My favorite techie, "J" told me this today. Absurd, right?!
A little context first. One of our client teams is upset with me because I recommended a radically different approach. In preparation for a difficult meeting, I reached out to J...
I wanted to playfully slap J. He insisted it was a compliment.
I hired J straight out of college when he was waving his freshly minted computer science degree. J is from a small town in rural Virginia. We relocated him to Chicago. Between adjusting to the demanding responsibilities of a consultant, building a client presence, coping with the hustle and bustle of Chicago, he learned fast. He went on to make that first project a smashing success.
In the years since, he met his wife, married, moved to New Jersey, had twins and landed in Atlanta. He went on to start his own company and we continue to collaborate. J is now at the top of his game, able to handle seriously complex problems in record time and with accuracy. He doesn't believe in rework and nails it on the first go.
I reach out to him often to brainstorm on concepts, technology, clients, and life. When one of us wants to throw in the towel the other prevents it. When the client expressed dissatisfaction, I naturally leaned on J to provide perspective and perhaps some comfort.
Instead, he offered "mold"!
The reality is, he knew exactly how to draw me out of my funk - with a clever analogy to dissipate the anxiety and remind us that "stick-to-it-ness" is the underpinning of success.
He could have said "honey" but I got the point.
Let me be mold - the good kind that helps Brie and Camembert taste delish! Bring it on client team, we will figure out a way to move forward.