All posts by g smith

Diversity Pays Off

The Center for Talent Innovation found that companies with diverse employees are 70 percent more likely to report new or improved market share than companies with nondiverse employee populations. A study by Ronald Burt, a professor at University of Chicago, concluded that any diverse group will surface better, more effective ideas than a group of more homogeneous “top talent.”
found @ s+b How to Unlock the Potential of Diverse Teams

 

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My Big Fat Fabulous Life

Since The Flash wasn’t on, I went hunting for something to watch (DC Legends of Tomorrow which was in Barry and Iris’ time slot wasn’t going to work). So I begin slow scrolling threw xfinity and decide on  “My Big Fat Fabulous Life.”

I’m not a big reality tv watcher but hey, I figure the Universe was trying to tell me something after my “I Am a Fat Pig” post.

[For the record, being a bitch to “Fat Pig” has not been working. I am eating fried samosas and an egg roll. The samosa is spicy and good…even if it isn’t homemade]

This TLC show features Whitney Thore who apparently did a series of “fat girl” dancing videos. I’m watching the belly dancing show. Of course they had to up things up to crazy level by having her balance a sword on her head while belly dancing.

Whitney is pretty good (overall…time will tell how the sword thing works out).

whitney-thore belly dancingjpg.jpg

Then again, she says she’s been dancing her entire life. She’s also charming and pretty.

And has cool ink…

Update: turns out she loses his skirt. Right in front of her parents. On an up note, the sword solo goes very well. Her parents were very supportive. Well the edits showed them being supportive.

What’s Better? Being an Individual Contributor or Manager. Producer or Performer?

A long time ago, I decided to just be an individual contributor. Truth be told, it was pretty much a decision by default.

As a result of what all those 16P and Myers Briggs tests told me about myself combined with a honest tete-a-tete with an executive outplacement counselor once upon a time.

Before that conversation, I had never heard of the term “individual contributor.”

But I did know what managers did. That’s because early on I had a job being one of those (of people). I also remembered that I sucked at it (though I was in denial at the time).

In the company that availed me of those outplacement services, I was mostly a “manager of things.” My job was developing marketing promotions. I was judged on one main metric: my projects coming “in on time and within budget.”

I also worked solidly with the seven member sales team. But since they didn’t directly report to me, any managerial tasks I performed were seen as tangential to my real job.As an aside, I enjoyed the interaction with the sales team but I was also a hard a**.

It’s the “T” in INTP, my Myers-Briggs type.

As a general rule, I don’t like managing people and being accountable for their often inane behaviors.  Even though truth be told, I’m not exempt from behaving inanely at times myself.

As a manager, you are supposed to get results through others and not grab projects or ride colleagues nor direct reports like white on rice when they aren’t producing the results you’re being held accountable for. However, I do love ” managing” when I am working with high functioning, self-directed people or teams.

Okay… who doesn’t love that.

Anyhoo after that conversation along with a hard self-assessment to decide whether I would ever succeed on a managerial track, I opted for finding individual contributor positions.

Which as a marketing-sales-intrapreneur type that insisted on staying in and around education and publishing…and in the Midwest mind you, NOT a publishing mecca like New York…looking through the rear view mirror that wasn’t the smartest career move.

Because I took what are on paper little more than entry-level positions, which acted to peg and box me in. I thought that my strength at figuring out “Here’s what we need to do to capitalize on the trends, beat off the competitors and make some money” ideas and plans that I developed in those positions would be enough to break those boxes and take me on up to a big office on the East Side (read: higher, better paying positions).

I was wrong.

Now on the plus side, I got an insider’s view of every major player in the education-publisher value chain. I understand the value drivers, business models, and can plan out strategy.

These are things I do intuitively.  It’s what’s used to be known as “a calling” or doing what you love even when the money DOESN’T follow.

Despite those times when people at my company look at me like I have two heads because they can’t fathom why I am bringing up such stuff when my job title says I am a X (not a manager nor in this case even part of my individual contributor job duties).

It do these things because I am a producer type.

While my actual job is really about being a performer.

This is the conclusion I come to, anyway, after reading this article on strategy + business that asks whether you are a producer or a performer.

Which also helps me see why so many people in so many companies I’ve worked for look at me like I have two heads. Otherwise known as “you be crazy” as Penelope Trunk explains about how most people look at us INTPs.

Some people are predisposed to being producers: They are skilled at conceiving new ideas and bringing them to market. Others are consummate performers: They know how to optimize the known systems and products of an organization, and how to make the most of existing practices.

from the s+b article: Are You a Producer or Performer?

Of course that doesn’t mean that people won’t look at you like you have two heads anyway…

 

 

 

I Am a Fat Pig

You probably have seen them too.  Comments on Facebook posts or Instagram or Twttter admonishing overweight people  to stop loving their size and step away from the fork. Seeing how I thought about calling myself “Chunky Diva” as my Twitter handle, I have not been on the side of the fat shaming twits but have jumped right into the fray with comments intended to “comment shame the fat shaming p****” and get him (or her) to back away from the keyboard.

I’m been small but mostly NOT ever since ninth grade when I got fed up with ugly comments about being “too skinny” as in “No one but a dog loves a bone.” Where I came from and the time I grew up in, even young dudes desired “Baby Got Back.”

I was 5″10″ and under 115 pounds in sixth grade.

A stick.

So I started eating to put on weight. Even when my ma’s best friend–a good looking women of ample size–finger wagged that “You better stop eating or you’ll regret it.”

Cuz all I wanted to do was make it stop.

The hateful comments and public shunning by boys I had major crushed on.

And it worked.

Of course the girls still hated me (because I was smart). And the boys I loved still didn’t ask me out (though they did ask me to tutor them in math).

But I was “filling out.” Getting some decent-sized boobs no longer pancakes…if not “Back”…because in that department all I got was some fat- flat-a**  genes from someone in my lineage.

By senior year, I was on a DIET.

Drinking Fresca and something I forget for lunch, no breakfast and making dinner of  a plain hamburger with a fried egg  on top (an idea I got from a precursor diet to Atkins, South Beach etc).

I even ate these amphetamine-laced candies to stop my appetite. Which didn’t do that as much as give me a racing heart and hypochondriac fueled visions of a heart attack before age 25.

Like many people, women especially, spending much of my adult life in the state of yo-yo…as in yo yo dieting. I could always take it off, but sooner or later, the weight like the Cat, Came Back.

In recent years, I’ve made half-a** attempts to lose weight and get healthy and fit…to look and feel great like my best of times (which lasted about 10 years).

But mostly I stopped working my “healthy eating” like a job or obsession. And I pretty much gave up beating myself up for my lack of stick-to-it-ness.

But today I ran across a book titled “Never Binge Again: Reprogram Yourself to Think Like a Permanently Thin Person.”

The author, a formerly obese, (former?) psychologist, who went on to apparently form a multi-million bucks food consulting company says the secret is to acknowledge that I have a PIG living inside me.

And until I shun the PIG who is trying to keep me fat and miserable because she lives for those moments of pleasure overeating gives HER, I’ll never get thin. And keep it off.

Since I am a junkie for reframing and “reprogramming my brain” which is essentially building new neural networks that are stronger than the old ones doing me little good, I downloaded the Kindle version. Oh and because it is FREE.

[Yeah as in costs $0. Not because dude is altruistic but because he sells a coaching program that’s $400 a year (or $1000 for the platinum version). Which I think is a pretty good business model.]

So I am a PIG.

Which I have to believe (even though it is really a mental construct) if I want this to work. Which means I gotta fat-shame myself. Which is really shaming the PIG inside of me that cares far more about those white chocolate pistachio cookies in the kitchen than she cares about me and my health.

Reminding myself of such truths as “THE PIG” doesn’t care about my total well-being because those cookies suck! And if she was to check in with rational brain and my stomach, both would tell her that I’m not even hungry. In fact, I’m still full from dinner (and all those other unnecessary calories she had me eat earlier).

So I’m going to at least read the book. And shut THE PIG down!

 

 

 

 

 

Archie and Veronica Before Riverdale

riverdalepromo

Confession. I didn’t even know that Riverdale is a modern riff on Archie and the gang. I watch a bit of CW so I saw the previews. And yeah, I remember Archie Comics. They were even part of my comic book reading habit for a bit.

Still, I never put 2+ 2 together.

Maybe because this is the Archie Comics I remember:ArchieComics Before Riverdale

we teenagers of the 1950s were floating in what might be called the Early Betty and Veronica Age. Archie Comics still described a reality we could identify as ours: old-maid schoolteachers, balding and comical principals, and girls who made pans of brownies in Home Economics so the boys taking Shop could make yum-yum noises and rub their stomachs. Sex was Archie with a heart drawn above his head. That was as far as things went, because love and marriage went together like a horse and carriage. Nobody had got around, yet, to asking the horse about its opinion.

–from Margaret Atwood’s piece on Canadian author Gabrielle Roy @MacCleans