Monthly Archives: August 2014

I am a Simplifier

Recently, someone told me they were a “turnaround specialist”. I liked that he had a label that he could use to talk about what skills he brings to the table.

It is clear. It makes sense. It is a useful skill. You need that? He’s your guy.

But what am I?

I started out with longer phrases like, “I am good at untangling hairballs” and “I can take really ambiguous things and drive clarity”. Hmmm, not the same panache as “turnaround specialist”.

And then it hit me. Is there a term for being a Simplifier? I went to google and found a bunch of math stuff. Great, but I was an English Major in college–I don’t know what an “expressions simplifier” is or what one would do.

So I’ll ponder this one for a while–I may not be a turnaround specialist, but if you need a simplifier, I’m the guy!

Mic’d Up at Work?

I was watching the Little League World Series recently and for television purposes the coach of one of the teams was wearing a microphone.  Throughout the game, the coverage would capture his coaching in real time.  I found myself intrigued at what the coach was saying to his team.  In one instance, I assumed he was going to express frustration to his pitcher, whom he was taking out of the game after the opponent scored the go-ahead run.  The pitcher, tears in his eye, braced himself for the verbal thrashing.  But instead, the coach put his hand on the pitcher’s shoulder, offered support, and reminded the pitcher that his efforts had kept them in the game and he was now needed to go out there and play shortstop.

Sometimes leaders and coaches surprise us.  Normally those instances are reserved for just the audience who happens to be present, at that time, in that moment.  I’ve written before that these are very powerful connections, what I call leadership impressions, and the limited audience is blessed to be present, to glean that leadership impression from the leader. 

But why do the rest of us have to miss out?

As I reflected about the Little League example, I smiled when thinking about leaders at work being Mic’d up.  Then I realized that working out loud is the workplace equivalent, sans microphone.  A leader who shares, out in the open, his/her thoughts, insights, opinions, values and vulnerabilities is choosing to be Mic’d up at work.  Maybe you should try it!