A Say “Alaka‘i” Flashback for #FridayFlash: The Vision

The Vision

“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 café 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 café 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.

For the second cup... by HAMED MASOUMI on Flickr
For the second cup... by HAMED MASOUMI on Flickr

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!

About #FridayFlash

I just learned about #FridayFlash late last night while doing my own Leading with Twitter, and these fictional characters popped into my head this morning as I took my daily run.

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.

Comments

  1. says

    Your characters are a realistic depiction of most of us…mismanaging our communication in one form or another. :)

    Welcome to #fridayflash!

  2. says

    Good, believable characters. I think most people are content to stay quiet and suffer through annoyances like those morning meetings. Glad you joined in on #fridayflash

  3. says

    I’ll take an extra shot… got anything stronger than espresso?

    I would never had spoken up either. I would just grit my teeth and take it in every day. I am lucky I work from home, and the other members of my conference calls can’t see the ridiculous faces I make… to keep it “interesting”
    :-)

    Hope to see you again on Fridays!
    ~2

  4. Rosa Say says

    Thank you so much Laura, Chris and 2mara for being my first #FridayFlash commenters! You are all so supportive and encouraging, and very generous in your welcome to the #FridayFlash community. I write a lot, including journaling, but fiction is a new, uncharted territory for me and I admit to having been nervous about this ”“ you have all been kind, but it’s clear I have much to learn! I can tell that learning more with all of you will be a pleasure; mahalo for sharing your aloha as you have.

    Still early morning for me, and coffee now in hand, so I’m now off to read all of your entries as well! This is going to be a wonderful new Saturday morning habit :-)

  5. says

    It is amazing how people don’t pick up on the non-verbal cues of their audiences. With a little bit of perception, Ally would realize there is trouble brewing in paradise. You capture the frustration of her workers very well.

    Welcome to #fridayflash. As you can tell, it sometimes takes me a while to make the rounds.
    ~jon

    • Rosa Say says

      Jon, I am so sorry for the late reply – for some reason your comment went to spam and I just read it now. I am honored to welcome you to Talking Story; you have given your leadership to such a fabulous community of authors with #FridayFlash.

      You may enjoy my next try at this, for I decided that Ally would be the protagonist of my story tomorrow!

  6. says

    Well structured story. Good use of dialogue too. You don’t need to be so nervous about your fiction judging by this story. A belated #fridayflash welcome from me.

    • Rosa Say says

      Thank you so much Dan! I greatly appreciate receiving your thoughts and feel so encouraged. And ‘belated” is perfectly fine and warmly welcomed; blogs are wonderful that way in continuing thought and conversations don’t you think? I too will be using #FridayFlash as a kind of RSS reader the rest of the week I know, for that Friday through Sunday timeframe can be a challenge to engage online with.

      Plus I tend to read and then return later when I feel I have a value-add comment versus an impulsive or gratuitous one. I did read your entry called “Impact” and I won’t spoil it for other readers here by sharing too much about it, but I will say that I so admired your brevity with the ability to still tell a fabulous story. I also noticed your generosity in sharing a full #FridayFlash index too; true community engagement! It is a true pleasure for me to meet you here at my place too, for so many reasons; mahalo nui loa.

Trackbacks

  1. The Manager #FridayFlash Fiction…

    The Manager
    How had she missed them?
    Ally could barely hide her surprise when Stacey and Diana joined the Huddle circle, both with those telltale coffee cups in hand. Warming for them perhaps, but seeing those unmistakable paper cups gave Ally an insta…