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Respect my authoritah



So this week sees me take off for Berlin.  It’s not a city I know well, it’s not a language I know well.  I don’t do a huge amount of business travel these days, the allure of hotels is far exceeded by the desire to be at home with my family. But I need to be away this week as the global corporation of which I form a minuscule part summons the great and the good (and me) together.

As is the way with these über gatherings there are meetings in abundance and therefore a whole load of preparation to go with it.  Which is why I’m writing this on a Sunday evening on the sofa, taking a few minutes away from the papers that I should instead be writing.

But hang on you ask? Is the man with borderline OCD really leaving everything to the very last-minute? Is his some kind of new way of being, some trial of strength and fortitude? No. I only wish it was.

Basically………my team fucked up.

They let me down, they stuffed me. There was a mark to step up to. They took one look, shook their heads and departed for the nearest outlet selling alcoholic beverages, to later piss their careers up against the wall.  They had months to deliver on this particular piece of work and they failed.  The failure I can cope with.  The fact that no-one informed me….that is another thing.

And that brings me to the point.  There are very few simpler things in business….indeed in life…..than managing expectations.  If you’re asked to deliver something, then there is  a professional expectation that you will. UNLESS you say otherwise.  That is your responsibility, no-one elses.

You may not like your work, you may think your boss is a dick, you may believe you were cut out for the stage or for bigger and better things.  But you should have you own professional respect and dignity regardless.  You have a responsibility to yourself and to all of those around you to be the best that you can be.  When we stop caring, when we start to let things slip, before we know it things start to slip around us too.

So I’ve worked like an idiot for the last few days to turn this one around.  I’ve done it and I can go away knowing that I am about as well prepared as I can be.  But I did it for myself. Because there was little other choice.

I’ve got a young team.  They are still learning.  When I get back next week, we’re going to take some time to reinforce some basic messages.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/12/2010 21:07

    I’d so love to be a fly on that wall.

  2. g-dog permalink
    09/13/2010 01:17

    As one of the resident peons often asked to deliver – my struggle is often getting clarity on WHAT EXACTLY is expected. Of course, the requestors’ struggles are typically that they don’t even know what they are asking for – but might (just might) know it when they see it. I am sure that is not the position your team was in – but wish to demonstrate that managing expectations requires clarity and communcation in all directions…

  3. 09/13/2010 06:45

    Erk. Not sure I would want to be in your teams shoes. But I love the message. The buck stops with us. It’s called accountability. It means our locus of control is right where it should be, bang-smack within us. It’s worth the work to keep it that way.

    Thanks so much.

  4. 09/20/2010 09:47

    @Stephen O’Donnell – Maybe I’ll do a video blog!

    @g-dog – You are of course right (again….*sigh*) but I’m allowed a rant right?

    @kateshrewsday – Welcome and thanks for commenting! When I was a wee small thing I was told that when you make a commitment, you stick to it. I think that message supports what you’re saying.

  5. g-dog permalink
    09/20/2010 13:09

    I come here for the rants – you better keep ranting!

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