When to Let Go

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As I was researching teams and, specifically, how to fix a dysfunctional team I ran across this advice for team members who aren’t in a leadership role. Honestly, it’s not the first time I’ve seen this advice but it finally sank in for me.

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And after a conversation I had with our team leader today, it seems all the more relevant. Hanging on for too long isn’t just wasteful, it can be damaging. I feel this. I can only be promised results so many times…I can only meet with the next team leader so many times…I can only turn down other offers so many times before I’ve done irreparable harm to myself professional and possibly even personally. So now the question is how do I go about transitioning out of this team and into another in the best way possible for all parties. That’s a question that will be on my mind this weekend, for sure.

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I was going to write up a whole…

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I was going to write up a whole post on teams and using conflict to become more productive, but then I realized that I had already written it back in November.

On Teams.

I suppose it’s fair to say that I’ve learned a bit more about the whole process this week. In analyzing my current situation, I am part of a team that has never left the Forming phase.

In the Forming stage:

…team members are positive and polite. Behavior is driven by a desire to be accepted by the others, which avoids controversy or conflict. Serious issues and feelings are avoided, and people focus on more routine work (team organization, who does what, when to meet). Team members are also gathering information and impressions about each other, about the scope of the task and how to approach it. This is a comfortable stage to be in, but by avoiding conflict not much actually gets done. Roles at this stage are usually unclear except for the role of the team leader. As such, team members tend to behave quite independently. They may be motivated but are usually relatively uninformed of the issues and objectives and tend to focus on themselves rather than the team’s goals.

I think that there have been some efforts to leave the “honeymoon” phase and enter the Storming stage, but the leadership has not embraced conflict and therefore there is no way to formally prepare ourselves for Norming or Performing. Conflicting ideas are ignored, rejected, or shut down in meetings-outside-of-meetings. There is a lot of passive-aggressive behavior. Work products remain individualized, as does any accountability.

I’ve watched Making A Murderer the whole way…

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I’ve watched Making A Murderer the whole way through and am blown away by the whole debacle. Leave it to some Redditor and a little It’s Always Sunny to express my feelings so well.

I think the allure of the show is in just how *easy* it was for Steven Avery to get thrown in jail not once, but twice. And one of those convictions was overturned, and the other is highly questionable! At the end of the day, the real key here is that a jury of his peers convicted him for a heinous murder. Those twelve people had the real power, regardless of whether or not the prosecutor, police, detectives, and judge were in any way impartial or complicit. If the conspiracy is real, it is only possible thanks to the apathy and/or ineffectiveness of that jury.

Culture Suckers

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Shortly after I started working in my current position I joined the team of department heads for their monthly meeting. At the beginning of each meeting, they would hold a leadership discussion, which I absolutely loved. And at one of my first meetings the discussion centered around the culture at Sheetz, which is a convenience store/gas station chain around these parts.

According to the information we received, the owner of Sheetz explicitly stated that the highest priority for his organization is to get rid of “culture suckers”:

According to Sheetz, a “culture sucker” is an individual that causes turmoil in the workplace environment. This can be the largest human relations problem and it needs to be eliminated. Sheetz did not mix words during his emphatic speech about the topic. facilities Eliminating “culture suckers” from departments will not management be easy, but it will strengthen the organization and save time on personnel issues in the future. Excellent managers will get it done!

That emphasis on eliminating culture suckers has come mind several times during the past five years. It makes me sad that we would put the Sheetz culture up on a pedestal and verbally praise it but then refuse to take supporting action. We have culture suckers where I work and I’ve brought it up several times to my supervisor to no avail. Our culture of ignoring culture suckers has affected my motivation for work such that I no longer work for a purpose, I work because I have inertia. It’s really upsetting to me. I think about leaving this job and I get the same feelings that I experienced when I ended my first marriage, but then I have to consider the fact that leaving that relationship kicked off the most intense and successful period of personal improvement that I have ever experienced. If there’s a different job I could be doing that would allow me to regain my sense of purpose, it seems like that would be a big win for me regardless of the stress accompanying such a major life change.

New Year’s Resolution

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I made one resolution this year. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might know that my goal last year was to run 100 miles. I managed to accomplish that by July of ’15, way ahead of schedule, so my plan is to run twice as many miles this year.

I track all of my runs on Runkeeper and so far I’ve knocked out just over 11 miles.

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I don’t know if I can keep this pace up, but I can sure as hell try. I didn’t run much at all from August through December of last year so I’m slowly working my way back up to the 5K distances I was running last summer. I’ve found that when I leave work there is just enough daylight left for me to hit the trail for 20-30 minutes before I pick our little stinker (I say that out of love) up from daycare.