AT DREXEL- WE ARE HANGING OURSELVES WITH A NOOSE MADE BY MEETINGS & EMAILS

TGIM!

Yep.  We are bleeding from the inside — a harsh truth for me as the current leader.

Our meetings are bad and I am certain our internal e-mail usage is worse.

Don’t worry I doubt our competition is any better, but in our effort to supply happiness and be a world-class company, this is a huge flaw.

Surely a weakness of mine, a blindspot I wasn’t ready to admit.

It didn’t even really hit me until I saw our top workplace survey.  Universally you stated in the survey we suck at meetings.

Then over the last two weeks, I observed them.  Yep …they stink.  I mean we used to NOT have them and I guess that was worse.  But I have been in some real stinkers.  Just ask Ross Harter and Jason Blenker (pictured in a google meet video conference recently.)

And if the ones I attend stink I am sure yours do too.  Amherst does them totally different and yeah, they are just ok.

“But Joel, every company’s stink, meetings just suck, maybe don’t even have them… ”

Not true.  Some have figured it out.  And I know we will too!

Meetings are where all the magic happens.  The NOW, THE CHANGE, THE FUTURE…EVERYTHING!  They should be engaging in every department!   Every time!  For leaders the majority of our day are meetings, we must realize that and embrace them much better with a much better format… a routine.   We don’t pull the loads, make the trusses, install the floors, pay the bills or anything.  CRAZY TO THINK, WE EXIST FOR COMMUNICATION AND GULP, MEETINGS.

I have just this weekend read 3 books on meetings.  Very good ones by the way!

We will GET THIS FIXED!   I am going to start working with the team immediately Monday.  Which is cool.  We have a good plan.

*****

Drexel’s E-mails are bad too.  I’ve seen…    “Hey everyone the toilet doesn’t work.”   Ok.  Or…  An open-ended e-mail with no real reason but to brain dump.  Ok.  COACHES AND CAPTAINS, LEADING FROM THEIR EMAIL.  OUCH.   Customers and our QBs having almost an entire relationship via email.  OOF.

Here’s the real truth.  You can’t get the EMOTIONS out in an email.  It all can be taken wrong.

EMAILS ARE CONSTANTLY INTERPRETED WRONG.

Take for instance the line

I DIDN’T SAY YOU WERE BEAUTIFUL.

You can interpret this six ways depending on which word you emphasize:

  • didn’t say you were beautiful.”
  • “I didn’t say you were beautiful.”
  • “I didn’t say you were beautiful.”
  • “I didn’t say you were beautiful.”
  • “I didn’t say you were beautiful.”
  • “I didn’t say you were beautiful.”

Six words, six different meanings — imagine if this had more complexity than 6 words.

WOW.

So what are we gonna do about it?  I am going to insert myself into EVERY email group.  And coach up when it’s used too much and horribly ineffectively.  Yep.

That’s my job.  For real.

******

Here’s my 3rd point..

Being a leader at Drexel is MY RESPONSIBILITY not a REWARD.

I take my job very seriously.

And I expect that from my team.  By that I don’t mean we can’t have fun, duh, I love to goof off at work.  It does mean we have to sacrifice, hold others accountable, weed out or train the weak constantly and fix shit.  Literally, DO THE HARD STUFF NO ONE ELSE WANTS TO DO.

We also have to have better meetings where we all learn what we are doing and why and fixing our big problems BEFORE they happen.

Leadership is lonely and thankless – if you are DOING IT RIGHT.

You see most “leaders” at other companies I know always ask me to go golfing, or Cabo (CABO!), or “network” around the country, OR VEGAS!, or fishing, or VIP their customers.  And their meetings float around as they pick and choose what parts of the company they enjoy.  They feel “making it to leadership” is a reward.  I busted my butt for 25 years… I finally made it.  Or, we are now a 250 million revenue company, we deserve to have offsite retreats that just really getting drunk on the company dime.   VIPing customers is really an excuse to live the life of luxury on the company dime and on company time.   I hate that crap, I know that is really just saying, we are the bosses, let’s goof off for the day… not thank you.  I was called “steadfast” last week.  Yes, sir, I am addicted to the grind.

Or some leaders like to do what they are good at or is fun for them.  Taking care of accounts themselves.   Diving into things they like instead of things needed.

Not for me or our leaders.  We have to work to define the kinks in the hose and then fight like hell to fix it.  And communicate the hell out of it all- BETTER MEETINGS.

RESPONSIBILITY NOT REWARD.

****

Getting better at Drexel isn’t easy.  But it’s totally worth it.  Better meetings and better emails will help EVERY individual at Drexel and EVERY customer.  I can’t wait to get started.  I LOVE HARD PARTS!  THAT’S THE GRIND BABY!

****

LASTLY, I AM TALKING TO YOU OVER ACHIEVERS THAT ARE ALREADY TAKING NOTES ON WHERE YOU PERSONALLY WENT WRONG AND HOW YOU WILL PERSONALLY FIX IT.  I HAVE A PLAN.  I WILL WORK WITH YOU ALL ON IT.  OUR MEETINGS WILL BE AWESOME.  IT’S MY MONKEY.  PLEASE WAIT FOR THE FIRST MOVE FROM ME BEFORE YOU GET STARTED!  DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME AND CONFUSE YOUR TEAM!  STAY WITH YOUR FORMATS FOR NOW!!!!

Facil,

Joel

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