I'm in the mood for a self reflective non-sequiter emo blog post, but I'll spare you, dear internet audience from going too far down that path, for more than a few meaningless paragraphs perhaps.
I had an annoying day today, where I was reminded that people work for very different reasons. People have different ideas of what means are justified. "Sticks and stones" are not fully understood many decades after kindergarten. The golden rule seems terribly complicated for some to apply (or is not really fully understood). Theory of mind, well don't get me going on theory of mind and the trouble it causes in people who have a low affinity for it.
Power, respect and authority are complicated concepts for people to wrestle with. And things which in the grand scheme of things that aren't very important are given an importance they don't deserve.
Put a bunch of people in a big building long enough and bounce them against eachother and fascinating political dynamics come into play. And no rules or processes can fully box away the undesirable of those political forces. But people keep trying (not that I know the alternative.)
People are unhappy and people act out. People fear, and people get defensive. People feel slighted so they slight others. People get greedy or entitled and reach for more. Others just try to get to the next day. And so it goes round and round.
There's never really enough information to make full sense of it all. It's possible to make useful models, but eventually some aspect of their incompleteness exposes the flaws in their construction, and they often fail more noticeably than when they succeed.
And so dear reader, there you have it, an emo non-sequiter post about noone in particular and everything in specific and the world spins for yet another day.
It would appear that the Supreme Court has essentially just paraphrased Robert Heinlein from Life-Line:
"There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back."
"I'm a BlackBerry user, because I like the keyboard," he saidSay what? At the very least you'd think he'd use a keyboard phone from Motorola.
Most would probably agree that the easiest and most damming insult directed at a manager is the dreaded label micromanager.
Looking beyond the rhetoric, the term editor does more to explain the dynamic. Editing the work of those you manage disempowers the team, removes accountability, and in general reduces motivation. Editing the work of others is easy—it seems like anyone can change the UX, add a feature, rewrite some text, or tweak a slide. The creative effort is coming up with the work in the first place from a blank sheet, so to speak. Of course there is a role for editing (which itself is a noble profession), but in the complex works of product development there is a great deal of context. In reality most everything follows an iceberg principle, with far more than meets the eye—the complexities and realities that came to light during creation might not always be visible once the work is packaged up for management.
These patterns and others all share a common result—the more you do them, the less creative and engaged your team will be over time. Each time your employ the tools of editor, rather than leader, you encourage people to stop creating and focus their energies on trying to predict your editorial reaction.
Leading is contributing data and experience–share your related experience and let the allegory and discovery do the work.
Leading is coaching–share your observations and offer pros and cons.
Leading is walking through the action/reaction decision tree—share the path, not just the destination.
Leading is reiterating accountability in so many cases.
Leading is knowing when the potential for learning and growing outweigh the risk of failure.
Leading is realizing there a few perfect answers and many great answers.
Over time as you work to keep focused on leadership rather than editing, the team grows stronger and more self-reliant. Members of the team worry more about getting the best answers and work and less about wondering what management might be after. More work gets done. Members of the team are more empowered. This positive feedback loop continues to improve every aspect of the team.
We visited our friends Adam and Comfort yesterday and we watched the last of the Twilight movies with Rifftrax audio comentary. Rifftrax are MP3 files you buy and play along with the movie. They're done by former Mystery Science 3000 guys. Generally they make bad movies pretty entertaining.
We've watched all of these movies with Rifftrax commentary with Adam and Comfort. This past Thanksgiving we had finally watched Breaking Dawn Part 1. It was a plotless, storyless dog of a movie even by Twilight standards, but the Rifftrax was pretty good, so it was amusing enough.
Breaking Dawn 2, however, was even slower than Breaking Dawn 1, somehow. Basically it's two hours of hanging out in the Cullen Vampire living room. No joke. And no joke from the Rifftrax crew managed to make this movie enjoyable either. I felt sympathy for the Rifftrax folks. It really wasn't their fault, there just wasn't enough of anything happening in this movie for them to work with -- at all.
Not even in satire could anything good be made of this DVD. Don't see.
He said yes. Since the Ryan Reynolds’ film, retailers were stuck with film merchandise that just wasn’t selling. This lead to those retailers being very reluctant, if not downright refusing, to any carry merchandise from the Animated Series. Therefore, a lack of sales on that front lead to a lack revenue for an admittedly expensive CG Series.
– for what son could ever hope to replace a father like Batman, who never dies?
+ Jenn's Blog
+ Adam and Comfort
The Adventures and Illustrations of a Husband and Wife Comic Artist Duo.