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Yesterday I posted about Mobile Office phenomenon that has taken place across the globe. Creatives come together and collaborate informally in local third-places. I love the fact that I can be out with people, drink good coffee and have a sense of community.
But of course there is always the downside.
1. Money: Some days I can spend to much money. $3.50 latte, $6.50 sandwich etc. It adds-up quickly. However, I also feel a responsibility to the cafe. I won’t sit at a cafe, use their restroom, energy etc and only buy a cup-of-coffee. I also make it a point to have multiple meetings so the local cafe can create more cash-flow from me.
2. Table-Hog: We’ve all seen that guy who takes the large table. Spreads out like it’s his personal space, and stays all day. This guy SUCKS!
3. Phone Guy: OMG, dude…please stop talking so loud. This is a cafe not your corporate cubicle. I’ve told multiple people to be quiet. This gets on my nerves like no-other, especially if he has blue-tooth device. I hate those things.
4. I forgot my headphones but still want to watch or listen to my laptop guy: Two days ago there was a guy watching ESPN highlights on his comp, no earphones…amazing. I gave him the “you’re so lame” look.
5. I’m a loser and want to talk guy: Serious…I’m working…Headphones over-the-ears…Busy…Don’t tap my shoulder again. I don’t want to answer your questions or talk right now.
6. The opinionated guy: Last year I almost got into a fight. Some guy saw my sticker that says “poverty sucks.” So he taped me on the shoulder and said, “poverty is a choice,” Oh snap!!! I went-off on him, eventually he apologized…But I was furious.
What did I miss? There got to be more.
Yesterday I posted about the pro’s and con’s of the working from home. Today I want to share some of the practical ways to enjoy working in mobile environment.
With the advancement of technology and the start-up businesses culture of the past decade, the mobile office has become the norm. Coffee-shops went from being a third-place for community to being a legitimate mobile office solution for businesses owners.
Of course change happens in all environments as we look to constantly improve. So we now have a new movement of mobile office folks who are now spending time in various coworking hot-spots across the globe.
For the most part I’ve officed from coffee-shops for the past 6-7 years and I love it. But there are some key issues that must be resolved first.
1. Creative Environment: Not all coffee-shops are the same. I want to be in a location that sparks motivation and creativity.
2. Space: Is their significant space? There is nothing worse then showing-up and not having a table. So I like places that have adequate space.
3. Internet: If the wifi is spotty, I just have a hard time trusting that I can be productive. Therefore I tend to avoid these places.
4. Coffee: If the coffee stinks…I’m not going…Enough said.
5. Gotta have some quality headphones. I use Shure Headphones. Basically when I wear my headphones, I hear nothing but the music. I can feel connected to everyone but not bothered by the constant distractions.
6. Barista: They have to be friendly. I won’t go to places that has aloof workers.
7. Proximity: I usually go to places that have a lot of other options nearby. So I can schedule lunch appointments close-by and cut-back on my travel and save time.
8. I really enjoy places that have indoor & outdoor seating, solid tables and chairs and big cushy chairs. I need to switch-it-up a bit and this helps.
9. Wall Outlets: Serious…Gotta have a lot.
10. Food: It helps if they serve some-sort of simple lunch.
Of course as a consumer, I feel like I have a responsibility to the cafe. I will talk about that tomorrow.
So I really love my home office. I’ve been working from home for close to a month now. There are many pro’s and con’s. But with all the new Web 2.0 tools, it makes it easier. I use Basecamp, Things, Skype & iChat all day long. Also, I still feel connected with Facebook and Twitter.
I try to get out daily. Head to coffee-shops such as Sodade or Thunderbirds or schedule one or two lunch appointments a week. This is huge so I don’t become like a zombie.
I love having a home-office. I still miss being around an office filled with lots of people. There are benefits for sure. Someday I hope to have that again. But for now I’m content and feel productive.
I finally finished Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Uber blogger, marketer and author Seth Godin. First of all, I love it when an author does not waste the readers time with a bunch of fluff. Tribes is a short book filled with lot’s of great information. Basically Seth lays out the new way of leadership. Not the stoic top-down-approach. Seth really empowers EVERYONE to lead. To me this is a vital switch that is currently taking place in our culture. I would highly recommend this book.
BTW: I also enjoyed Michael Hyatt’s review here.
Leadership, on the other hand, is about creating change that you believe in.
Leaders lead when they take positions, when they connect with their tribes, and when they help the tribe connect to itself.
Most organizations spend their time marketing to a crowd. Smart organizations assemble a tribe.
Organizations that destroy the status quo win.
Tribes are just waiting to be turned into movements.
The organizations of the future are filled with smart, fast flexible people on mission. The thing is, that requires leadership.
Idea’s that spread win. Boring idea;s don’t spread. Boring organizations don’t grow.
What people are afraid of isn’t failure. It’s blame. Criticism
Leadership is scare because few people are willing to go through the discomfort required to lead.
So great leaders don’t try to please everyone. Great leaders don’t water down their message in order to make the tribe a bit bigger. Instead, they realize that a motivated, connected tribe in the midst of a movement is far more powerful than a larger group could ever be.
The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate.
Micro-movement: How to create a movement.
1. Publish Manifesto.
2. Make it easy for your followers to connect with you.
3. Make it easy for followers to connect with one another.
4. Realize that money is not the point of the movement.
5. Track your progress.
The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there.
Hope without a strategy doesn’t generate leadership. Leadership comes when your hope and your optimism are matched with a concrete vision of the future and a way to get there.
As I continue this long and sometimes painful journey of pioneering a non-profit I’m constantly reminded of the importance of team. So many churches, sports teams and businesses seem to always have a key person as the “face” of the organization.
But great organizations don’t become great because of one person. My theory is quite simple, I’m praying that God will surround me with a team of people who share my passion, but who do things so much better then I do. Here is what I’m looking for in a team:
1. Passion: If I have to motivate them, then I don’t want them on the team. If someone lacks passion then they become a hindrance to the vision of the organization. Get rid of them asap.
2. Organized: It’s really hard to image someone being truly effective in any aspect in life if they don’t have a sense of organization. I’m not talking about the highly organized individual, I just want someone who can understand the importance of structure and decision-making. We all impact each other.
3. Controlled: I want the team to be passionate. At the same time I don’t want every meeting to drain the life out of the team. We all have to learn when to push buttons and when to relax and move forward.
4. Work-ethic: Again, if someone lacks proper work-ethic, there is a big issue. You want to be around a team that gets things done. If they are passionate, organized and work hard, they are going to produce. If I have to micro-manage productivity, then my life will stink and the culture we create will not be healthy.
5. Attitude: If I can’t do life with the team, if I don’t want to be around them…or they don’t want to be around me, that is not going to suffice. You gotta be able to do life together and enjoy the process.I want my team to be my friends. I want to fight for them and I need to know that they will fight for me.
6. Focused: For dreamers its really easy to have so many dreams and still get so little done. Less is more, especially in the beginning. I struggle with this issue. You have to have people who start something and finish something. This is why a team needs balance. If you have to many dreamers and not enough implementers your organization will have great idea’s but little fruit. I’m a dreamer…I gotta find the implementer. If I start something I want to finish it. Typically implementers will have a higher success rate finishing what the dreamer started.
In my opinion, the implementer is the most important member of the organization. It’s easy to dream, it’s hard to see the dream come alive and produce. Usually pioneers have to be good at both: Dreaming and implementing. You don’t have to be great at both and over the course of time it will be vital to hire the right team-member.
7. Clarity: I have so many ideas that it’s easy to overwhelm people. Just ask my friends. The team has to be clear about the initiatives that they are working on. This is the leaders job. So vital…yet so hard. The team needs to know that they are working on the right things at the right time with the right people.
8. Leadership: Can the team lead when we need them to? Can they make tough decisions? Can the fire when someone needs to be fired? Can they confront when someone is not doing the job right? Can they sacrifice and set an example? When I hire people, I want to hire leaders. No matter what role they fill, I want them to lead.
Questions to ask:
Is the strategy clear? Do you have the right team in place? Is the team cohesive and effective? Did you hire leaders? Or did you hire workers…?