Three Points of View to Get You Through the Day

My job is one of the most challenging (and most fun) I’ve had in a long time.  A turnaround is a lot like a startup,very fast paced, very risky, and occasionally terrifying. There are times when it seems like too much. When I feel a little overwhelmed, I try one three points-of-view that help me gain perspective, and get back in the game.

1. Brazilian Soap Opera
A turnaround is a time of intense change, good and bad… and sometimes just surprising.  For some people this can be tough, as personnel and business models get refined (and sometimes removed). So when things happen like the co-president suddenly resigns, we inherit an entire business division, or we hire the genius who reinvented Red Bull’s brand,  I just say, “Well at least Mike Jones’ evil clone didn’t come back from the dead.”

With a soap opera, you look forward to every twist and turn, you aren’t afraid of it.  Change is fun! Remember, we love drama, Vonnegut told us so!

2. Video Game
I think this POV  can help anyone in a fast-paced job. Rather than succumb to stress, just treat it like a video game. Nicole Lazaro has a taxonomy of fun, that includes “fiero” or “hard fun” which is the joy we feel when we triumph over adversity. When you are on level 28, and the aliens are coming down too fast and you only have two lives left… well isn’t that when you have 100 emails on a chain about a potentially broken homepage takeover, you are at a demo of a new product that just crashed in front of the c-levels,  and you get a call from an SVP about a 2M dollar opportunity but it’s due Wednesday? I say bring it!

3. The Lab
Lots of us live our lives in  fear of action. What if I make the wrong call, what if I confront this person and they get upset, what if, what if… what if your job was a lab? And you are a scientist, all cool and observant. Now go ahead, and make a decision. observe. note. measure. and from the results, make a better decision next time. Nervous about a new feature? release in an AB test, and measure.You are afraid of confronting a colleague that you disagree often with? Try a new style such as being more blunt, or admitting it’s hard to talk to the them because they are so aggressive, or passive.  Measure.

Work often becomes too much about you and who you are, and it can keep you from sleeping at night, worrying and wondering. But if you can get a little perspective, you can stay clear headed and make better decisions. Try one of these POV’s yourself.




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  1. 1
    Catherine Conoley

    I’m currently trying out The Lab with the 3 year-old in my house – my cool observance is helping my sanity – unsure when I will see payoff. Perhaps in 3-6 years.

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