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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Patience & Tolerance. And Confidence

     For most of us, the towering challenge in building management competence is at the very beginning. There is a fundamental contradiction imprinted on our workplace behavior by our beginner experience.  It makes Square One so difficult that some people never fully get through it. And, for those who do, applying its lessons can block further growth.

     This is how it works: 

     We first must learn the skills and practices of personal productivity. That means we work on how to order our days through time and priority management while we're learning how to do the job. If you don't get this right, you can never do anything well -- especially    leadership. 

     But, at the same time we must learn as managers when and how to suspend certain of the personal skills in order to handle responsibility for the output and skills development of others. That requires concentrating our attention outwards, working to understand and influence others. For example, building effective working relationships is not at base a matter of efficiency.

     So, we must focus intensely on identifying, defining and perfecting our own personal activities at the same time as we're doing the same for others. Contradictory activities.

     The first step, personal productivity, is very difficult to even understand, then to learn. It requires a lot of practice, and trial and error. 

Sunday, May 1, 2022

I Didn't Retire. I Just Quit.

     My Dad worked at his hometown newspaper for his entire career, from 1923 until his sudden death (by heart attack?) in 1956 at the age of 55. He was telegraph editor and news editor at The Elmira Star-Gazette for much of that time.
     He must have been good at it, because I understand he had a number of opportunities to transfer to other papers in the Gannett Company. He never left Elmira and The Star-Gazette because, I was told, he didn't want to disrupt the family. He was busy fathering 14 of us during those years. 
     I remember Dad talking about retirement in his early 50s. I have never thought of retirement for myself. I just up and quit working a couple of years ago (age 84).