The Downside of Success

Missing the TargetIn my last post, I told all of you about my weight loss and exercise program as part of Oakland Christian School‘s Biggest Loser competition.  Well today’s is to give you a little update!

On Wednesday, I received an email from Merianne telling us that we are in for a “surprise weigh in” on Friday.  Well, much to my delight, my initial thought was “Nice! I can’t wait to see if I maintained or maybe even lost another pound or 2!”

So this morning, I stepped on that scale and I actually GAINED almost 4 pounds!  Not the news I was hoping to get!  What happened?

I think a few things could contribute to this…those “few things” being the number of Christmas parties and pot lucks I’ve attended over the last couple of weeks!  More importantly though, I think I experienced the downside of success…complacency.  I took my eyes off the target of maintaining my weight and healthy eating habits and thought that I could now just coast.  Thankfully, the scale can be a painful reminder that in order to have continued success, you need to stay focused on your goal which for me was staying and eating healthy.  It’s time to refocus and not let this small setback derail all the work I’ve done up to this point!

As I look forward to 2013, this little year end lesson made me think about other areas in my life where I’ve enjoyed some success and maybe have given in to some complacency:

  • MY FAITH – my relationship with God is stronger than ever but still requires full commitment from me to live it out every day
  • MY MARRIAGE – Julianne and I will celebrate 14 years in August next year.  We’ve had our ups and downs but our relationship is the glue that holds our family together and I want make sure that she knows how much I love her and admire her
  • MY KIDS – These 4 little ones always bring a smile to my face and I take being their father seriously.  There are things I can (and will) do better next year.  In addition to spending more time with them individually, I want to provide them with their own targets / goals to achieve and hold them accountable.
  • MY JOBMRM Detroit has been great to me and it really is hard to believe I’ve been here for over 2 years now.  The leadership here has been very supportive especially when the account I came here for was closed.  They reassured me they would find a place for me, they did and now I have a reason to be even more appreciative with the recent promotion I received

So there you have it.  Along with my health, the 4 things I listed above need my continued focus and that means staying true to the goals I’ve laid out for myself in each of them.

Don’t take your eyes off the target or you might get stuck with an extra 4 pounds you don’t want.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Lessons Learned From A Loss

I’m not one that accepts defeat easily.  In part, it’s the competitive nature in me.  It’s also the fact that I’m an only child so I’m used to getting my way.  But when it comes to missing out on an opportunity to work on a fun business project, you need to evaluate and figure out what the lesson is to be learned.

Here is the background.  MRM Detroit was given the opportunity to pitch a website redesign project.  After a lot of hard work to come up with 4 designs we thought this potential client would appreciate, we were awarded the business.  We were subsequently presented with a new requirement that wasn’t part of the original scope and needed to quickly assess what could and couldn’t be done.  Our point of view was that it significantly increased the amount of work and budget and could jeopardize the live date of the site.  So we pushed back.  We did commit to delivering on the original scope but presented the clients with some other options…one of which was to delay the launch so we could go back to the drawing board and do this right.  The clients picked the “delay” option but with the caveat that they would open up the redesign for bid again.  Needless to say, they picked the other agency and awarded the project to them.

So now what?  After a few days of being disappointed, I decided to take the approach of “what can I take from this experience and apply moving forward.”

Don’t Commit To Something You Don’t Believe In
Nothing good can come of this.  The requirement being asked of us after being awarded the business was technology that was innovative but not something we as an agency had done (yet) or would really recommend.  We backed up our POV with research we had done with some of our larger clients.  Additionally, we felt in order to protect our agency’s reputation as well as the client’s brand, to try to develop something that wasn’t broadly being used as well as in a timeframe that wasn’t reasonable didn’t make sense.  We did make the commitment to partner and collaborate with our clients on this project but wanted to do it in a way that was strategic and would benefit everyone.

Be Specific And Know Your Role
Looking back on this experience, there was a lot of ambiguity in the process.  One thing that we did when we re-pitched the project was clearly list out the assumptions we had going into it.  We made sure that we listed out what we knew our responsibilities were and our assumptions on what client responsibilities were.  Whenever going into a project, knowing who was doing what can certainly ensure seamless delivery and launch.  If you’re not sure, ask.  If you disagree, discuss.  If you agree, approve and go.

What You Don’t Know, Learn To Do
The new requirement was responsive web design.  We’ve never built this for a client.  It’s new and there are 2 big names I found that are using it fully…Barack Obama and The Boston Globe.  Why hasn’t MRM built a site with this?  This morning I sent an e-mail to our technology, user experience and interactive teams suggesting we do a prototype.  Guess what?  They agreed.  We may not be currently doing this for a client but we certainly need the expertise and background to provide innovative solutions for our clients.

There you have it…lessons learned from a loss.  We may not like it but there is always an opportunity to learn something when things don’t go exactly your way.  What lessons have you learned in losses?