31 January 2006

Tap dancing

At 0800 today I went to my usual Tu/Th/Sa projects meeting, but this one was different than every other meeting I've ever been to in my life: I was the guy sitting at the head of the table. This meeting has been held by a Major for at least the last 6 months and now it's mine. The attendants of the meeting are what make this interesting. Sitting along the sides of the table are 6 civillian contractors each with about 15-25 years experience doing their job and here I am, less than 2 years out of college and I'm their manager.

It took every ounce of focus to walk the line between letting them know that I was the decision maker and that I knew I was the new guy. I feel pretty confident that I did so. I got good eye contact from 5 of the 6, the 6th I don't think was avoiding me intentionally, in each meeting that I've seen him in, he's looking down.

I think I got things started off on a good foot. For as long as I've been the attendee at these meetings, I didn't really understand the necessity of having them on Saturday morning since we address the same stuff on Friday afternoon. Now that I'm sitting at the head of the table, I decided to cancel the Saturday meeting. Everyone seemed to be in favor of that.

Making that decision gave me the opportunity to address one of my other concerns, "That's how we've always done it." I let everyone know that if there's some policy or procedure that doesn't make sense or is done because that's the way it's always been done, let's review it to see if it can be done more efficiently or in a way that makes more sense or just do away with it altogether.

When I walked out of the meeting I stopped, took a breath, and went on to my next one.


Anonymous justin said...

i'm loving the stick figures man. gives me hope. in an odd sort of way.


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