Listen Up

I will be listening and then writing on this conversation. I can tell you now though, I am biased.  I believe we do have a chance – a darn good one.  As good a chance as anyone has had in this country’s history?  Maybe I’m not THAT biased.


NOT knowing IS the Battle

In a new job or a new role, not knowing is the battle.  I have been a part of two very different companies since graduate school (see previous posts) and both proved to be difficult at the beginning because of what I didn’t know.  At my current job, the small office team has done well to bring me up to speed.  However, learning the industry and learning my responsibilities has come largely in response to needs or issues.  The opposite approach would be acting proactively or anticipating needs.

With my previous job and employer, I had the same kind of challenge.   It was and is a young company, growing quickly, and plowed through any unforeseen issue with enthusiasm and energy.  To put it another way, many problems were solved by “out working” them.  My wife is currently employed by a company with characteristics similar to the ones I just described.  I hear her frustrations and think, “I’ve heard that complaint before.  From me! Or a previous co-worker!”

My experience so far shows me that the biggest frustrations and the largest mistakes in my career have come from simply, not knowingExperience is just that, and everyone has their own.  I’ll choose not to bore you with mine and just ask a question I think needs answering.  In light feeling unequipped at the start of two very different jobs:

Do employers owe their employees training for the job they’ve been hired to do?

I won’t be attempting to answer that question today (maybe I will in 20-30 years when I have some more “experience“).  I will give a little more context to the questions as it starts to swim around your business mind.  Lack of training has made me hungry for training.  Most of my mistakes have come from simply not knowing what is best or what is out there.  Feeling unequipped is crappy feeling when you fail.  Asking questions is a strategy to curb mistakes from not knowing.  Yet, a constant stream of questions can begin to wear down on the relationship between who’s asking and who’s answering.  Such as thoughts like, “Am I starting to annoy this person?” or “Should I know this already?” or “Why doesn’t they know this already?”  Training can aid in preventing these possible internal battles.

Ready for some cliches?  When I think about it, being “thrown into the fire” or “jumping in and learning how to swim” is not a horrendous approach.  It can cause people to grow, learn more rapidly, and expand their capacity.  I can vouch for that.  It may also cause someone to take ownership of their role instead of “just turning the wheel” within the parameters of their job description.  Training doesn’t solve all mistakes from happening.  Even with a plethora of training, when it comes time to take on the task, it’s time to “grab the bull by the horns.” Yee-haw.

Whatever the answer to the question above may be, without training, a new employee will discover that NOT knowing IS the battle.  Consider yourselves warned Gen Y’s!   Ask questions despite the feeling like your a nuisance.


inspiration for the title of this post brought to you by:

Impact Maker

Around this time of year, being the football junkie that I am, I take in as much NFL Draft talk as I can handle.  Without a doubt, there is more talk about the Draft than I can handle.  Here are some ways a great pick or picks can IMPACT a football team and the organization:

  • Increased ticket sales
  • Increased merchandise sales
  • Feeling of excitement in the fan base
  • Good press (or just press in general)
  • Hope for the future
  • More wins
  • Better talent where there was lack (or none)
  • Stability
  • A new weapon for the coach’s game plan
  • etc…

Teddy Bridgewater is a football player who has been critiqued and analyzed way too much leading up to the draft.  Many people don’t believe he can IMPACT a team in the ways listed above.  That’s just fine, I think.  He is a favorite mine, but that’s because we are both Louisville Cardinals.  So, I’m biased.  I’m also realistic.  I do not think Bridgewater will be a star player in the NFL.  I think among his peers in the draft he has as good a chance as any to contribute to an NFL team.  Since he is one of my favorites, I wish him a long career and all the success he wants from his career.

But, check this out!  If he doesn’t become an amazing Hall of Fame QB in the NFL aiding a franchise by increasing their revenue and prestige, he can have an IMPACT on his family and others.  And he’s proven to do just that: