If someone keeps letting you down

Because you’re waiting for their help, but they don’t make time; Or don’t do what they say they’ll do; Or do it badly; Or can’t do the job they’ve been given; Or only do it inconsistently; Or aren’t engaged when you need them to be; Or damage relationships and reputations; Or otherwise hold you or others back… It’s probably time…

“What can I do?”

… is the question you’ve been waiting to be asked, and it deserves your full attention. Who’s asking? What are they doing now? What can they do? What could they do? (Should you tell them? Should you ask them to tell you?) What else will it take from you to make it happen? Un-busy yourself, spend some time thinking about…

Grace and mistakes

I’m a big believer in grace and second (and third) chances; I wouldn’t, couldn’t live without them. In the absence of enough information to make an unambiguously correct decision (for example, in a disciplinary matter) I think it’s better to make a mistake on the side of generosity, kindness and benefit of the doubt rather than than to make the…

The unglamorous work of doing good (2)

I recently delivered some food parcels to families in our area. This was “helping those who have less” in one of its clearer and more concrete forms. I was happy to do it, but it didn’t feel that great: I loaded up my car, delivered the packages to some people who said thanks, and then drove home. It didn’t feel…

The unglamorous work of doing good (1)

The side of the tracks Among the most rewarding pieces of “good” that I’ve ever done was to start a micro-savings group for a small community of men and women who lived along a railway line in West Jakarta. It was hard: hot, dusty, dirty and smelly from the rubbish that they recycled for a living, always smokey from cigarettes…

“What should I do?”

If you desperately need a job, you are just another problem for a boss; if you can solve many of the problems the boss has right now, you are hired. To be hired, think like your boss. Kevin Kelly – 68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice A hierarchy of task-related competence and maturity: We have opposite intentions. I will not do…

Hands up

The majority of work we do is routine – it’s been done before, we know how to do it, and sooner or later it will become part of someone’s job description. But there are plenty of moments when something new comes up: “We need X done – who can do it?” Another way of asking the question is “Who will…

Competent

Maybe you think of yourself as competent, or maybe you don’t. Self-talk I tend to say things to myself like: I can do this. I could do that. I could do that, too, if I spent some time learning how. I understand how this works, even if I’m sketchy on the details. I’m not doing this very well in this…

The next shell up

As your organisation grows you’ll discover yourself passing through awkward, vulnerable seeming inbetween stages, like when you’re… Too big to operate out of your house but too small to afford an office; Too big for everyone to be involved in everything but too small for truly specialised teams; Big enough to need a good accountant / media person / office…