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Fight or Flight: Your Involuntary Response to Work

Fight or flight? That’s the question I pose to you and one that you should ask yourself. Especially in business! For the most part, in my experience, “businessmen” have a cool detachment from their work. We try not to get over emotional and always think things through, or so I thought.

I have recently experienced a flight response from a past team member I worked with. They were given an assignment which may have been a bit over their head, but instead of facing the challenge head on or doing what they could, they have chosen to drop the project all together.

So I have tried to figure out why that response. Let’s look at several factors of motivation:
1) Money? There was significant compensation.

2) Time? Maybe.

3) Resources? They had the tools they needed: software, hardware, etc.

4) Know-how/skill set? This is where I believe the response stemmed from.

People have a tendency to protect themselves when they aren’t confident in their abilities. Instead of stepping into a visible project and dealing with the discomfort, we hide. No amount of money could make us step into that zone of notoriety.

In my particular field, we work in teams. If you have the opportunity to take the ball, then I say take it and go as far as you can while remaining transparent and candid.
In that way the team benefits from your forward progress.

What factors or situations have you encountered that have given way to a flight response in business? For yourself? Maybe, a team mate?

Meetings: Productive or Outdated Business Tools?

Someone posed a question on LinkedIn about the relevance and significance of holding meetings.  He sent me an e-mail letting me know that he really liked my answer, so I wanted to share with anyone who happens to read my blog.  (see original question and my answer below)

Question Details:
Meetings… Do they add value? Or are they simply a waste of time, money and resources?

If you have read books like ‘4 hour workweek’ or ‘rework’, you will find authors claim that meetings are not the best use of time. That the time is spent for people to simply “feel good about themselves” and that “rarely do things get done”. Do you think meetings are relevant? If so, under what circumstances?

Bonus Question:

‘4 hour workweek’ goes as far as saying that a combination of very focussed communication and aim on getting things done should be high priority. That you should rarely have meetings, avoid using the phone, and only use email. That you should eventually keep minimizing your email communication to once a week. What do you think of such business measures?

My Response:

Meetings are absolutely relevant. Just not in the traditional sense. There is no need to always schedule a boardroom with your standard AV package, pass out an agenda, and go line by line through the agenda. You can change the environment or even the meeting style.

As a Project Manager, the meetings I hold are to communicate 2 things:
1. If anything has changed within the scope, schedule, or budget.
2. To announce new projects and delegate tasks.
All other communication can be had through a quick e-mail or phone call.

So how do I add value to my meetings?
1. A clear objective is established and agreed upon by everyone.
2. Task assignments are explained and SCHEDULED.
3. Each member is either assigned or takes responsibility for each task listed.
4. We make each other accountable for the task we are responsible for and the date that it is due.

Though simplified to keep this answer short, this process keeps activities from falling by the wayside, it charges and excites the team because they feel responsible, accountable, and are given autonomy over completion of a piece of the project, and the meeting points are scheduled, so there is no confusion on what the next steps are and when they need to be accomplished.

This makes a meeting valuable and reduces the amount of time, money, and resources that are wasted when teams are on different pages, when no one is made accountable for the completion of a task, or when there is no sense of urgency or ownership because there is no defined due date.

So how do you feel about meetings? what have/can you do to improve the effectiveness of the ones your have? or should businesses get rid of them all together?

Share your thoughts in your comments below!

Yeah, You’re Grindin’..(tell me something I haven’t heard before)

Planning to work is not the same as working. I won’t even give it recognition these days.

The old saying still rings true (If you fail to plan, you plan to fail) but too many people are missing the message. The message the author left out, this idea the author assumed you would get is:

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail [but it doesn’t matter if you aren’t actually EXECUTING the plan in the first place].

How do you know if you’re on the grind?

Here’s a simple equation to help you:

Plan it + Schedule it + Execute it + Ship it = The Grind ; Anything Less Is Just Talk.


“It is the moment of our decisions that our destinies are created”
Anthony Robbins