Every September, I get a call from my wood guy. He contacts me just this one time each year to set up the delivery for my winter cords just before the air turns cold and always before my mind has even begun to move out of summer and into fall. (baseball artist – alternate)
And so, when his annual call comes, I inevitably have a, “Holy Toledo! I forgot all about you!” moment. It is a moment filled with resolution to questions I have subconsciously been pondering all year when he wasn’t calling:
- “I wonder if he’s still alive?”
- “I wonder if the trees are still growing?”
- “I wonder if the wood is being chopped?”
- “…and on and on…”
This post is about how to never be like my wood guy.
When a colleague, vendor, client, employee, (or just a person, in general) is out of sight, she is invisible…but she is something else as well. She is also unknown.
- task one of my designers to create 10 logos for me,
- and, give him a month to do it,
- then, don’t hear from him that entire month…
- …I am left to hope he is busy all month working.
But, I honestly don’t know if he is or not. And, when I don’t hear any sort of update, my expectations fall…and I either forget, worry or assume it just isn’t being done.
Now, be the designer for a moment. You are wonderful at what you do and you work hard. Do you want your boss thinking you aren’t and you don’t?
There is an antidote.
It’s a remedy so simple, I’m almost embarrassed to put it down on paper, er screen, but you’d be surprised how many people miss it.
Don’t wait for the boss (or client) to call. Manage up.
Have a weekly meeting. It’s a consistent check-in and up-date…even if to say, ‘Yep! Still workin’!” or to ask important questions or to discover if scope has changed. It’s fast and reliable.
And it ensures that everyone at the table knows that the trees are still growing and the wood is still being chopped.