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Warren Shea

Archive for December, 2013

Reliability. Passion. Adaptability?

Monday, December 23rd, 2013 at 3:07 am

Thinking about my brother recently. I don’t think he reads my blog He recently stated he doesn’t read at all, other than for work. Whew.

We’re not alike. At all.

The only thing we have in common is a short fuse (as does our father) and a similar voice.
Physically, quite different. Intellectually, quite different. Hobbies, religious views, food palette, interest in news, the list goes on….all quite different.

I’m starting to realize that if there’s one thing he’s been particularly bad at – it’s adapt. He prefers calling a person to talk to them rather than text, email, facebook (which he doesn’t have). He constantly eats at the same places, not venturing for new adventures. He’s stubborn and always thinks he’s right – which are some of the worst traits for learning (and improving).

In a recent meeting with one of my senior leadership team, I discussed the idea of mentorship. There are traits that this senior leader has that I would like to learn/improve on. He was surprised by my initiative, stating that it’s quite important to be able to recognize one’s own faults – in order to improve them. /agree

And I realize – while I’m stubborn (I think this is a genetic trait /not really), I’m generally willing to hear ideas and admit I don’t have all the answers. In fact, my enormous doubt, doubt of my self, while personally not the best trait, does allow me the larger opportunity of a key ability – improvement. But while everyone can always improve, the second part of this is the willingness to do so. This probably cannot be learned, it’s gotta be inherent, or inspired. For me, I think it came from inspiration. From my friends and colleagues throughout the years. More so my professional colleagues as I’ve grown considerably professionally. I probably still have leaps and bounds to grow personally :/

Anyways, with the willingness to improve, AND the ability to do so, I feel I’ve been able to improve significantly over the last few years. For my closest professional colleagues, they often tell me that the me from 7 years ago is night and day to who I am now. That I’ve changed considerably. But this change did not come solely from improvement. This change also came from my ability to properly adapt to the situation presented.

I’ve often stated that Reliability is the one trait you need to succeed. Passion is the one trait you need to excel. I’m not completely sure if Adaptability falls into Reliability or not…but for the purposes of this post, I’ll assume not (otherwise, this post has no point!). But I think Adaptability is also one trait you also need to succeed.

I’m just in the midst of adjusting my most important rules for professional success “Reliability to succeed. Passion to excel.” and I really want to factor in Adaptability…
“Reliability and Adaptability to succeed. Passion to excel.”
“Reliability to succeed. Passion to excel. Adaptability to survive.” (cue Darwinism)
“Reliability to succeed. Passion to excel. Adaptability to endure.”
I don’t know (but I really like this last one).

Anyways, gonna give this more thought but feel free to leave a comment with your recommendation! :D


Sunday, December 22nd, 2013 at 3:07 am

I used to hate meetings. Like, more than anything about my job. Nothing but time wasted in my day in which I could/should be developing. And I felt this way for years. I didn’t realize when I was Developer Team Lead of projects that meetings were important. My teams were never that big and I guess I made my strategy all alone and told people to ‘do it’. That, or I left my responsibility to others. Delegation and all that.

It’s taken 6+ years to realize…frig, meetings are important. Sure, it’s less important to the executor, who just has to do what they’re being told. Mindless drones, we are (or that’s how we’re perceived). And there’s a lot of time to think when you’re developing – think of ways this could be done better, ways to complain. But on the flip side – I realize now that the project managers have it really tough. Sending people on frivolous tasks is detrimental in more ways than one. Not only is it a waste of time, but the executor will know it’s a waste of time. And then they start to question leadership. No, direction has to be carefully thought out. Strategy has to be carefully planned out.

Leadership is hard (and I’m not talking about my role). Leading anyone to do anything can be hard. And you’re only as successful as the people working with you, as well as yourself. A bad leader with an exceptional team will…well, I was gonna say fail but they’ll actually succeed. Just at the cost of the exceptional team (story of my life for 3+ years). A great leader and a bad team…I’m not sure what kinda results those will produce to be honest. But to have really great results, you gotta have a good leader and a good team. Or better yet, a great, or excellent, or outstanding leader/team for even better results. Oops – kinda went on a tangent there.

I just wanted to say…it’s taken me 7+ years and I realize the importance of meetings now. In my current role, I’m trying to have meetings all the time to learn and to grow. I often wonder, does my team think “WTF IS WITH ALL WARREN’S MEETINGS?!?!” as I would have definitely thought, 1+ years ago. Inexperienced Warren would be saying “it’s no wonder Warren has all these meetings, he doesn’t do anything anymore so he just fills his time with dumb meetings – and drags us along”. I do do stuff still (how dare you! :@).

It’s critical to plan appropriately. I’m very good with organization and planning (when I want to be) and I find that skill coming in handy more so now than ever. “Planning and organizing”, in the workplace, should better be defined as “Strategy”. Hm, maybe I’ll change that on my resume. “Exceptional planning and organizing of team resources;Great strategist and leader” or something like that.

Meetings are the first step to executing strategy. They’re critical. Have them often. Don’t have them if not necessary but book time for them (in case).

I am freaking exhausted.

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 at 12:13 am

It’s been brutal these last few weeks at work and being sick.

I have blog posts to write – just need a bit more time and maybe a second to relax.
So many initiatives started – am I taking too much on? Probably…yes. But in a good way. When I’m done, I’ll be that much better.

I’ve been craving to do something artistic lately. While having a fever last night (which, very surprisingly, didn’t turn into anything severe), I was laying in bed for hours thinking of art – want to draw or do something like that.

That’s it for now….just checking in I guess.

Stomach Bug

Friday, December 6th, 2013 at 9:44 am

As some of you know, I’ve been out with a stomach bug for the last…3.5 days (84 hours). In that time, I’ve eaten:
2 cookies (which I shouldn’t have)
9 Lychee Jellies (which I shouldn’t have)
1 bottle of Pedialyte / Gatorade
and litres of chicken broth and a few cups of vegetable soup.
That’s it! …for 3.5 days!

I’ve lost 5 pounds in water weight and I’m not really hungry…which is kinda cool I have to say :)

Other than my stomach being unsettled, I feel fine which is nice/a good thing.

I was hoping this would be a 24-hour bug but it’s taking WAY longer to deal with than I thought :(

Sucks cuz I haven’t gotten ‘sick’ since starting my new role (I’ve been paying more attention to how often I get sick) and while this isn’t the fever/cold/flu, it did knock me out of work a couple days. Seems like every year, I’m away from work for a week or two due to sickness. 3 years ago it was the flu (1 week) + pneumonia (1 week) I think.

Anyways, didn’t really wanna share for the “HEY EVERYONE I HAVE A STOMACH BUG” purposes, more for my own references.

Sigh…what I wouldn’t give to eat a steak or burger right about now….. :(