If EOM reports run a day late because someone is out sick, or if approving an invoice takes an extra day or 2 to get to, because you’re working on one of the “glass ball” tasks, that’s a smart use of your time.  Note: most of the glass-ball tasks are at home, not work.  That said, work ones will run the spectrum from super-bouncy-balls to crystal Faberge’ eggs.

The critical, fragile, breakable projects are the ones that you need to focus your time and attention on doing right, getting them done on time, and otherwise doing your best to ensure the success of the initiative.  IF these are one of the tasks that you delegated, then your focus as a leader needs to be in giving the resources, attention, and support to your trusted team member.  Because if you give them a glass-ball task, and don’t give them the rest of the support they’ll need, then someone’s going to be cleaning up a glass-mess on the floor.

Speaking of juggling…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.


Killing that little red dot

6 04 2016

“The massive migration from dumb phones to smart phones is a great opportunity for young companies to take advantage of.” ~ Adam Dell

It is true that companies enjoy the benefit of their leaders having smart phones in their pocket.  That persistent, irritating little red circle on the screen on my phone tells me when I have an e-mail or text waiting for me.  It’s almost impossible to ignore it when I’m idle in my off-hours.  I have to click the icon, read the e-mail, and MAKE THAT RED CIRCLE DIE.  That means that, by definition, we are accessible (and working) when anyone we work with has the gall to send a work-related e-mail when we’re off.

Leaders, leverage this technology judiciously, or it will take over your life.  I know that I can’t stop those fellow OCD of you from needing to kill the red dot.  But, when you’re on vacation, or you’ve put in your 45+ hour week, DON’T Reply.  If you can’t help yourself, read it, then forget it until you’re working.  Sure, you’ll get an “urgent” request that you occasionally can’t help but reply to (keep it to a sentence), but for the most part, try to leave the office at work.  Yes, I know I’m not practicing what I preach, sometimes, but it’s a goal to aspire to.  Most of our parents have told us to do as they say, not as they do, but you’ll do what you want to, adults.  Just know that just because I send an e-mail at midnight, or 5am, that doesn’t mean I expect an immediate response, nor should any other leader in an organization.  Business is for business hours.

Speaking of migration…


Rubes cartoons used with permission.