😴 Kill the status meeting
👯 Hold one-on-one meetings sacred
📅 Every meeting must have a single owner
📋 Share the purpose of the meeting and agenda ahead of time
👑 Your calendar doesn’t make you important
☔️ Calendars shouldn’t postpone decisions
👥 Keep meetings small
💸 Consider the opportunity cost of every meeting
🌳 Treat other people’s calendars as a scare resource
🚨 Escalate, don’t 🔪undermine
⌛️ If the meeting is over, end the meeting
🔥 Declare calendar bankruptcy
Why do some people (not all), right before when they are leaving, suddenly become such fucking pains in the ass?
What’s even more bizarre is other people can acknowledge that shitty attitude as an obvious normal behaviour because they are leaving.
Man, XYZ’s work is so floppy. Plus his attitude has been bad.
Well, he’s leaving. He doesn’t care anymore.
Also, Friday used to be my favourite day. Not anymore now.
Anyways, here’s a picture of my CoffeeCeption #youSeeIt?
I was just about to make my coffee this morning when a colleague rushed over to make her coffee.
I gave way to her and she did a single shot. For some reason, she didn’t want it, or she might have explained it otherwise but it was too noisy down at the basement that I couldn’t get what she was trying to do.
She made another coffee and I said ‘alright I’ll take this single shot one’.
I frothed some milk and pour it in, kind of expecting the coffee would turn out to be bland and totally not drinkable. In fact, it was so pleasant. And nice.
Thinking about it, I have had double shot coffee for the whole one year. I had never thought of trying the single shot. And, I would not find out about the single shot if I didn’t take my colleague’s unwanted coffee today.
What else do I not know or try these days?
Arguably, there are many different things that make someone a good account manager. If there is just one thing that is most important, I think it’s being organized. This is something I learnt from Mechie – my boss at TYA, at my second year of suiting.
This is how she worked:
- Maintained a list of WIP projects that we ran through with internal teams and with clients weekly.
- Sent WIP emails to every clients on Monday with breakdown for their particular projects, including what has been done, what is next in line and what we need from client to proceed (highlighted in Red) – then follow up with a call if we need client’s answer urgently. This is a more detailed piece of communication, apart from the WIP list.
- Focused on getting all work done in the morning: she came really early to clear her emails, checked the projects’ progresses, briefed in new projects, set up and prepared for meetings, etc and etc. Because of this routine, we often worked in the office in the morning and had meetings at the client’s office in the afternoon and ended up drinking after meetings. Not everyday, but pretty much most of the time.
- Spent an hour after client briefing to break down the information into bullet points, categorizing them into groups. She’d then clarify her questions with the client, created the brief and briefed in the team.
- Mechie preferred talking to client and sent an email to follow up with a recap.
- No matter how the content of the email is about, her emails are always written with bullet points and a clear indication of what needs to be done and who is in charge.
These seem to be Account Management 101 straight from a textbook, but trust me it’s really not easy to stick with this basis day to day, especially when dealing with a such huge amount of work that as a result we have to take shortcuts.
Having said that, Mechie has many other qualities that I have learnt from. She is a role model and undoubtedly had such a huge influence on how I work today. Like one of my ex-colleagues often said to me “what will Mechie do in this situation?”.
Sometimes, I wonder if everyone has a Mechie of their own?
It’s almost a year now since I got myself and my stuff out of SIA / CCB.
Six months in CCB were those of hard work, extreme pressure, learnings, perseverance, a whirlwind of emotions and of course some precious friendships. No doubt it was the best 6 months I have ever had in my career. They said what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I think I got a tad tougher walking out of the complex.
I haven’t blogged that much recently, compared to a few months back.
The main reason is perhaps due to the increasing workload after the fellow producer left his position. For two months – also the peak period, I was doing 2.5 people’s work – really busy at day, too tired at night. Good thing is a new producer has come and so the workload has become much more manageable.
Then, we were busy house-hunting.
Then, I took the plunge to sign up for a Master’s degree. The programme coordinator confirmed my place at 9PM on Friday and the first class started the following Monday.
Once in a while I read about someone else writing about their personal happening, I’m urged to do the same.
I have only noticed today that WordPress has just revamped their landing page. Absolutely fabulous.
If there’s something that itches me for ages about websites in general, it’s about how site owners typically expect users to do some multiple things when users land on the landing page. Some have too many call-to-actions, while others don’t have one at all.
I wish all site owners could just button down to one single individual thing that they want most of their users to do when the users land on the site.
Think of Google Search, clean, neat, simple and straight to the point. Plenty of white space, yet not flooded with umpteen of irrelevant ads.
Google Search is my single-mindedly most favourite site of all time. But I’m glad to see more sites picking up this practice.
It looks like not a lot of people can really let it go with blank white spaces. But one step at a time, they just need to figure out a focus first.
My colleague had to compare 2 excel sheets yesterday and she asked me to help her cross check the work. She was basically okay with everything but she needed a second eye to confirm all was in order.
So I did. And it was all good.
But. Then I thought about it. If my colleague has found everything is good and she’s got another ‘good’ from me, how can she be sure I have done my due diligence to go through everything or my check is thorough enough?
I mean, she can trust me that I have done my job but again how can she be sure?
So I think what it would help is she should have left a crack before passing the work to me. If I had spotted that crack, it was an indication that my check was thorough or at least the check had been somewhat done right? If I hadn’t spotted the crack at all, chances were my check was flawed and she should run through a third person or something.
Perhaps, I’m being really paranoid by the nature of my job which involves a lot of testing and checking on a daily basis. I will have to experience this tip of mine when I have a chance too and see if this really helps. 🙂
After hanging out for lunch with my colleague today, we decided to grab some coffee. I ordered Mocha and my colleague took Flat White.
After the staff handed the coffee to us, I paid and was just waiting for the receipt, the staff hesitated:
– Hmmm, just so you know, I made it a little stronger yea?!
I was like:
– Alright, cool, no probs.
My colleague looked at me, concerned:
– Did we look so stressed?
This must be my 2nd most favourite TED video. (The most favourite talk ever is by Dan Gilbert: why we make bad decisions.)
Listening to this talk is like sipping on the most delicious clam chowder while I’m close to die of starving. It feeds my soul and relieves the itch of struggling with optimizing my time while working on something.
On a serious note, I can’t agree more with Jason that M&M is the biggest involuntary distraction that every employees are facing at work. And I’m not saying this based on merely my personal experience. I have heard the same sentiment from my friends, from my ex-colleagues, from our work partners, from my clients, on Facebook, on Twitter … just about everyone, from everywhere. Not sure if managers hear all these noises though?! To sum up, I just hope all managers understand that the reason employees go to office is to work. Think about the amount you pay employees to actually do the work, I’m pretty sure all managers would want to maximize that amount and see it translate to actual work. So just let your employees focus on work. Don’t bug them so frequently, even if it means you are just making sure they are really working.
I would end this post with a disclaimer which is a variation of Henry Ford’s “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”: Whether you think I mean what I mean, or you think I don’t – you are right.