I’m Old School Part 1: Back To Basics

Posted on May 16, 2018

Right Now with Mario Smith (LinkedIn/Twitter)

What I’m reading: For the past 2 days I’ve been heavily involved in reading the Jefferson County Background. I’ve been shadowing the County Manager, Don Davis
What I’m watching: I haven’t watched a show in a couple weeks due to my ‘finals week’ for 2 MBA classes; good times. I did, however – in the last 2 days – observe numerous professionals engage in candid, meaningful, dialogue for the collaborative development of Jefferson County.
What I’m listening to: I’m relaxing by listening to the traffic pass by the Beacon85 complex in Lakewood. However, I do recommend listening to African Prophet · Ola Melander

I’m Old School Part 1: Back To Basics

My first thoughts as I hear “I’m old school,” or, “I was brought up old school” is this will be very disappointing for me. I cringe in utter fear knowing we’ll be doing things the most inconvenient way because people can’t adjust to change; nor do they want to. Fight the urge to be comfortable and challenge the norm. Be the change and challenge your norm. When we become comfortable and stop challenging the norm we become complacent and our vision becomes distorted along with our goals. One way we can challenge ourselves is by evaluating what we’re currently doing, readjust, and get back to focusing on those visions and goals.
This week I had the opportunity to shadow Don Davis and experience the Jefferson County “A” Team day-to-day operations and influence. From planning to procedures, their focus is on a resilient organization that challenges the norm and embraces a collaborative development for meaningful change. For me, it was an eye opener that there are many ways to accomplish the mission; we must exploit all of them. Their meaningful dialogue pulled me in and begged me to ask myself; am I on track? Am I focused for change? Have I fallen into an old school mentality that shuts me down from change?

As with any adjustment, we must utilize different perspectives to have an all-inclusive view for the organization and ourselves. At times, we must perform a ‘restart’ to reform our perspective and put ourselves in check. Here’s a quick list of my recommendations for all of us to utilize when we begin to fall into the “This is what we’ve always done” dialogue. Get back to basics with these:

  1. Manage Goals – Focus on goals and the milestones during. Track your progress.
  1. Evaluate Your Environment – Cut out the distractions. Period.
  1. Know When Your Productivity Is At It’s Best – Understand when you’re productive the most, exploit it! Morning? Night?
  1. Focus On Now – If that task is write a paper, make some resume updates, prep for an interview; focus on that. Put the phone and games down.
  1. Think vs Doing – Integrate these so that they compliment each other, do you need 5 hours to “think “and 20 minutes to “Do?” Perhaps it’s the other way around? Regardless, know yourself.
  1. Your Future Impact – Evaluate your current work by asking, will this have an impact tomorrow? Will it have an impact in 1 or 5 years from now? If not, move on to something meaningful.

**These next 2 help us integrate our lives into the process of meaningful change.**

  1. Manage Downtime – Make time for your family, pets, and most importantly, yourself. If you can’t care for yourself, how will you care for family? They rely on you too.
  1. Everyday Is Not As Productive As The Next – We all try to be as productive as possible. Remember, baby steps are still moving forward.

These are merely beginning steps to check what you’re doing and start changing for the better. By challenging ourselves in the work place we help the organization succeed; we’re exploiting our most precious and invaluable asset; ourselves, the people.
For the record, I’m not old school; I was brought up with old school values.
Stay tuned for I’m Old School Part 2.

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