Don’t you love when you have a conversation with someone and they make you see something differently?
Can you remember the last time this happened to you?
For me, it was Wednesday. I had a discussion planned with a Gartner Analyst. This guy is top in his field, known for his logic, and metrics, and analytics. You get it – an intellectual, and I had prepared for a conversation with him about measuring productivity in my team.
But the conversation took a twist. Maybe it was because it was over lunch, or because I was in a bit of a reflective mood this week for other reasons, but our conversation turned to motivating teams and dealing with changes that are thrown at you. He knew I had recently established a new team, going from a team of one (me) less than a year ago to a team of 240 people today. We are preparing for more work next year and adding at least another 100 people to the team. And he asked me how things were going with the people and the workload.
So here’s how the conversation went…
- me – my team is strong and they are really responding to everything I am throwing at them
- analyst – how do you know they are responding well?
- me – in addition to the work output, we just did a survey and my team scored high, but more importantly my direct reports scored at the top of the scale
- analyst – you must feel great about that
- me – I do…but…I worry
- analyst – what do you worry about?
- me – that because they scored so high, we could slip by next survey – it may have been better for a new team to start lower and build
- analyst – (big belly laugh) – you worry about things you don’t need to, why don’t you worry about something else that needs attention…enjoy the high scores and learn from them, how did you and the team get there and how do you maintain it?…learning from good news is much better than worrying about it
- me – speechless
He was right. And I knew it. I am a half-full glass person almost all the time. He helped me to see when the glass is half full, I can think about filling it more…not about it toppling over.
Thanks Matt. I’ll remember you, and the conversation, where we were sitting, and the sun shining in through the window as I take this lesson and pass it on. I don’t remember what I ate that day. But I guess that wasn’t the point.