It Just Isn’t Fair

I hate to admit that I often have felt treated unfairly by my leaders and management. Recently, another person was chosen to attend a meeting that I was clearly entitled to be at, because of course I was the best person to represent. Why would my manager do this to me? Doesn’t she know the value that I could have provided the best insight and value?

Pretty arrogant right? I had to swallow my pride and ask for forgiveness.

Matthew 20 provides a great parable about this kind of attitude. The first workers in the field felt like they were treated unfairly because people that worked less than them got the same compensation. Let’s examine this from a business perspective:

 You Negotiated the Price

How many times have you “found out” that another person got compensated more than you or got a better salary. Did this cause you to be bitter. The words of inequity and unfairness are engrained in every conversation and thought for the next week. Everything interaction with your boss or coworker is tainted with disdain and negativity.

This is your issue. You negotiated your pay from the beginning. You entered into a fair and equitable contract based upon the agreement you made with your employer. At the beginning of the parable in Matthew the landowner “agreed” to pay an amount for the day worth of work a specific amount. The lesson here is to be content in what you have negotiated and be joyful that God has provided that opportunity.

 Be Grateful for the Opportunity

The landowner was willing to pay the workers that he picked up later probably for a very good reason. He had lots of work that needed effort and it demanded workers. The interesting part here is that the next 2 sets of workers didn’t negotiate and took the word of the landowner that he would pay them a fair price. This means that our character should be one of thankfulness for the opportunity to do work that was provided. They worked hard and received a fair wage.

 The Leaders Responsibility

The flip side to this was that the landowner made a good decision to pay “what he felt” the work was worth. Good leaders reward good work appropriately. When leaders don’t make this good decision, the word gets out. Discouragement and grumbling sets in, and sometimes there is revolt.

When I look at my attitude, I should always have one of gratitude because I am making the choice to work where I am. I do also recognize that my leadership must be one of high integrity to keep great people and get the work done.

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Leaders Create a Harbor

The storms of work are always around us and can flare up at any time from any direction. In our jobs, hopefully there are sunny warm days with only a few scattered showers. Every so often though we hear the call for “man overboard” or feel the waves filled with pressure crashing in on us. We become overwhelmed, distraught, anxious, and stressed over our work situation. It is times like this when we need our leaders to create a safe harbor for us to reside in.

Here are some of the key elements of what that safe harbor provides:

Peace. Harbors keep away the winds and create a calm of the surroundings. Great Leaders do this by creating a shield for their followers and let them know that they can anchor themselves in a safe environment. The harbor becomes a shared culture where others can also rest on the team. It takes way the anxiousness and stress.

Accessibility. When a leader creates a safe harbor, they are providing an access point for their followers. Strong leaders allow their followers to access the inner circle of the Leader’s vision and direction. The leader communicates and shares in ways that entices and encourages vulnerability and transparency. Because this is a safe accessibility point, followers will feel comfortable and content.

Harbors are a fortress from the storm. It allows us to have a strong standing. We shouldn’t be prideful, but rather assured that we have compassionate and empathetic listening leaders. The leader should also be strong for us. They should lead by example and be an advocate when we can’t be there to advocate for ourselves. If they don’t sponsor you, security will be lacking.

Leaders must commit to their followers. If you work for a leader that doesn’t commit and believe, you may be following or working for the wrong leaders.

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Defining Purpose – A Poetic View

I wrote this last year and have kept it sitting in a notebook.  Lately, I am calling into question my purpose and am reflecting on regaining the Energy, excitement, and passion.


Energy, excitement, passion. Driving forces that accumulate in tiredness, disdain, and depression.

If there is no purpose.

One that embodies who you are,
What you do, and the means of how you do it.

Purposes are meant to be shared, disseminated, and delineated.
The dross needs to be identified, removed, to never be replaced.

Hidden purpose is no purpose at all, rather a reflection and reminder, a shield of protection of personal feelings or beliefs. It is the myopic representation of self, one that is void of creativity, creation, and the Creator.

Feedback smooths the edges of purpose and clears away the rubble. It needs constant shaving to remove the stubble. Wrinkles accumulate by carving out imperfections, they are battle scars of ripeness.

Great purpose comes at high cost. It is paid with pain, discouragement, and tribulation. The reward is the accumulation without that a great loss. It is the sediment that creates the strong foundation, one that stands the tsunamis and twisters that reek desolation and despair.

Purpose without feedback is like building your house with straw or on sand easily . If we model the Creator, our success is at Hand.

I am designed for a purpose, one that my Maker has chosen. To sculpt it I must deliver my purpose

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Embracing Culture Change is a Choice: Leaders can make it easier

Did you get that memo about shifting the way we work?  Have you heard about how the company is focusing in on one mission in the halls?  Are you all in to make a difference for a better workplace?  Is your answer maybe, or I’ll believe it when I see it?  If so you are not alone.  Changing a culture is a monumental effort that takes the very essence of what we are today and breaks us with the intent of rebuilding.  Leaders must ensure that breaking existing culture is done with care while reshaping and molding the brighter future.

It’s a long term commitment

Changing culture takes time.  There will be heartbreaks and enormous success.  Great leaders plan and build for this period of change.  They choose the team that will make the long haul.  More so than the physical people it is the qualities that the team exudes that will make it through the breaking and remaking.  I am excited when I see a team assembled that looks nothing like their leader.  It is the leader’s job to communicate and bring the best out of their members.

Leading to make the right choice

The team will inevitably be made up of the following three personalities:

  • Those that have drank the Koolaid
  • Those that are “Doubters”
  • Those that are “Unbelievers”

Leaders have a commitment to see all three personalities thrive and make an active choice to change the culture.

Don’t water down the Koolaid

Leaders often forget the people who are bought in as the vision of culture change.  It is important to continue to communicate how valuable they are to sustaining a change.  Leaders must empower and reward for being good and faithful stewards of the cause.  By short changing those who are your best allies will turn them away.  It will be very hard to win them back if they feel abandoned. Remember, they have made a choice already to follow.  Continue to fuel their passion.

The Doubters just need more information

Leaders communicate.  Transparency and facts help bring along the doubting constituency. Like Thomas, who had to see the nail prints in Jesus’s hands before he believe, members may need to see the evidence of change.  Once convinced, these team members will now be advocates, because they have a firm foundation and see the progress towards a true change.  By not communicating, doubters will be lost.  Doubting will keep people on the fence and not move the dial to cultural change.

Unbelief creates the strongest motivator for change

Leaders will always have those around them that just don’t believe.  Great leaders don’t ignore them, instead, they listen with empathy.  Leader’s aren’t successful if they please everyone.  Instead, leaders that respect the alternative opinion, build muscles to evaluate and discover the best of all ideas.  Knowing the unbeliever’s opinion, also helps in crafting messages of encouragement and inclusion vs. criticism and division.

The Choice is yours

Whether you lead teams or influence individuals, you have the power of choice. A couple of practical actions everyone can take:

  • Demand transparency of yourself and your leadership. 
  • Communicate to the Koolaid Fans, the Doubter, and the Unbelievers
  • Share in the commitment to make a cultural change personal and realize that becoming part of that change is your choice.
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Leadership Challenge–Communicate Your Vision

At the end is a challenge to leaders and employees.  When was the last time you looked at the Vision, Mission, and Values of your company?  Maybe you have them memorized and they come out in every part of your being.  If so quit reading now.  For the other 99.9999% of us keep reading as the vision definitely needs focused on. Continue reading

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Tribal Thirst Quenchers

Dates: January 16 – 21, 2011

Thirst Quencher Favorite Feeds

J.D. Meier’s Blog – This by far is one of the most thoughtful and insightful blogs in the software industry.  Mr. Meier covers the hard topics in software development and design with clarity that few can do.  His approach to learning, mentoring, and coaching is magnificent.

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To Read or Already Read

Ever since OneNote is now in the cloud, I have been capturing content like crazy.  Many times I only have a few seconds to glance at the content and then move on.  In Internet Explorer, I can right-click on any page and choose “Send To OneNote”.  It opens up a dialog and asks where I want to save it to (you can bypass it by making it a default setting).  I have created 2 sections, “To Read” and “Read”.  I will send it to one of these sections and I am finished.

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Tribal Thirst Quenchers

Dates: January 1 – 15, 2011

Thirst Quencher Favorite Feeds

Alvin Ashcraft’s Morning Dew – I find that he has become a very significant aggregator in great content.  I usually find 2 or three articles from his list every day that I read.  Great Job!

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My Quality Checklist of a Company

With past year reflections, new year resolutions, and goals to start, I thought I would begin by defining a list of qualities that I look for in a company.  My goal will be to use this as an evaluation tool of potential opportunities.  Also, I am going to proactively interview several companies (for research purposes) to start building in a rating strategy.  If you would like to participate please email me your answers to the questions below.

Continue reading

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Implement Code Analysis on Legacy Solutions

This post has been moved to my technical blog.  Sorry for the inconvienence.


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