Project Gratitude – Spot On

Project Gratitude – Spot On

At the core of Gil 2.0 – the post-divorce, get life back on track Gil that emerged in 2006 – is music. Specifically, live music. There is something uniquely special about being at a concert, especially if you share that experience with those you love.

But when I can’t be in the audience, I love to put on a good song and let it take me to a particular place and time in my life. This evening, as I was driving home from dropping my son off at his Parkour class, I had a craving for nostalgia. I opened my Spotify app, looked up U2, and listened to the song ‘One‘ as I drove home. It was an escape.

Music on demand is amazing technology, and today I am grateful for my Spotify (and other music listening apps I frequent). To be able to think of a song you want to listen to and then easily listen to it is quite awesome.

Spotify

I am also thankful for the time I got to spend with Daniel before his class. We normally don’t spend much time together throughout the week, so being able to hang out with him and take him on in a game of FIFA on the PlayStation was a lot of fun. He played as Argentina and I played as Mexico. The games ended in a 2-2 draw.

FIFA 16

Once I got home, Lee and I lounged as we caught up on some of the TV shows on our DVR (I think we all should be thankful every day for DVR’s!). And even though the magic of the DVR is that you can skip through the commercials, there is this one commercial for Hulu with a very catchy song, and I had been trying for some time to figure out what song is used in the ad. I paused the commercial, grabbed my phone, and launched the ‘Sound Search’ app by Google. Turns out the tune is ‘Dust My Shoulders Off’ by Jane Zhang. Today I am grateful for the technology that bring such simple joy to my life, and for what is, perhaps, my new favorite song.

That Was Easy

I had a conversation with my boss today. It revolved around impending budget cuts and how we need to ensure we’re showing, with quantifiable metrics, the value we provide to our organization. I’m in project management, so outside of metrics like completion dates or project budget, a lot of the value I provide is in making the jobs of others involved a little bit easier. I take ownership of administriva tasks. This document needs to be completed. That form needs to be submitted. Etcetera, etcetera.

As much as I can’t stand the over-use/misuse of the word in today’s workplace lexicon, my role is really one of collaboration. I team and partner with my peers to ensure projects are successfully implemented. I work with developers, program managers, architects, system administrators. In many ways, I am the common thread in the mosaic of what can be a cumbersome process.

Like most other corporate IT settings, our environment is fast-paced. We’re often acting on the knee-jerk reactions of upper management. We’re often asked to do more with less. We’re given new responsibilities and no additional resources. Executives call for new strategic initiatives, all the while forgetting we’re still struggling to implement the new initiatives they gave us last year. In the end, I can’t point to a number to show the value I provide. I can’t compare one project to the next in terms of, “Well, I had 47% less emails for this effort than the other one.” I guess there is some objective measure that can be used, but nothing that currently exists today.

The measure I use – informally – are the email and instant messages I receive from my peers. The notes of, “Thank you” or “I appreciate you taking care of this item for me” or “Your team makes it so much easier for us.” Responses like these make my workdays tolerable, and to a certain extent provide the only real satisfaction I get from what it is I do for a living.

In my faith journey, I’ve always struggled with the concept of ministry in the workplace. How can I be a reflection of Christ’s love at work? With as much stress and nonsense that we have to deal with – not to mention some of the most utterly clueless individuals I’ve ever known – I think it comes down to a quote one of my peers uses in his email footer: Be kinder than necessary.

If left to my own devices, I could be the king of sarcasm and the sultan of snark. I’ve read way too many flaming emails, and I’m guilty of having composed a few of my own. Yet nothing is really accomplished by putting someone down or ripping them a new one (especially when done with an audience (think Reply All)). Instead, I try to be the guy that asks for assistance and not mandates deliverables. I try to thank people individually for their contributions. I like being light-hearted and jovial on conference calls given I feel people are more effective at work when they have a smile on their face.

Be kinder than necessary. It really is that easy.

 

Be Kinder Than Necessary

 

 

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As an aside, I struggled to confirm the exact source of the quote, “Be kinder than necessary.” In researching the quote, I came across this explanation by blogger David Perkins. It’s seems to make the most sense given the many differing attributions found when doing a Google search on the quote. In a little twist of fate, I stumbled across the website be-kinder.com when looking for an image to use for my post. What did I find there? Only a picture of my boss’s, boss’s, boss’s, boss’s, boss’s, boss holding bumper sticker that reads Be Kinder Than Necessary. Oh the irony.
 
 
 
be-kinder.com
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam

Democracy 2.0

Lee and I love being geeks together, and part of that mutual geekdom leads us to get involved in events like Democracy 2.0, a panel discussion featuring representatives from Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp. The event is being hosted by Social Media Club Tampa Bay, a group of which Lee and I are members.

To add to the awesome geekiness, here is some pre-event coverage we received thanks to Jeremy Campbell and our friends at Fox 13 News in Tampa.

If you’re in Tampa on Saturday, August 25 and can make it to the event, we’d love to have you join us.

018/365 What’s SOPA With You

With so many websites going ‘dark’ today to protest the SOPA and Protect IP legislation under review in the House of Representatives and Senate, respectively, I decided to try and go my part to spread the word to stop these bills.

The image below is of a full page advertisement placed in the New York Times and produced in concert by various companies from Silicon Valley. In addition, I’ve included other links that explain and outline the issues with SOPA and Protect IP.

If you interested in keeping the Internet an open and uncensored environment, please take a moment to contact your legislators and have your voice heard.

For additional information, visit:
http://bit.ly/SOPA_Tech
http://bit.ly/NO_Censor
http://bit.ly/STOP_IBL >> Contact your legislators here.
http://wapo.st/SOPA_WP