Easier Done Than Said

Bill Taylor over at the Harvard Business Review gives it as his opinion that “There’s nothing more boring than when bloggers write about their own experiences as a way to make a broader point about life, work, or society.” How embarrassing. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

This week I have the opportunity to do something I don’t often get a chance to do, though: I get to share a success story about doing the difficult thing.

Even the most self-directed person starts to lose steam after a few weeks if they don’t have ultimate decision-making authority and project approvals are lacking, and this is what was happening to me. Each day of the week prior I expected to get the answers I needed, and each day I knew I should really pick up the phone and ask for them, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

It is at all times extremely difficult for me to ask for help. Compounding the problem in this case was that my answers were sitting in Germany. By the time I got in and got settled each morning I would think, “If they’re still working, they shouldn’t be, and if they aren’t, I don’t want to drag them back into it…” I realize that this is a completely silly way to feel in the business world these days. It’s not the 1950s. Heck, if everybody felt the way I do about it, the entire American economy would go into seizures overnight.

Finally, I worked up my courage and realized the only thing to do was to present myself at the office 45 minutes early Wednesday and pick up the phone as soon as the computer was on. Long story short: I got 40 minutes all to myself, got answers not only to the immediate project issues but the first few items on my list of strategic questions, and had an inspired rest of the week. And I won’t be so intimidated by it next time – not least because I realized their plan for the workday went on at least another hour after we got off the phone! All that needless worrying, Georg…

And that’s it. That’s the story. Because after all, if there’s one thing more boring than bloggers writing about their own experiences, it’s bloggers bragging about their own success.

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