How the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy improved my leadership!


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Books, Leadership, quotes | Posted on 13-11-2013

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I recently recalled this quote from chapter 30 of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when talking about a situation at work:

“I’d far rather be happy than right any day.” ~Slartibartfast

See, I had openly criticized two fellow leaders about their performance. They had not done something and I had…and what better way to point that out, then to make a snide remark in a public setting?

I felt terrible because that’s exactly what I did…and while I may have been “right” (i.e. as fellow leaders they weren’t leading by example), I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy because in that moment I chose myself and my need to be right over the relationship with my peers and the team environment. Let me explain.

Choosing Relationships

“Your happiness can be measured by the quality of your relationships, not your prosperity or your progress. ~Andy Stanley

If life was just about tasks (in this case being right), we would be robots. We wouldn’t have been created or developed in to beings with feelings. We were made for relationships and community. Heck, even in the book Born to Run we learn from evolutionists and anthropologists that one of the primary reasons humans survived and rose to the top of the food chain is through teamwork. The only advantage a hairless biped without fangs had was superior intellect and working as a team. And so, for many reasons, I would rather be a person who chooses relationships over being right.

Healthy Team

The foundation for any relationship or team is trust(1). Without trust we are just a group of individuals. With trust, we are a team. By publicly criticizing my peers, I was not creating a healthy team environment. Why would anyone else on the team trust me with their mistakes, fears or failures? Why would anyone choose to be vulnerable, if I would use it as an opportunity to hurt them? And so I not only hurt two relationships with individuals, I fractured the team relationships with everyone else in that room.

So what do you do when the cat is out of the bag? I’ve decided to apologize to the two individuals to whom I directed my snide remark (they graciously forgave me) and am debating emailing the rest of the team to repair the environment I fractured. That’s just me. What do you think?

(1) I can’t take credit for this nugget of wisdom. I learned it from Patrick Lencioni in his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

Leaking Boat


Posted by Wendy | Posted in quotes | Posted on 10-01-2013

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“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
~Warren Buffett



Posted by Wendy | Posted in quotes | Posted on 04-05-2011

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“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

I work in a manufacturing environment that sits next to our national office. As a result you wind up with people in uniforms from the manufacturing environment and people from the national office who wear business casual. It’s easy to perceive this as a class distinction. Folks in the manufacturing environment allow themselves to feel this class distinction, to feel inferior. The same could go for people who work in cubicles versus having an office. It’s a perceived class distinction. You can choose to believe it or choose not to. It all comes down to fear and self-confidence. Are you going to allow a uniform or a cubicle to define your worth?

I got a job


Posted by Wendy | Posted in Big G, Me | Posted on 31-07-2009

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Last night in my Life Group, we were discussing Habakkuk 1. The first question in the study asked about Habakkuk’s attitude in verses 2-4. As the group discussed his attitude, I used my recent job situation as an example. Here God had provided me with a job, at my current company NOT in process engineering and I was unhappy. Why?

Because I didn’t get exactly what I wanted. Because it didn’t work out the way I would have planned it.

Right, I was definitely acting like a 2-year old throwing a temper tantrum.

The funny thing is that yesterday as I sat down to write my objectives, I was kind of excited. It’s sorta what I wanted to do and since it’s never been done before I have a lot of freedom to make it what I want.

*sigh* I guess God was right after all.

God knew better than I did. He still does. He has a plan for me and although it doesn’t go exactly how I want or plan it, I should trust Him to take care of me.

It’s just all too easy for me to forget…and think I have to do it all on my own.