It?s been a busy week and I feel like generalizing. I have managed to sort the entire population of our planet into 3 categories.
A) Those that can always see the big picture despite complexity and can architect processes to reach goals. The strongest representative of this category is generally not satisfied to be in a strictly implementation role and are often looking for ways to improve things.
B) Those that excel in implementation in their particular field but require a roadmap to complete each milestone. Every organization needs these people. The strongest representative of this category is generally extremely talented at what they do.
C) Those that cant identify or follow process. In fact, when faced with instructions, rules, or timelines, these people either fight back with opposition or run and hide. The strongest of this category can be very frustrating to work with when placed in a role which involves collaboration and interdependency. In fact, working with these people can often lead to some form of dependency.
Ok so there is no doubt to the fact, I am over-generalizing but I bet by now you have identified which of the above you feel you are. If not maybe you are a boundary spanner. These people are very key and also great at managing the relationships between the stronger cases of the above mentioned.
So should a company go out and hire only people in one of the above categories? Of course not but effective placement is key to success as well as the overall morale of your staff. As well, by building the channels of communication to cater to the specific needs of each group, a manager can optimize the strengths of each group and minimize the effects of their weaker skills.
By the way, none of what I am saying above is earth shattering news. A good book that discusses a similar breakdown is the e-myth. I highly recommend it and thank Steve for recommending it to me a while back.
Back when I was in university I did a marketing concentration and I remember that I always swore that I could never sell or promote a product that I didn’t love or believe in. Some people along the way challenged this philosophy but so far I have managed to stay very true to my word. Every job I have worked to date involved selling or promoting something that I really enjoyed and I only left the place once I got to the point where I didn’t love it anymore or someone offered me an opportunity to sell something I loved more. I have actually turned down jobs that offered me a lot more money (when I could have really used it too) because I didn’t believe in the product or the company. I never regretted it either.
A few years ago I had the exciting experience of building our Broadband Internet Service Product. I designed a business system from start to finish that involved communication between two completely unique companies and automated the heck out of the customer activation process. It was hard. It was challenging. It was the most fun I had ever had in my career up until now. It featured the first massive .NET application our company ever developed and it was simply awesome. The guys that did the development on it did an amazing job – it was an exciting time for many of us. At that point I knew that loving what you do and what you are good at was everything.
These days I find myself in an even more amazing position. My job is to lead a team that build products to support, complement and extend a platform and technology that I have grown to love tremendously over the past couple of years…SharePoint. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE SHAREPOINT. For me it is a system that completely reconstructs the way information is shared in a company. It puts the power of organization into the hands of those that need it most.
I love the opportunities where I get to speak to someone and show them how SharePoint works – I love seeing that light bulb over their head explode once they realize “Wow that’s EXACTLY what I need!” It’s always a rush for me. That’s why I love any opportunity I get visit a company and see their communication and information sharing problems. No – it’s not because I like to see people suffer. It’s because I understand their frustration. I have been the person sitting there beating my head off my desk saying…WHY CAN’T THESE TWO GROUPS TALK TO EACH OTHER? I enjoy seeing this because I love working their issues out with them and showing how the pain can go away. I love seeing the look that comes over their face when they finally realize that “Yes it IS possible!”.
Sometimes I feel guilty for loving what I do so much. How can work actually be THIS much fun? How can I love a product this much? How can a team I work with be SO AMAZING. I have a profound respect for every member on my team. Every day isn’t a walk in the park. But when you work with a good team – you know it. There is trust. There is skill. There is A LOT of hard work. There is communication. And as a result…there is a level of respect that I could never represent in words.
So I have been feeling guilty for not sharing some of what we have been doing. But sometimes business is business and you need to keep your lid shut. But stay tuned over the next couple of months and I hope to be able to take you along for at least part of the ride.
In the meantime, I hope to start at least posting some of the tips and tricks that I have been sending some of those that have been speaking to me via email and IM. Aside from my day job where I get paid to work with awesome technology – I do really enjoy any chance I get to build up the community around it. So please keep your questions coming – I really do love to see them.