Are any of you old enough to remember Pat Benatar?
Wide awake in dreamland……..That was an album to remember. Killer hooks! The dying notes of that song fading……now you’re wide awake in dreamland, in dreamland, in dreamland…….as I step into the office on this lovely crisp Friday morning.
Man, I tell ya, that first cup of coffee in the morning sure is great and as I take my first sip I notice the rising sun is throwing long bands of gold throughout the studio. If you could only bottle that feeling, huh? My computer is waking up to a new day. Hey there, Bessie! Yeah, I nicknamed her.
There are always so few people here this early. Just me and Sylvan so far.
We recently welcomed a new employee, Clare, to the team. She joined us to open up an opportunity and help further the career of one of our team members who after a few years with our client account is looking for a new challenge. Having some new blood to shake things up a bit is a good thing or so they say.
But why the change when it is all going so well?
We always seem to be asking ourselves that question.
In times where companies are flourishing and equally when work is slow it is customary for companies to make changes to address gaps in their workflow. The ebb and flow of business, you know. It’s natural progression but the one thing that we are always doing is looking for good talent regardless of economic conditions.
Strategically, and in this particular case, the firm looks to promote talent from within the organization so that people feel they are being heard and see the firm’s recognition of their career progression. Positive progression, from within the firm, works exceptionally well to raise the bar and build the talent pool.
What better way is there to attract and retain?
It’s a win win.
There is an opportunity for everyone to advance beyond their roles and move into new areas of expertise in order to fulfill their career goals. Many firms talk the talk about mentorship, coaching and say they listen to their staff’s desire to grow and learn but do they actually act on it?
I have often wondered if many firms are actually looking beyond the commodity based attitude that is so prevalent in the Architecture and Design community or if seeing staff as chattel is even a concern of today’s modern design firms.
We all know that to become a licensed professional diverse experience is a necessity but that doesn’t mean moving from firm to firm to get it is always the best solution. Constant personnel change is not necessarily the most financially viable way to conduct business either, is it?
Hey, where did my coffee go?
Bessie is blinking at me…….waiting…….patiently.
Clare seems to be settling in well after only a few weeks. We have a lot of work to do to get her fully up to speed on the basics of the firm’s operations and more specifically the needs of this client group.
It takes time and we have some plans in place to ensure the tools are there for her to succeed.
She seems very eager and that’s a great thing. Time will tell how she handles the team, the client and her peers. It’s cool to watch a new personality fit into this tight knit group. I remember the time it took for me to integrate myself and get to know these characters. She is doing well, seems like a natural and it appears that we chose well. Like they say if the talent is there you can shape the will.
I am hoping I will always remember how I felt in my first few weeks.
Early on I devoted a lot of time getting to know my team and found that it really made a difference in how we work together now. I took it slow instead of getting too immersed in the other aspects of the firm’s business. I was able to take my time and get to know the people on my team first and then immerse myself in the firm’s process; their underlying MO.
“It’s about time you woke up!” drifts in from the ether.
“Thanks Sylvan. Will do!” I shoot back sarcastically.
You know, I love Sylvan.
One of the other leadership in the firm, Sylvan works very hard but he has a bit of a different approach to his staff. He’s a family guy (two young kids) so I know he gets the value in leadership, growth and mentoring but he is a bit of an old school architect kind of guy.
A tough nut.
You know the type, right?
Everyone can figure it out for themselves and as long as no one has any broken bones it’s all fair game. He figures it works and for the most part it does. There’s nothing wrong with bruising a few egos. It’s good for the soul.
He’s fair but doesn’t have time for too many questions. You can see the frustration building when he’s faced with an inquiry that he feels is redundant. If you can bring a solution, great, but otherwise sit the f**k down and get on with it until you find a way to get the job done. If you talk it better be good.
He is respected because he’s talented. Hey, Alex hired him.
Talent trumps being an asshole on occasion, I guess. Sylvan’s motto? No one ever got anywhere being Mr. Nice Guy. I don’t really understand that but there it is in Technicolor.
“So, what’s going on today, Sylvan? Kicking ass and taking names?”
“You know what they say. Enthusiasm is half the battle.”
I thank him for his witty retort and settle into my day.
- From the storyline: What are you doing to advance your career in your field of expertise?
- From the storyline: What do you see as the benefits to building relationships with your team?
- From the storyline: How do you deal with difficult personalities in your workplace?