Spent the last two weeks here in Atlanta – a first for 2013! Nice to catch a travel breather. Plowing through the mess by in-box and desk had become, I made lists of things that needed my belated attention. A by-product was this list of things that drive me crazy…….
#1 – Google Calendar Invites — I absolutely hate them. HATE them. My “way” of keeping my calendar and your “way” of keeping your calendar are likely very different — and it’s just maddening when a meeting changes several times and duplicates instead of changes appear thereby trashing my schedule. Plus – I’m already organized and your annoying reminders and alerts make me think that you’re not. Just say no — this is one of my pet peeves and it starts you off in the penalty box with me when you insist on using these. Sorry Google but No, No, No.
#2 – Mystery Meeting Requests — you want to get together but also want to play coy about what you want to talk with me about. Gong. My close friends and I do this – sure. If you’re not one of them but you insist on doing this all it really does is greatly reduce the likelihood of me agreeing to a meeting. I know what I’m interested in and I know what I’m good at (and not very good at). Why would you want to try to meet with me anyway if you think by telling me more I’d say “no thanks”?
#3 – Ducking Status Reporting — if we’ve agreed to “do business” – either on the investment or the consulting side – then it goes without saying that I now care about what you’re up to and how you’re doing. Making me drag status reports out of you just causes me to 2nd guess why I’m spending time/$ with you in the first place (and really reduces the probability of me being happy about it/you). Duh? And — its likely that you already know the short list of what I routinely care about so just spit them out — don’t make me drag them out of you or sort through a pile of factoids that I’ve previously told you don’t matter to me or that I find irrelevant to the prime directive. When you make me continually “set ping on” you’ve already got me half way to annoyed.
#4 – The Inability to Articulate in Writing — a surprising number of folks I run across just absolutely suck at putting things down on paper. I mean really, really suck. I suppose they either (a) don’t want to take the time, (b) know that they haven’t thought it through well enough or (c) realize that the latest “version” of whatever they’re thinking is vastly different from the prior “version” and they don’t want to fess up to the change/pivot/do-over. Whatever — all of these reasons are just terrible excuses and make me think you’re either lazy, or dumb, or both. If you can’t take the time to get your thoughts down on paper and really edit and organize them in some intelligent manner – what impression do you really expect to make on me (or your employees, customers and investors)?
#5 – Saying “Thank You” — it’s a small world. The whole 6 Degrees from Kevin Bacon thing. When something goes “right” we all know about it — and we also likely know who it was that “brung you to the dance”. If those folks feel bruised or unappreciated then it reflects poorly on you — and we’ll all know about that too. It takes a village and most likely you didn’t just win because of your own “unique genius”. Give it up to the people who helped you get where you are today. It’s a sign of character and maturity (or lack thereof). Plus – it’s easy and it’s the right thing to do.
There I said it. Onward and Upward.