Act as if

Subject: Act as if
From: Andrew Plato <gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 13:49:44 -0700 (PDT)

"Karen Gloor" <karen_gloor -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote...

> We have a big release that was scheduled to go out on
> Oct. 24. We've all been working toward that date.
> Yesterday at 4PM (I was here), the Development Manager
> calls an emergency meeting, to which I was not
> invited.

> This morning I sent a carefully worded email to him,
> my manager and the program manager for this project
> indicating that I probably should have been invited
> since this does impact the release as a whole.

> I am Pissed. I have worked very hard to become an
> integral part of this team and I can see now that my
> efforts have fallen short.

Of course you can feel PO'ed, but being PO'ed won't solve the problem.

Let me ask a critical question:

In your "carefully worded email"...

1. Did you ASK the manager why you did not include you?

2. Or did you TELL him, he needs to include me on these meetings?

Managers of this type are not going to respond to emotional grandstanding and
issue making. They're busy and quite honestly, docs are not a big priority to
them. And you're not going to change that perception.

State your expectations clearly, hold him to it. Keep emotions out of it. Don't
get angry, be cut and dry. "I need this, make sure I get it. Thanks."

There is a GREAT scene in the movie Boiler Room. Ben Affleck is telling the new
brokers how to handle their jobs. And he bellows at one point:


Act as if you are the president of the company, as if you own a Ferrari, as if
you can control the world. People respect that attitude and they won't look away
from you.

Next time they don't invite you to a meeting, act as if you were their boss.
You're going to be nice and respectful about it, but TELL them to make sure
you're invited next time.

An email in this frame of mind would read something like this:

>>"Yesterday there was an emergency meeting
>>regarding the project. For whatever reason I
>>did not get the invite to attend. Please make
>>sure I am included on these meetings in the future.
>>Thank you.
>>In the meantime, we need to discuss how this will
>>affect docs. I am free today at 3pm to talk, are you?"

Lastly, if you're not invited to a critical meeting - just show up. Force your
way into the game. But don't make a big deal out of it.

Presentations and elaborate machinations to get people to acknowledge
documentation are likely to backfire in this kind of environment. They make you
look desperate for attention and desperation is not an attractive feature. You
would be better off spending your time scheduling some time with the engineers to
have them teach you more about the products.

Andrew Plato

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