This Week In Business

Jul 26 2006

Staying offline for a whole week at a time proved inefficient. I would want to research an actor or a story, and by the time Saturday rolled around the originating need was overtaken by events. So, okay, I’ll come online twice a week.

And what a week it’s been. I’m in a team of three, all of whom do roughly the same thing but on different programs. One of my teammates is on vacation this week, so I’m servicing all of her programs, as well as my own. I’ve been responding to build requests almost non-stop from nine to five every day.

But it’s been fine. Tuesday was worst; I felt most harried that day. But I’m used to it now, and the week’s more than half over, so I’m calm. In fact, today I was downright cheerful as folks stopped by my desk.

I’ve realized that I don’t handle pressure very well. I’m okay at it, but high-pressure situations make me excitable, irritated, and generally unhappy. This is important to know (so says Peter Drucker, who writes about the value of knowing your strengths).

Yeah, I’ve been reading Drucker. If you don’t know, Peter Drucker’s a management guru who’s been writing since World War II. I’ve never read him before, but have frequently heard the advice, “If you only read two people about business, read Tom Peters and Peter Drucker.” Well, I’ve read Tom Peters (his Brand You 50! never leaves my side at work), and I recently bought The Essential Drucker from ALibris.

Drucker has a refreshingly straightforward writing style. He writes about fundamentals (at least, he does in this book, which I suppose is not surprising). What’s essential to at least lowering the odds of failure in business? Concrete plans for addressing specific customer desires. No vague “We provide top-tier value to our clients” business models. What are you going to do today? This week? How will that help your customers? What impact will that have on the world at large?

It reminds me of a sign my manager had on top of his computer monitor, so he had to stare at it multiple times per day. It was a silver plaque that read:

T H I N K!

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