Category Archives: Business

Fire-Fighting

 

 

 

The most common fail I’ve discovered in fire-fighting is the failure to continue to plan.

It’s easy when in a season of extreme pressure or extreme workload to focus on the now, forgoing the very meetings, processes and execution that will get you out of the hole you’re in.

Regardless of how full your day is, carve out time to plan.  Carve out time to still meet with your key influencers – the conversations may save you precious time in the revelations they bring.

Draw out processes.  Emails and back-of-fag-packets aren’t enough.  Let people visualise what ‘good’ looks like, show them light at the end of the tunnel and stick to your decisions like glue.

There’s a whole world out there.  It would be a shame to miss it.

 

Procrastination and The Big Black Box

 

 

I looked back today at a task I committed to doing for someone outside of work and was astounded to realise that it’s been 3 months and I’ve still not got my ass in to gear.

I’ve realised that the only thing standing between me and my career as a famous guitarist, author, dancer (well maybe that’s a bit rich) is the big black box that speaks so lovingly to me about crimes committed in Miami and New York, a family I’ll never meet in some made-up town and various other enthralling fairy tales.

TV is my nemesis.  I blame my weakness for procrastinating on the development of me outside of my career and role as a loving wife solely on the luring draw of Sky Plus.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post.  Maybe this is one of those rambling conversations that happens to stumble upon a revelation

 

Turn the bloody thing off.

 

Urgent Is The Enemy Of Important

After a few months in business of rather full days,  clients all over the globe (meaning somewhere, someone is always awake, wanting something) and looming deadlines, I’m discovering that the urgent is the enemy of the important.

What’s important is the innovation, the development and getting things out the door.  What’s urgent is the situation that pops up that demands immediate attention, but means that for someone, or some people, the innovation and development cease.

Seth Godin wrote a great piece on how to tell if the urgent is King in your day: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2005/08/hurry.html

The solution? Make room for the urgent in your day – but don’t let it take your day. Plan in time for the important – and stick to it like glue.  If the urgent always gets the front seat soon there won’t be a product to be urgent over.

 

 

Less Aggression Please!

Ladies.

This one is mostly for you – but trust me the men will benefit too.  Unfortunately it’s something though that only a woman can say to a woman.

Aggression does not equal strength.  Bitchiness does not equal business savvy.

Somewhere along the road many of us found that business can be a man’s world, and a quick route to getting our way is to be an all-out hard-nosed fire-breathing force to be reckoned with.

Somewhere along the road we forgot the unique gifts we bring to the table as women and lost our femininity.  But aggressive behavior is just an easy way through a tough environment, stripping us of our strengths and appeal.

Managing fairly but firmly, keeping an eye on what is best for the individuals without ever losing sight of what is best for the company, understanding situations through discernment and bringing creative solutions, charming clients whilst sticking to our guns, juggling the push and pull of finances without ever losing control of the bottom line – these are to name a few areas that we excel in as women.  None of these areas – nor any others for that matter – are better managed with the fire-and-brimstone act.

It’s also a sure-fire way to stay single… or to end up that way.

I’m not talking about meekness and submission, but embracing your femininity and using your skills to your advantage.  Let your confidence be in knowing you know what you’re talking about, that you’ve been here before, that you CAN run this company.

Not in proving you can shout the loudest.

 

 

Say It To My Face

Ah the power of email.

You can scream, swear, call your mother names, demand my way IN CAPITAL LETTERS and write threatening things I’d never dream of saying – all without the risk of you leaning over and punching me in the face.

 

Ah the power of text.

You can break-off long term relationships, fire me, address that ‘thing about me that has always driven you crazy’ call off plans last-minute or apologise that you stood me up – all without having to face the disappointment in my eyes.

 

Ah the power of twitter, facebook and the like.

You can pride yourself in all the relationships you have, the people in high places who retweet your tweet, like your facebook post and comment on your holiday photos– all without having to spend a single moment putting any true effort in to those relationships.

There is and will always be value in the face to face.  No matter how “connected” we are, nothing ever takes the place looking someone in the eye.  Harder though it may be, it’s how relationships – the ones that last in life, in business, in love – are built.

So go on – say it to my face.

The Danger in Routine

Routine is a funny word.  Not so much funny ha-ha; just odd.  I guess because we’re creatures of habit we like things that are familiar.  I guess that’s why we often try and create routines in just about everything.  Or is it more that once we have a routine we have a pattern that we can call our own?

Holidays always highlight for me how dependent I can become on routine.  I start sleeping more, eating more, doing less and voila! two weeks later I’m relieved to head back to my ‘other routine’ as the holiday routine always leaves a 10-pound leaving gift with me.   Why is it my routine that keeps me healthy and active, not my decisions?

Having recently married I’ve been thinking a lot about routine recently.  Mainly because having someone else in the shower when I’d like to be in there is wildly inconvenient.  So is being woken up at 6am on my morning to sleep in, the last piece of chocolate disappearing mysteriously from the fridge, and my laundry load magically doubling in size.

But what’s the flip-side?  Living alone forever because it’s more convenient?  For some, yes.  Not having many friends, as they can be hard work?  Some do.  Missing out on so many of the opportunities in life that present themselves – inconveniently – at the last moment?

I don’t want to ever be that person.  I want to be ready for anything – everything – that comes my way as life is full of gorgeous opportunities if you’re willing to be a little inconvenienced.  Heck, people are bloody inconvenient.

Don’t settle for the familiar.  There’s a whole world out there if you’ll just be willing to once and in a while break out of your routine.

What’s Weighing You Down?

personal development, relationships, leadership

Flip Flippen (his name – really!) recently tweeted that “We all have constraints. What is important is that you’re not the same person, constrained by the same things, year after year”.

I’ve had to recently look at my life as new additions (husband & job) meant that a ‘spring clean’ of my plans and habits was in order.  Painful.  Just the accumulated hours of television watching over a week makes me cringe.

More than just time poorly spent though are the habits – actions & reactions – that weigh me down and hold me back.

Image the one thing that you know is your greatest weakness.  Not chocolate (unless it really is a struggle and harming your health!), but a real weakness.  Now imagine life without it.  Imagine how it hurts the people in your world and how making a change would benefit them.  Or how it hurts you, and making a change would benefit you.  Or both.

Try working on just that one thing.  Don’t try to quit smoking as well, or lose weight, or cut out sugar and alcohol.  Don’t overwhelm yourself to the point of defeat.  Just face this one weakness, knowing you are absolutely able to defeat this if you truly put your mind to it, and go for it.  Give it up, let it go, stop.

I will if you will.

 

Life Is More Than A Checklist

Why is it that we often find our greatest sense of accomplishment in simply ‘getting lots of things done’?

I’m a ‘make-it-happen’ person, which is a wonderful skill, but also can be my downfall.  Last week, my first week in my new job, I managed to not only get up early for the gym every morning, but book myself out every night, and all weekend.  Priding myself on good health and a steely determination I didn’t question that I could pull the week off. Why though?

Sometimes life is full, granted.  But sometimes I make life full unnecessarily, leaving no time for creativity to blossom, for reflection, for contemplation.  One thing I’ve learned, though I have to constantly remind myself, is that more is accomplished in an hour of contemplation than in a week’s worth of checklists.  Not chanting ‘om’ or assuming the lotus position necessarily, but allowing your mind to clear, to wade through the mess of surface thoughts and dive down in to where your genius lays.  And yes, we all have genius within us.

Try it.  Book an hour in to your diary for a date with you.  Put away your phone, your iPad, your laptop and all the other devices that grab for your attention, and allow yourself to be quiet and just think.

I promise you’ll be amazed at what you are capable of.

 

Farewell

Today is the final day of my role as GM at Direct Traffic Media, so this post is really a shout-out to all the team there who have been my friends and co-conspirators in the adventure that was 2010.  I’ve loved every minute of the ride.

A special thank you to:

Ree, who gave me the opportunity to be a part of this dynamic team

Ervin, (and Alex) who taught me all I know and then some about social media promotion

Di, who was always the brains behind my organisation.

Su and Pedro, who are genuises both and embody patience

Sophie, Gurdeep & Robin, who have become Master LinkBuilders & Junior SEOs

Dan, Tom & Jan – Writers extraordinaire

Ang – who is the heart and soul of DTM

My only regret is that I can’t stay put and move forward.  You will all be sorely missed.

Influence

‘Influence’ is a buzz word at the moment.  Online influence and how to measure it are very hot topics, but what does day to day influence look like?

It’s a well known fact that people buy in to people before vision.  If you’re wondering why your team aren’t coming alongside you in your adventure towards your goals consider the example you set.  Whilst I’m no expert, here’s a couple things I have found helped significantly:

  • write the vision down and make it clear.  give tangible goals that your team can engage with
  • encourage often
  • care.  ask questions and then actually listen to the answers; ask about what matters to them (yes you’ll have to find that out)
  • maintain a transparent approach to conflict resolution.  if it’s not working, talk about it
  • communicate, communicate, communicate

Nothing earth-shattering but often forgotten.

Look around you – is anyone with you on your journey, or are you just out taking a walk?