I really hadn’t intended to land in Ops, and frankly thought my “career” was over. Pretty much everyone wanted the NeXT team to fail… hold their breath, and this will pass like other “brands of the month” that most organizations see happen. What they didn’t know is I had already figured out my career was over, at Fannie at least. The only person they disliked more than us was the guy that hired me. Because of that, I was never going to make VP, a goal I thought I wanted. And I couldn’t leave, Promising to hold still after having moved the family 4 times in 3 years. So…you want us to make it work? I know how to do that, and I’ve played with much better players of this game, so here we go…
… the biggest shift was not being Tigger – unbounded energy, crashing through barriers, and just outhustling others, my normal role on teams. While I could do that, the team actually already had at least one of those. Looking around that table the first day with them I realized – “I am Christopher Robin”…as in:
“Christopher Robin is usually the voice of reason and the character who can be relied on to get the animals out of the predicaments they get themselves into.“ it was a forward path that I had really never thought about. Sure I can fake being a father while the kids are little, but could I actually be the calm adult, or here the calm and present leader? This season would prove both out, and help me know if this approach/role is one even to pursue…
Ego and confidence are interesting partners for Bands and Teams. You have to confidence to push through the barriers that present themselves, and enough humbleness to pull in supporters to sustain the Promise. Scott Avett says it like this “Every album and every recording we’ve made from day one, even before the Avett Brothers when we’d record things on cassette tapes and 8-track, for us they were this explosive new thing that was going to open the world’s eyes to us.
“… we’d dream that this would be the thing that changed everything for us. The funny thing about that was that in hindsight we’ve always felt successful to ourselves, so we’ve never had to have that conventional appropriated reward of “Hey, you’ve made it.” We went into it feeling that we were already stars, which we were not, and we also felt the need to make (something).”
Think about this… NeXT was founded out of ultimate failure and embarrassment. Jobs had been FIRED by HIS company by the guy HE hired… and still stinging, went out and did this. Sure, there were issues, but you want to bet on a comeback? Well – that type of bloody nose I have seen before, and I Promise you it breeds a fire that doesn’t go out. Ever. And his magnetism was palpable, and he knew how to attract the supporters he would need (see above…) and that merry Band was now seated at the table with me. For varying reasons, they had been drawn into his technology, and were now looking for the Promise of management that “got them.”
I did. Really it was that easy, and while “empower” would not become my brand for another 15 years, that was all I did. Each had a “bloody nose” of their own: I found some bandages, dusted them off, and smiled. They asked me to deal with the people above them, and they would handle the rest. Sure. Those guys were amateurs….
Simple… not easy. You get tired of me saying that, but in your world, there are similar people around you if you’re lucky… and I don’t believe in luck. You help those people become successful by getting out of their way, and encouraging them to be the Promise you see in them. Another Avett line “I wish you’d see yourself as beautiful as I see you, Why can’t you see yourself as beautiful as I see you?
Steve did that, and you are likely reading this on a device that he dreamed up while he was licking his wounds. Scott and Seth say it like this… “I have some “friends” they don’t know who I am, So I write quotations around friends, But I have a couple that have always been there for me.” Because what brought me here was… All My Mistakes.