“If she starts on us about Vision in today’s huddle again I swear I’m gonna puke.”
“Yeah, me too. Jeez, what’s the hold-up up there?”
Stacey and Diana tried to be patient as they waited their turn to order in the Starbucks line, but they were cutting it too close to starting time as it was, and they needed another scapegoat to direct their irritation toward. Their manager Ally was a convenient target.
They had office hours, and so the workday always started with a stand-up huddle. Just 15 minutes to dish about the workday to come and get everyone in the mood; to corral their energies and light a fire here or there. Anyone could strike that match, and so huddle was usually something they both looked forward to, each cradling their grande cafÃ© lattes and not hesitating to jump into the conversation without much prompting at all.
But in the last week everyone was quiet, Stacey and Diana included, and Ally did most of the talking. She was using the time to explain about a new corporate Vision Statement handed down from the powers that be, and everyone just wasn’t having it. Ally probably felt their daily huddle was a good time to ease into the corporate-speak, breaking it down bit by bit, and in her single-minded focus with it she missed seeing that everyone else was way less than enthusiastic.
“You know, I hate to admit this, for it makes me sound like a company girl groupie of some kind, but I feel like we’ve been robbed ”“ isn’t huddle supposed to be for all of us? We can’t get a word in edgewise lately.”
“Yeah, Ally doesn’t seem to notice she’s been grandstanding and taking up all the time on this Vision thing. I get that it’s important, but it woulda been much better if she hauled us into one of those 2-hour afternoon meetings and just dispensed with all of it in one fell swoop.”
“That’s funny when you think about it. Imagine us wanting to have another meeting.”
Commiseration can be useful sometimes, for they’d reached the front of the line.
“Hey, good morning. Yep, grande cafÃ© latte for each of us, as usual. You know what, give me an extra shot today.”
“Yeah, sounds good. Make mine a triple too.”
Vision was requiring an awful lot of caffeine.
A few Talking Story questions to think about:
And we can talk story about it if you care to.
If you were a character in this short story, who would you be?
If you were Stacey or Diana, would you continue to wait out the Vision creep in huddle, or would you speak up and suggest the meeting?
Why do you suppose they haven’t spoke up if this is bugging them so much?
If you were coaching Ally, what advice would you give her?
How can a Vision handed down from a corporate office be more engaging and attractive to people who have not co-authored it?
Let’s talk story!
I was still thinking about my posting yesterday too: The Leadership/Management Partnership Toward Vision, and about all that you, as a manager, may have to do just so you can lay the groundwork for what I suggest within your managing and leading strategies.
Know this: It IS all manageable, and I DO believe you can do it!
When I think of all the Allys, Staceys and Dianas out there who may be struggling in the workplace, my own faulty messing around outside my comfort zone (with writing a short fictional story as my first #FridayFlash attempt) is completely worth it. Believe it or not, I haven’t even had my coffee yet!
If this is your first time to Talking Story in following the Twitter #FridayFlash hashtag WELCOME, and thank you so much for clicking in! A quick look at this page will tell you about the Say “Alaka‘i” connection: I am a non-fiction author who writes on values, managing and leading, for I believe managers matter. Alaka‘i is the Hawaiian value of leadership in my book, Managing with Aloha.
When I read J. M. Strother’s write-up about #FridayFlash I loved the thought of how fiction could help make our efforts to manage better get illustrated in short connective stories managers could relate to, and think more deeply about. Stories have such an amazing way of making academic theory and biz-speak concepts come alive so they are truly relevant. To those of you who are the master of the short story, I look forward to learning more from you, and plan on doing my commenting for the #FridayFlash community over the coming weekend. Until then, mahalo nui loa, thank you so much for your visit here.