Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Yes, it HAS been more than three months since my last post. Apologies to anyone that cares. I'll try better next time. But at least I have much to report:

Celebrated Christmas in San Diego
Left my job in January! (well, more like made to leave my job)
Back into private enterprise
Daughter's no longer in day care (mostly)

OK, I know that you think the others are great, but yes, the big news is that I am no longer employed by another entity. It is a story that was nine months in the making, but the gist of this turn of events is as follows:

The Heads, They Roll
I tried really hard at the start of this engagement to make my department an automatic operation but was unsuccessful in the end. The state of the department I inherited was perilous. Though it operated, most knowledge was owned by one person, and due to a reverence that came from years in the organization and a paranoia at being displaced (with reason) it proved terribly difficult to navigate the mine field that was managing this relationship. Credit given where it is due, the department was kept running because of this one employee, and this employee is more than capable, but I was unwilling to go hard-ass as is what would have been necessary. Instead, I worked on building a great team to handle all facets of issues. I think I succeeded. And although I was warned (and witnessed completely) that my boss kept a guillotine list of those who were annoying, hard to manage or viewed as insubordinate (read: outwardly disagreed regularly and unashamedly) and then underperforming, I am what I am... and that's on and subsequently off the list! I must add, that I think that my former boss was extremely effective at running this operation, but in my humble opinion, was oh-so obviously missing some key components required to be a truly effective leader of this severely troubled branch of this unwieldly corporation. In situations like this, managers sink hard, or change completely. My former manager will likely be at the top someday... or out very soon. It's one or the other. I'll explore this phenomenon in a post exploring culture change and managerial effectiveness sometime in the near future... but back to the story.

Try and try again
Well, I dropped the ball a few too many times and made it to "the list" kept by my manager because I was unwilling to go the extra mile and therefore missed some serious performance milestones. That is, I did not believe, nor did I really care, so I was not going to do anything more than that which was necessary to keep the department afloat, and I did not have the proper safeties in place to ensure my ass was covered (truly the issue). In my mind, I was already out. The dysfunctional leadership (fear-mongering, lack of communication, absent strategy and revolving door) further compounded my resentment at going above and beyond the 40 hour/week obligation (yes 40! and no more ) and I refused to do so after a time. The meetings I had with my managers resulted in a plan for my improvement which helped me a bit with time management, but I was not really into it, and after further disillusionment, I began to spout empty concurrence and the rehearsed "I'll try harder." The true sign that I was long gone? I was SILENT in managerial meetings. ME! SILENT! I was way not there anymore. My boss wasn't having it. The result? The great team I put together will likely continue to rock, (they really did rock) I'm out of the grind, and a much better life goes on. I had initially said "five years and I'm out." Well, thanks to my inability (refusal) to perform and my former boss' excellent decision making, looks like that time frame was moved up a bit.

So now what?
As always, I'm working on a few things, but concentrating on two core businesses at the moment. The first should be sustainable by the end of this month. The second has a timeframe of the end of August. I'll at least update this blog monthly so that you'll know where we're going with these. Until then, in the words of Jean Luc Picard, "Make it so Number One!" (Number one is you or me, not pee!)