After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

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Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016


This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.

Last week I was reading Seth Godin's blog he gave A Manifesto for small teams doing important work. This got me to thinking about things that I think are important for me at work. Yes, I have used a few of Seth's ideas, but his post kick-started me to write more on this subject. 

Which is what he tries to do, make us think.

So here are some of the things that I think are important to me at work and how I attempt to approach being in the work environment.
  • First and foremost - Do the right thing for the right reasons. No surprise there.
  • Smile more - it makes a difference and makes people wonder what you are thinking.
  • Care more. If you do not care about what we are doing, what ARE you doing?
  • It is okay to stand-out and be an individual, but remember you are not irreplaceable.
  • Think more about being humble on a daily basis, being an butthead serves no purpose.
  • Observe -> Orient -> Decide -> Act and repeat. Yeah, it works.
  • Time is fleeting, use it wisely and understand that it will not always be 9-5.
  • Do not be afraid of taking that first step. It is still the hardest one.
  • Learn what success will look like and what you will do with unexpected results as you move forward.
  • Thinking outside the box is a good thing.
  • However, think about why the box is there. Sometimes there really were reasons. Are they still valid?
  • Clean up your own mess, don’t play the blame game - fix it if you can, get help if you can’t.
  • Clean up other people's messes, but don’t whine, throw them under the bus or brag that you are. 
  • Take the high road.
  • People are and will be our most valuable advantage, resource and priority.
  • Do not purposely take advantage of, hurt, embarrass or blindside others. That Golden Rule thing.
  • Talk to everyone as if they were your boss, your most valued customer or someone you greatly respect.
  • If you do not know the answer be honest and say “I don’t know...but I will attempt to find it”.
  • Ask “Is there anything else I help you with…”
  • Say Thank You.
  • Newer is not always better, but sometimes it is. Know the difference.
  • Procedures, processes, machines, technology and social media are not why we do what we do.
  • They are tools to help us get things done, not excuses to do less.
  • Look for reasons to get things done despite procedures, process or technology issues.
  • Look for simplicity over complicated or glitz. 
  • It doesn’t need to be a Rube Goldberg machine, process or procedure, to be effective or work.
  • Lock in the things that must be locked in, leave the implementation loose, you will need that flexibility - Godin's
  • Always be seeking a better way. A better rolodex is better, even if we don't have rolodexes any more. - Godin's
  • Keep current in your field, but do not be afraid to learn new skills, even if they are not your specialty.
  • What you did yesterday, might not be what you are doing today or will be doing tomorrow.
  • Be willing to do. Yeah, you gotta just "do" things at times, even if they are below or above your pay grade.
  • Question ideas, premises and strategy, the old “this is how we do it here” or ask “why”.
  • There is a time and place for asking the hard questions. Know the risks and yes, there are many.
  • Asking questions, is different than challenging or subverting authority. 
  • Do “they” know the difference?
  • Do you?
  • Sleep on your questions first - if you can.
  • Words have meaning and consequences (good and bad) that go with them.
  • Use your words judiciously.
  • "I'll know it when I see it," is not a professional thing to say. 
  • Describing and discussing in the abstract and communicating clearly is what we do. Godin's
  • Don't question honest effort or intent, you may not have the full story or all the information.
  • Sometimes your perception is not someone else’s reality, is there a second side to look at?
  • Get the full story or more information when you can or if you need to.
  • Lastly, think about it, whatever it is.
I have worked on this list a lot over the last week, re-arranged, added, subtracted, re-worded and yes, even thought about what is important to me at work. I think this list pretty much sums up how I approach being a member of the team at work. 

However, since I am human, do I achieve all of these everyday - of course not.

I just do my best.


  1. None of us follow these every day ... but it is interesting the extent to which the development team I am on operates as a 'small team' while engaged in some huge projects in a new division of our rather decent sized company. And ALL of the things Seth mentioned and you highlighted are true and important.

    1. Yeah, they are goals and what you hope to do. What Seth wrote did really make me think and I wanted to put how I feel about some of those things more to remind myself than anything.


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