Maybe you’re just not meant to make a difference.

You haven’t been trained on that. You don’t have enough direction. People won’t cooperate long enough to make things happen at your company. There isn’t a process for this. Tell me how I prioritize this against the 100 other things I’m doing. That’s not how things are done around here.

Maybe you just aren’t meant to make a difference. Maybe you’re just being paid to measure stuff and produce reports. Maybe.

But maybe you’ve been hired because the company needs someone to stir the pot. They need someone to shine a light that finally unseats the loudmouths who make all of the decisions based on gut feel and steamroll their colleagues. Maybe you have talents that can help your company wake the hell up, unfreeze the crippling processes that have been put into place, rethink how they market and react. Maybe that, instead.

In the real world, there are obstacles. There are stubborn people. There is a lack of direction and leadership. Get over it. You aren’t writing term papers with word limits and assigned reading any more. The grade you get is subjective. That’s life.

As analysts, we are the last people on earth who need “direction” from some internal T-Rex with an agenda. We let the customer do the guiding, not the boss. Learn from what you observe. Craft a plan to put what you learn to action. Make your business react. Don’t let them call you a measurer. Make them call you a leader.

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  1. Evan, This reminds me of my senior year in high school. I was in Jazz band and I played guitar. For our senior year we went on a trip where we played our weird jazz infused classical tunes that our 90 year old instructor made us play in front of hundreds of people. Everyone glued to their sheet music and just hoping they didn’t play a single note out of tune. Mr. Rodgers, yea cardigan and all, didn’t have an ear for bad music but he could pick a single misplayed note out of a band of 50!

    Geesh. I was really sick of this terrible music. He thought he was hip because he let us play “Walk this Way” You know how bad that sounds in a Jazz band?

    So while we were on our trip, yea I’m getting to the point, I asked some of my band members to meet me in the gym after hours so we could “practice”. The idea for me was to actually get a few guys together and PLAY SOMETHING. Shit man, most of us had been playing our instruments since grade school and we’re still being led around by this band leader stuck in 1938!

    So, we met in the gym and I just told the guys. Lets jam something out in the key of G. Evan, you could’t have believed the look on their face. They’d never really just played. They’d never gone with their gut feeling. They’d never felt the music and let it take them somewhere. It was really sad for me. After a bit of coaxing and an hour or so of them trying to fit in riffs from pieces they’d memorized we started to sound like something. Had I been given until the next morning with these guys we may have never gone back to Mr. Rogers school of Jazz.

    So, I think the point is that certainly the world doesn’t revolve around standardized processes. Throw out the sheet music for a bit and pull out a blank sheet. See what happens. Focus on the end result and create music with new innovative methodologies. Serve, delight and enjoy.


    Posted June 29, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink
  2. Good post and awesome opinions. I agree with you. Customers are the directions. You need to know what they think and what they do and make you strategies.

    Posted July 7, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink