Thursday, August 19, 2010

Being a squeaky wheel

No one likes the squeaky wheel right? I mean come on, just roll with it and do not rock the boat. My point is how do you complain without being labeled the Squeaky wheel, I mean, I do not want to complain, but if there is something that does not work to the point where you are willing to become labeled ad a complainer or God forbid "negative" then it must be important enough to the person to mention.

My experience with organizations is from the perspective of the peon. I am not a manager or leader in any way but peons can see when the direction of an organization is heading in the wrong direction and my point is, how is a peon supposed to have a voice in this? How does that person give input?

One thing to point out is that even if you do not like the delivery, the squeaky wheel might not present their contention in the proper way, but there is almost always some truth to what they are saying. Delivery often shuts the complainer down and deafens everyone because you can't just SAY it, you have to come up with some supper nice way of presenting your issue to ensure it is heard.

If the complaint is not heard then what happens is it becomes a sarcastic topic. Every conversation that comes close to a touchy subject becomes a joke. This inserts a gap between leadership and peon. Leaders to not like sects of peons that are not "onboard" anymore.

Leaders then either ignore it or bet touchy about it, but what really needs to happen it to acknowledge the squeaker and put them in leaderships shoes and ask them what they think they should do. This empathizes with the peon and empowers them, and gives their concerns value. Even if the problem is not a simple and is not completely solved, just acknowledgment goes a long way. It can even fix the issue without making a change!

This brings up another point I have. People vote with attendance. If your organization has no way to adapt to its people’s needs, then people have no choice to leave. I will go into this more in a minute about Leaders vision and how you have to agree with that to even be at the organization, but agreeing with the vision but disagreeing with the details of how we get there are 2 different things.

Are you the organization that everyone used to belong to? I have worked at a couple of these places. It is the place that sucks, but not so sucky that everyone leaves. The people that are not passive leave. If you are the place that everyone used to work for, then you usually have a bunch of easy going agreeable people that do not care to go out and find something better.

These types of organizations often struggle with what I call conversion. They rarely grow talent within, but have to get it only from new sources. How does an organization grow within when all the non passive future leaders have left? If there are not examples of people that have "moved up" in responsibility in your organization and you are constantly forced to import it, you might have a problem. High turnover shows low conversion. The headstrong people have left.

Every organization needs shake up. If a person has been doing this job for a million years, most likely they are just maintaining the status quo. They have not done anything spectacular to merit moving up, and have not screwed up anything to get yanked. How can you build a 5 star organization when you have a bunch of 2.5 star people that have been in their position foreverrrrrrrrrrrr? A 2.5 star person applied in one area might be a 5 star person placed in another roll. If life is a progression, then so should organizational life.

This led me to another point I had which has probably been said millions of times. An organization is only as successful as an inspirational leader. This leader has to be able to passionately express their heart and where it is and rally people around them to accomplish it. If this person is passive, unorganized, unmotivated, and lazy or whatever their weakness is, it can hurt the whole unit. Some weaknesses can be accounted for with pacing people under them, but in the category of passion and motivation, I think it is almost impossible to sail this ship we call and organization.

I think the leader that struggles with these things are the high turnover leaders, the ones that do not convert and promote within. They are the ones that to constantly find new passive followers that will obey or leave.

I think crap rolls up hill not down hill. If you have an excellent leader, they can inspire most to succeed, but one that is a do nothing is the one who should be fired not the peons!

I also think that a leader needs to recognize the power of incentive. Whether it is work or church, people operate off of incentive. If their incentive is that they are to lazy to find something else, or they do not want o move, or they need to be close to family then you lost the incentive battle. Never underestimate the incentive of the greater good. Many people want to do better and contribute without getting anything in return, but they do get a great feeling in return for this. A feeling they were involved in something bigger than themselves and recognizing your peons goes a long way in this. Incentive creates motivation. It is this passion, that leads to incentive, that leads to motivation; either grows your organization, or if it is missing, they leave.

This brings me to the final point of my rant and that is that a great, passionate leader that puts the cause above all and will listen to their squeaky wheel even if they disagree and they do this for the greater good. The leader does not need to be right 100 percent of the time, they just need to have the ability to make changes when they are called for even if they may disagree.

No one organization, job, church, club, or team for that matter is the reason why I write this. I was just thinking about it on the way home the other day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mother's Day

I sang this song for the offertory at Church on Mother's day. This was I think about a week after the second miscarriage. We decided to sing it because it was mothers day and we were recognizing God's sovereign plan in our lives even though it does not make sense from our perspective. We also wanted it to be on Mother's day because we consider ourselves parents already with 2 children that God is caring for as we speak. Looking back it is amazing to see how God has worked and we will never forget what we went through. If you get a chance, go listen to the song. It came on the radio just when we needed it most. It is crazy how God can orchestrate circumstances to fit his plan.

"Promise Of A Lifetime"

I have fallen to my knees
As I sing a lullaby of pain
I'm feeling broken in my melody
As I sing to help the tears go away

Then I remember the pledge you made to me

I know you're always there
To hear my every prayer inside
I'm clinging to the promise of a lifetime
I hear the words you say
To never walk away from me and leave behind
The promise of a lifetime

Will you help me fall apart
Pick me up, take me in your arms
Find my way back from the storm
And you show me how to grow
Through the change

I still remember the pledge you made to me

I am holding on to the hope I have inside
With you I will stay through every day
Putting my understanding aside

And I am comforted

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

God's timing

As I said before, I have some serious entries to write that I have been putting off. It is hard to write about, but it is a good exercise to get it out. The writing is not going to win a prize, yet it can help people understand our story and maybe I can understand it better by writing about it. 

God's timing is so amazing. One day you think you know where he is leading and the next you are perplexed at why he would do such things. The last year of our lives has been such a question mark to us. We think we see the Lord leading us one way and next thing we know that door closes. It is a day today struggle to just wait, stay patient, and listen for God's calling in our lives. 

As many already know Kristin and I have been waiting for God's calling to have children. Shortly after we married we stopped trying to prevent pregnancy and left it up to the Lord to deliver in his good timing. It was weird because nothing really happened for a while. Things went along and we did not think twice about what God had in store for us. After about a year or so we decided to just inquire next time Kristin went to see her doctor. When the time came for her checkup she asked and the doctor said we could do some test, but before we do we should try a little more. Wouldn't you know it 3 weeks go by and we are pregnant. Like everyone else we held off telling anyone because of the risks before the first 6-10 weeks. We went to the doctor at about 6 weeks and he said everything looked great and to come back in 2 weeks to hear the heartbeat. It was in those 2 weeks that things went wrong. The first thing we did was tell both sets of parents we were pregnant. Everything was awesome and the whole family was so excited. about a week or so later Kristin started spotting. The doctor said that can be normal for this to happen and being new parents we were scared so we went in to the doctor. He looked at everything and it seemed to be okay. He sent us home with instructions that if it gets heavier than we should come back in, but if it subsides then we are alright. Sure enough, it did not let up over the next day. We knew what was happening, but were afraid to even think about it. After just telling all the family and some close friends we find this out. Why would this happen to us? How can God use this for his glory? That night when Kristin was in the bathroom was the hardest night of our married life. It is hard enough to bar what was happening to our child and on top of that I could hear my wife and the pain she was going through. We stayed apart almost the whole night. I laid in bed wide awake sick to my stomach while Kristin cried in the bathroom. I could not go in there and she did not want me to see what was happening. We made it through the night and called and got an appointment with our doctor. As we knew from what Kristin went through, the pregnancy was terminated. The doctor looked and we needed to pass more tissue or we would have to go in for a D & C. He sent us home and we prayed for everything to pass. 

The next day, we went in and he immediately said we are going to have to go in for a D & C. Not only did we loose our child, but we have to go through this procedure as well. It does not sound like a complicated procedure when you first find out what it is, but when you are forced to go through it after a loss like this it is horrible. It is the same exact procedure many women go through every day  to abort their children and we are going through it unwillingly. This day quickly became the worst day of out lives together. 

The procedure went well and I was able to take Kristin home within a few hours. We were hurting so bad after the whole horrible experience we just went through. We both stayed home and then the weekend came and we were able to just lay low for a whole weekend and try and heal. The D & C brought finalization to the whole experience. It was the hardest thing to get over that fact that it was over. Then all the questions come to mind as to how do we tell people. How do I tell them without it being uncomfortable. We decided to let our family know and I sent an email to my boss. 

After talking to our doctor and countless people that had gone through similar experiences we were assured that we could try again. After hearing so many people come up to us, I could not believe how many people had gone through stuff like this. 

About 5 months go by and we figure out that we are pregnant again. Guarded this time we decide to wait longer to even tell the family. Everyone is excited and things are moving along great. Then, again Kristin tells me she is spotting again. it hurt for to even tell me. We would not even tell the family this time that she was. We could not bear to tell them that this could be happening again. After a day, we go to the doctor and he said everything still looks fine. He was so calm in the way he dealt with us. We felt in crisis mode and he was so reassuring that everything was fine. We went home not knowing what to feel. We were still scared yet at this point we had not real reasons to be yet. He told us that if we have any issues do not bother making an appointment and to just come down. That made us feel a little more conformable. 

That night it started to happen again. All the memories of the first incident came back. We knew this time what we were dealing with and could not bare for it to happen again. This time we knew what was going on. It was happening again and we wished there was something, anything we could do to stop it. It was driving Kristin crazy that there was absolutely nothing we could do. IT then became the hardest night of our married life. I could not even lay in bed. I paced the house while Kristin was in the bathroom. It was the longest night of our lives. There was no rest, just restlessness. I felt like I was about to vomit I was so upset. Again, the pain is on two levels. My own personal pain with what I am going through and seeing my wife in pain both emotionally and physically. I had to lead us through this situation and both direct Kristin and comfort her at the same time. The was distraught, crying, and wanted to go to the doctor right then. There was nothing that the doctors could do for us. This is a part of pregnancy that once it begins it is over. Such a hard fact to realize . Again we showed up to the doctors the next morning knowing it was over. He checked and we made arrangements for him to look again before we decided on another D & C. The next day we determined that we had to go in for the D & C and we handled it much better. We kept our minds set on just the next thing we had to do and got in and out. It was very smooth and we felt very sad yet we were more prepared this time. We were able to get home in a few hours and did not want to even think or talk about pregnancy. 

We decided to talk to a specialist about starting the testing process and we began those. So far we have found nothing that is the exact cause. We should know more in the next few months, but through this whole process, we get a IM from my mother that Kristin tells me about as I lay on the couch. My mom asked us if we have considered adoption.  I got a shiver down my spine and both Kristin and I just let it sit on our minds for a day. I will tell that part of the story later. 

Friday, June 20, 2008

I never use a comb

As I got the other morning for work something hit me that I really never thought of before. I basically get out of the shower in the morning(yes I am a morning showerer) and I throw a little hair management products in my hair, and flip it around a little to make it look like I care but not to much about the way it looks. After I did that I started thinking about combs and brushes and the fact that one has not made it through my hair in quite some time. I can't remember the last time it happened and I am thinking it has been many years. Maybe this is not a big deal but it hit me that there are many people that do use this things and I don't. I am sure it shows to them that I am a hair management hippy. I guess I just have a fundamental problem with the whole idea of combing my hair. It is just to much structure and confinement for my follicles. I tent to take the approach of a free range hair background.  I believe it should have a little freedom with some guidelines. See, the gel I use is a metaphor for the guidelines or loose rules and the hair has the freedom to be creative and operate within this semi confined space of my head. Where have I gone with this? I do not even understand the crap I am making up now. Anyway, I am sure it shows but I never use a comb. Take it or leave it. Maybe you thinking I am getting good results with my fingers and maybe you thing I need some improvements but I am not going to change now. 

car door handles

I actually have some serious posts I have been meaning to put up but I just can't bring myself to word it out. I decided to write a few of the ones that are on the lighter side I have been thinking of.

I have known Kristin for a long time and as you do when you live with someone you learn the quirks and things of that nature. One that I have been meaning to broadcast as I put my wife under the psychological microscope is one concerning her obsession with car door handles. Why would this be a topic for anyone other than one of the million assembly line personnel that gets assigned  to put one part on a car all day long, is beyond me? But, here we go. I am going to get confronted by her as soon as this goes live. She will inevitably ask why do I would ever post such things, but I will preserver to do such things that could be hazardous to my marriage. Oh, she has already scouted me out over here and is questioning what I am posting on the interweb! 

Anyway, back to the car door handles. For some reason that is beyond me Kristin has an obsession with a car's door handles being the same color as the car. She hates it when they aren't. This is not something she has only said once either. I have discussed this with her a great many of times and she still insists they need to be the same color. I am counceling her now and I will post an update as to how we are working through this. Until then, I have nothing really to say on the subject. I have already done enough damage that I will have to recover from already. 



Friday, May 16, 2008


Saturday I am playing in the Florida Grass Court Series. I am going to suck, but it should be a bunch of fun. It i nice to play volleyball with people that actually play. 4 man, no rotation, no back row, it is pretty much a bunch of fun. We'll see how well we do.