Who is a Good Dog? YOU are a Good Dog! Yes you Are!
It’s amazing how little it takes to motivate me.
Here’s my story:
About a month ago I was sitting in staff meeting with all of my peers and my very high performing manager. She is a take no prisoners, get to it and get out kind of leader. She has been an executive for a long time and knows her business inside and out.
In the course of the meeting, there was a review of open projects that took me by surprise. It was on the agenda, but I misunderstood what was listed and as a consequence, wasn’t prepared. When a tracking spreadsheet opened up on the overhead screen, I was shocked to see my project listed first, and doubly shocked to see that the team project manager had listed my project with a red status.
To put it in the terms a bluesman would understand, I was not on the good foot.
Execu-Boss of course took one look at the screen, her eyes snapped to the red status and she whipped on me like a guard dog, then asked me what was going on with my project.
Ill prepared, I wavered into a not very good answer. Now smelling blood, she went in for my jugular. And connected.
Not to cross metaphors (but I’m gonna) on that day I was fitted with a brand new pooping device. Oh yes, I was taken down like a gazelle on the Kalahari.
This, understandably, upset me greatly.
Execu-Boss then wrapped up her slaying by saying, “Clearly you are not ready to discuss this. You’re on the agenda for next week to come back with some answers.”
Through teary eyes I wrote a note in my notebook and I felt really poorly for many days after.
But, I rallied. I stepped back, cleared my head, and over the course of the next week I put together a short PowerPoint slide deck showing a nice road map with milestones achieved, where we had gone off track and the very good reasons why, next steps and recommendations. Then I got feedback from a few peers and made changes.
I had only a short week to prepare, but I was ready. As luck would have it, the next meeting was cancelled.
The following meeting was taken up by a guest speaker so I was pushed out again.
At the meeting the following week, I was nervous as hell and really not ready to give the presentation. I had my slides ready to go but it just didn’t feel right. Luckily, after missing two weeks of meetings, our agenda was full and as we got to the end of our allotted time, I graciously agreed to push out my presentation again.
Then it was Fourth of July last week and we had no meeting.
I mean really, a four week stay of execution? Not bad.
Today I was on the agenda front and center, but there were some other pressing matters. For a while there it looked like I would get pushed again. No, I was ready today. Damnit, it was time.
: cue the Rocky theme song :
And so, it came my turn. I was handed the video cord for the overhead projector, and I plugged it into my laptop and my slides came up.
All in the room sat back and awaited my words, remembering the brutalizing I had received just a month before.
I said my words exactly how I’d practiced. I made clear at the beginning what I wanted from this presentation, I made my points, I asked for the support of the team, I answered questions and I wrapped it all up in less than ten minutes.
When I said “and that’s it” at the last slide, Execu-Boss looked me square in the eye and said, “Nicely done.” I swear to goodness fireworks went off in my head. Elation filled my veins. Jubilation washed over me.
I felt like doing a mic drop and walking out of the room. Karen has left the building. Thankyouverymuch.
That’s all it takes to motivate me. Those two words will keep me going for WEEKS!
Something to remember as I manage my own team.
Gif image found here.