Sep 26, 201211:23 AMAfter Hours
with Jody Glynn Patrick
Roses are red, violets are blue, I’m schizophrenic, and so am I
Boy oh boy. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I said I’d write a weekly business tips blog for TDS for its business resource center (TDS Blog – Business Tips). But now that the writing is on the wall (or in this case, on another company’s website), I feel honor bound to take my own “best practices” advice ... which is making me a little, shall we say ... schizophrenic.
Since signing on with TDS, I’ve canceled any IB staff meetings lacking a unique agenda, set aside specific times to read emails, stopped trying to multi-task and instead focused on completing the most important tasks every day, re-examined my leadership quotient, and committed to paper how I believe one should go about the job of managing their manager.
As a result of all of this advice giving (I’m a few submissions ahead of deadline), I feel like I’m living in a management seminar of my own making – and it’s exhausting, to say the least! I was more in my comfort zone while leading weekly staff meetings with the old standing agenda of “share information.” Now we share information at IB via emails and use meetings only to move projects ahead or to task people – and we only include people who have something to offer (so if you are invited, you’d best come prepared to contribute).
On the plus side, we’re conserving paper (not so many doodled sheets left behind in the conference wastebasket) and reallocating staff hours to more productive use. However, that doesn’t mean I have more “found time.” In fact, I’ll be spending more time ensuring that people who only interacted with me in staff meetings still have an opportunity to share their successes and challenges with their publisher.
That refocusing, of course, will result in a future blog for TDS – after I figure out how best to do it. Because that blog is about best practices, not necessarily my current practices. I personally am climbing a learning curve of my own design, borrowing on area experts (thanks Terry Siebert and friends) and national statistics and those things I’ve learned in the hundreds of hours I’ve spent in post-graduate business seminars and workshops.
While I’m the new and improved me at IB, I’ll still be the old me at home and here, most often sharing lessons learned at the School of Hard Knocks. By nature, I’m more intuitive than analytic, more artsy than fartsy, and secretly (don’t tell TDS), I believe that too many best practices can maim invention and creativity. So to be true to that side of my nature, I’ll continue to plot in After Hours how to herd 10 wonderfully individualistic, talented employees, corral four ornery dogs, and stay one quip ahead of a quirky, precocious grandson. And don’t even get me started on the mourning dove in a pine tree ....