Corporate Strategy

109. A Day in the Life of Clark

February 05, 2024 The Corporate Strategy Group Season 4 Episode 5
Corporate Strategy
109. A Day in the Life of Clark
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever wondered if your voice has the power to hypnotize? Bruce and I, Clark, certainly did, and we couldn't resist discussing the captivating effect a unique timbre can have in our latest conversation. Beyond the chuckles and playful debate on vocal prowess in politics and podcasting alike, we also shared a collective sigh over the year's swift passage. It's a tale of two dudes pondering the mysterious case of the missing January, our personal anecdotes adding color to the universal wish for just a bit more time in our days.

Retirement looms and work never seems to slow down, a topic Bruce and I tackle with a mix of morbid curiosity and humor. The tech revolution promised us leisure but delivered a doubled workload, and we find ourselves weighing the price of our days against the fantasy of financial freedom. Could you put a price on a day of your life? It's a whimsical yet poignant conversation that ends with me musing over future grandkids gathered around, hopefully enthralled by more than just my voice, as I recount the good ol' days.

Finally, we get real about the nitty-gritty of corporate life, sharing strategies for productivity that go beyond the typical 9 to 5 grind. From my morning fitness rituals to Bruce's tactics in managing teams and cutting through the monotony of office culture, we don't shy away from the challenges of leadership and the quest for that elusive work-life harmony. Tune in to discover the surprising ways we tackle the daily hustle, dodge the burnout bullet, and keep our teams—and ourselves—from becoming another cog in the corporate machine.

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Speaker 1:

iPhone's. You probably just got really bad audio.

Speaker 2:

Well it's. I mean, you sound fine. Now you sound like an angel sent from above.

Speaker 1:

Don't you just love to hear my vocal chords? I've been told I've got a unique voice.

Speaker 2:

Would you agree? You do, I would absolutely agree with that. Your voice is incredibly distinct. I think I was. Someone told me yesterday I sounded like the robot from Toonami, which is like a nice compliment, but my voice is not distinct. Your voice is distinct.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean you got like a good podcast voice and a good you know general like like when you speak, people listen.

Speaker 2:

No, they don't. That's. That is the opposite of true. When I speak, people start writing down like do the opposite of what he says.

Speaker 1:

Fair enough, you know, that's just how they perceive, perceive you, I guess, I don't know. But you.

Speaker 2:

When you speak, people like they take note, they go off and they do.

Speaker 1:

Is it a weird? Is it like a voice that's podcastable? No one's hated on me in the channel, so I guess it's not too bad.

Speaker 2:

Now you've got the voice for podcasts, but I think you've also got the voice for, like, brainwashing and mass manipulation. Like, if you don't want to get into American politics, you could probably go really far. I love hypnosis. Yeah, who doesn't Manchuria a little candidate? You know what I'm saying? Yeah, why not? Why not?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love it. Well, we're back again, aren't we? We didn't even do the intro. Should we do it? Yeah, hold on, hold on, hold on. I'm walking, you and me walking through the doors of the building yeah. I'm about to click the button. All right, I clicked it.

Speaker 2:

Okay, and it goes doors open, we walk in. It's like it was like welcome back to corporate strategy. The podcast we could have been an email on Bruce. I'm Clark. Hey Clark, how's it going?

Speaker 1:

Hey, Bruce, it's, it's happening. I don't know where life is going. I don't either. I think I have this moment of realization, you know, after the month of January, where you're just like where did January go? Where did January go this year in particular? I don't know what it is, but whoa, it's February it is it's terrifying. I just, I just can't like, where does time go? And I always feel like I'm doing a hundred million things and I just can't keep up.

Speaker 2:

It's um, it's genuinely times moving faster. I think we can all agree on that. That's just. That's a. That's not a phenomenon, that's just a natural process of getting older. Time moves faster, but it doesn't feel linear anymore, it feels exponential. And where the hell did January go? I need it back. I need it right now.

Speaker 1:

I think 2024 is just 11 months. Oh, I don't think there's a January because I wasn't here. I don't know about you, I wasn't here for it. No, I missed it entirely, I just it's just gone. I told my wife uh, after last week I was like I need a vacation. Yes, I'm only a month into the year Like I need a good two week vacation. This is crazy.

Speaker 2:

Same same I'm. I'm genuinely terrified. We've talked about this before, but I'm just going to repeat it. Why? Why the heck not? We're doing a short show today, so, yeah, we're already on a good note. You know, like when the we used to we, not we our parents used to work in offices and their day to day was like maybe I'm going to type up a thing, Maybe I have a computer, Maybe I'm just going to type right here. I could have mailed this thing off. Business used to move slow, you know, like fax was a luxury and we then we had the internet and connected work. It shouldn't, we know. We sped up, we sped up at which the rate we could do business, but so too, to be speed up the amount of work that was required of us. And now we're in this age of AI and we all thought, well, certainly it'll get easier. And it has not. It does not get easier. Every time we advance it gets harder. Why, I'm over it, I'm done, You're more efficient.

Speaker 1:

You can do more work. And everyone who thinks AI is going to get rid of jobs wrong, wrong answer. What company is going to say let's do less things? It's like oh, you have more jobs, you're output is higher, let's just keep doing more and try to increase your output. Yeah, just want to keep on continuing. More ideas are going to come along and our lives are just going to go by in a blink.

Speaker 2:

In some ways getting fired is a blessing because you've finally been relieved by the crippling grasp of work. But you know also you got to make money to live. It's just you know it's just right, it's a little thing I thought to myself. Going back to your question, to me.

Speaker 1:

I want to ask episodes how much would you sell a day of your life for? And I was like, yeah, if I could retire and just not have any responsibility, would I be willing to give up 10 years? Maybe, maybe, maybe. I mean you put the right dollar amount on that. I mean, not do it like stopping now until for the rest of my life I don't have to work. Let's do it. Let's assume we're going, we're just going to go average life expectancy for a man 70.

Speaker 2:

So you cash out at 60 now, like you're done.

Speaker 1:

You're in the ground at 60.

Speaker 2:

You stop working right now, clark, right now, and you have infinite spending money Do you do it. So is it, is it?

Speaker 1:

60? Is it a hard 60 or is it whatever? I was going to make it to now it's 10 less than that. Well, what you're going to make it to is 50.

Speaker 2:

I mean let's, let's, it's fair, let's keep it fair, all right. Well, that's next week's question. This week's question is you're going to get to 60. You drop dead on your 60th birthday, but you have unlimited spending cash until then.

Speaker 1:

Man, if it was just me in a silo and I didn't think about my boy Bruce, I didn't think about my son, I didn't think about my boy Bruce, I didn't think about my corporate strategies out there, I didn't think about my family, my loved ones. Hell, yeah, I'm in. But the fact that I have all those chains, I can't say yes, yeah, it's kind of hard, it's too hard, yeah, and I say chains like it's a bad thing, I mean like everything that I love in a door in life. All those things are there and I can't. I can't do that to them. I do it for them, I do it for the people. But if you were to ask me the risk of 10 years off of whatever the expected, whatever I might live to I never know what that is I might be willing to take that risk. There's a chance I live for a really long time. I could be 90, could be a lot. You take 10 years off of that. Yeah, yeah, it's no brainer. I don't want to be 90 anyways. No, take me out like 70. I think that's the most I can make it before I'm depressed. But I don't know.

Speaker 2:

There's some pretty. There's some pretty. There's some pretty strigh 80 and 90 year olds I've seen recently.

Speaker 1:

Like no I don't think I'm willing to hold on for that long, you know what I mean I think it's all.

Speaker 2:

I think you're gonna be great. I think you're gonna be a great elder Clark. That's what I'm gonna say. I think you're going to rock elder hood.

Speaker 1:

At some point. I think I'm just gonna tell my grandchildren one day to just back the car up over me.

Speaker 2:

Just call the day. I think, if you're cognizant of to do that, your grandchildren gonna keep you alive. They were like nah, that's the trick, isn't it? Grandpa Clark? He's cool dude, let's keep him around.

Speaker 1:

He's got some good stories.

Speaker 2:

We really enjoy this. I mean, we really like his voice. You know, his voice compels us to do things. We commit crimes in the name of Clark.

Speaker 1:

Well, that was always a fun way to enter these conversations. I'm just talking about how many years of our lives lives are we willing to give up just to stop working in the workforce? It's good.

Speaker 2:

This is the new segment of our show Negotiations with the Grim Reaper. Hope you enjoyed it.

Speaker 1:

In a year we are gonna look back at this and we're gonna think we're idiots.

Speaker 2:

I hope you know we're gonna be like man now to talk about deal.

Speaker 1:

Ten years, no problem, let's go After 2024, the first 11th month a year in history. I'd end it right now, oh boy, Howdy it's gonna be a.

Speaker 2:

It's gonna be the longest short year of our lives. I can feel it yeah definitely every day is gonna feel like an eternity every week's gonna feel like a minute, let's go, let's go. We're skipping news, we're I mean like there's so much to happen in, but we're gonna skip right past it because we're doing a short one. We're gonna hold ourselves accountable.

Speaker 1:

I'm literally dying here. Just we're talking about fast. 2024 is going. We're just saying screw the episodes, make them shorter. Life's too short to be honest. Podcast.

Speaker 2:

We're running out of budget on our podcast platform. We're gonna keep it short and sweet.

Speaker 1:

The life is short. We're missing a month out of the year. We're running out of money. These episodes are just gonna keep getting shorter.

Speaker 2:

You know what? Our? We're over our allowance by 16 minutes already. Every minute is a dollar out of my pocket. Oh no, the month of February. What is this? What is this recycle we reset on Feb 14. Okay, we got a little. Okay, we could, we could make it. I mean, we're already over, but we pay an additional four dollars per every hour.

Speaker 1:

So.

Speaker 2:

Okay, okay, not terrible If we great. If we keep this episode under 44 minutes, money saved. Let's go.

Speaker 1:

And 14 minutes extra on your life.

Speaker 2:

Yes, another amount on that you really can't, because it's it's whizzing by. To quote Ferris Bueller, it's just whizzing right by. Hey Clark, this is sequel episode. It is round two. We're following up. We actually have a lot of topics lined up, so I'm excited to get through this because you know, I don't, I don't really want to hear about you, but you know we got some really good stuff coming on the pipe, so we got to knock this one out to get to the good stuff.

Speaker 1:

You know I'm saying Well, you know, I think I'm kind of interesting, but you make it compelling is what I'm asking. I'll try my best. Okay, it'll be better than the doom and gloom.

Speaker 2:

We just pitched for the last 10 minutes, so you know it's probably better than the doom and gloom I pitched in my day in the life in the previous episode, so let's do it. So we're following up. Last time I went deep dive on what it's like a day in the life of Bruce. Y'all sent me warm wishes and Sent me numbers for the nearest mental health institution. I appreciate that. That was very kind of you. Today it's all about Clark. Clark today in the life look like like for you all about me.

Speaker 1:

I'm excited. I think this will be fun and probably horribly depressing, because I think yours started strong and then, throughout the day, you're just like, ooh, this is getting, this is getting depressing real quick.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, once I told you I quit exercising because of my job, that made you real happy. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 1:

I mean, your health is just in the, in the gutter, the toilet, as they say. Yeah, it's totally in the toilet. So yeah, let's talk about me, um. So yeah, I am a director of product management. I'm at a large company and I've been with this company for a number of years now, so I've kind of solidified my position in this company. Just give some background to the folks, and I work on digital products, mobile apps, websites, small one-off applications, whatever customers need, customers get. That's essentially what, what I do. I'm not going to expose the industry or everything. One day we might have a massive revealing of who we are and, you know, get a little more personal with it. But not yet. We're gonna let the suspense build. So, yeah, I start my day. So, uh, my wife is a teacher and so obviously she has to be up pretty early. So we wake up at 5 am, sharp, and if we're not up, our pets wake us up, one of two. So the typical morning routine, you know, usually we get the pets fed, because obviously you got to feed the pets early in the morning. We don't have any kids. They get the pets fed and then, uh, from there I usually get a quick workout in the morning. I've been pretty good about this the last two weeks, bruce you'd be proud of me Is I had to get a quick workout in the morning. If I'm staying at home, I'll do like a cardio workout, like I'll round a little bit or whatever row. I'll do something like that in the morning just to wake up, get the gears moving. After you know, turn to a little water, uh. But if I'm going to the office and I got to commute, then I'll work out like a full weightlifting workout in the morning. So I get that in then. After that usually make some breakfast and While I'm eating breakfast I usually get started on the day. It's like 6 am, 6 15. I start taking a look at whatever is ahead of me for the day. The thing I'd preface and, bruce, I think you preface this too I usually Get the week started before the week. I come into the week with a plan if my calendar is Organized on Friday before the next week, so that way I know what I'm getting into. Generally I try to get to are getting things done In box zero at the end of the week too. So I usually come to the week with like okay, I generally know what focus things I need to do and where my time is going to be allocated, and I usually try and start my mornings with whatever that focus work is, just so I can actually do productive work before the day Gets ahead of me. So I usually do a little work in the morning, unfortunately, before the day actually begins of meeting hell.

Speaker 2:

This is why we're getting salary.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this is exactly why we're salary, because we get started at early hours and that's the only time you can actually get any work done. Can I ask you a quick question?

Speaker 2:

Please hit me. Do you drink coffee before you work out?

Speaker 1:

I do not, so you just go raw, right into the workout, I get, like you know, eight ounces of water in, and then I got my water bottle with me and then I go right into it. I actually I don't know if this is factual whatsoever, but I read somewhere at some point in my life that if you do, the earlier you drink coffee In, the more you drink it then, the more it like eats into your circadian rhythm and everything, and so I was. I don't know where I got this exact math. I wish I could reference it. Maybe I'll find the article one day. If you drink it later in the morning, it actually has a better long-term effect than you. Then during the day, you just drink less caffeine.

Speaker 2:

So it's not the time to. When you wake up, it's just later in the sun cycle.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, later in the sun cycle, like, let's say, 7 am Rolls around, that's usually when I have my first cup of coffee. So, yeah, okay, yeah, a little coffee. Usually have a little breakfast sitting on my computer, unfortunately, doing whatever focused work that I uh I don't know about you, bruce, I'm awful at estimating how long focused work is going to take me. Like I'll think, yeah, this will take me an hour, and like two hours later I'll be like, okay, now I feel good about it.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, yes, no, I'm not bad at that. I can. I can estimate how long my work is going to take. It's the everything else, the nightmare.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think it's probably good enough after like the one hour if I have like a two hour task. But like I want to, it's something in me. I don't know what it is, bruce, you know me, I know. I just want to make it really really good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's where we differ.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I can't just like hand it off of like, oh yeah, it's like 60 percent there, Like I want to make it really good. If I'm going to put my name on it, it's got to be good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, see, and this is where I think this is where our companies are very different. I know everything's going to change 19 times again before I look at it, so I just need to get it to where they're not like sniffing around, being like is Bruce actually doing his job here? If it looks like I put in the effort, then then I have done the effort. Therefore, I can move on to the next nightmare.

Speaker 1:

Fair enough and I think in your industry, to your point, that makes more sense Because your cycles are so quick and your landscape is kind of shifting around. Yeah, in my case it's like it's so enterprise and the sales cycles are are long, so we have a little bit more, I guess, planning and thought that goes into things and a lot more bureaucracy.

Speaker 2:

Unfortunately, no, I get that, it's. It's the difference between established company with 30 years of working capability or two years, you know, so yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, a little bit more processes in place, a little bit longer cycles. You know the way you're supposed to go about things. So typically, if I'm doing focused work, it's for like a new project or funding for something else or like the strategy of something in the next couple years. So typically, like my, my focused sessions need to be a little bit longer. I just need to double. I think that's something that I've realized lately is like whatever I think it's going to be, just double it, and that would probably be better for me in the long term. And I also think there's a point of hitting that 80 percent and then handing it off and being like OK, it's good enough. Like maybe not 60 percent, but 80 percent, just to save me some time. I want to stop you again.

Speaker 2:

So when you see you're doing focused work at breakfast, yeah, this is your. This is your time of most productivity.

Speaker 1:

Mm, hmm.

Speaker 2:

I'm a morning person, but you're at home eating breakfast. Yeah, this should be the time that you're, like you know, browsing Reddit, watching some morning cartoons, refilling the cereal bowl man.

Speaker 1:

I miss morning cartoons.

Speaker 2:

This is your time for you?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you see that that would be the case, wouldn't it?

Speaker 2:

It would be. That means you're at home, is your time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you're getting into the issue of the day and we're starting to dip into the depressing cycle of this.

Speaker 2:

We're not even at work yet, clark, I'm putting it together. We're not at work, we're not just still chopping on the bagel.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, still chopping on the bagel, getting ready for the day, doing some of that focused work ahead of the week. When was the last time you focus worked at work. Man, it's hard, it's hard.

Speaker 2:

Can you answer that question?

Speaker 1:

Oh man, I mean, if it's a work from home day, yes, so I'm hybrid going a few times a week. If it's a work from home day, you can make that happen because no one like stops you in the halls and has a million questions for you. When it's an office day, I've kind of just said focus work isn't happening Because people are in a hop in. I'm going to catch people in the hallway. It's going to be terrible.

Speaker 2:

So I can already unsubscribe it from this podcast. I'm done. I'm done hosting it. I'm unsubscribing listenership. I mean, I want to die Clark.

Speaker 1:

You, you warned yourself in the last episode. You warned yourself it was going to be bad. Oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

OK, continue.

Speaker 1:

OK, yeah, we'll keep going, it's not even like a number.

Speaker 2:

I can feel it.

Speaker 1:

It's not even 830. You get productive work done and then typically what I do is I go for a walk. I think this is really important. Get out there, get some sunlight, especially if you sit in an office all day or stare at a computer. You got to get some sun, so typically you go for a little walk, I'll do some breathing, not connected to anything, just, you know, hanging out in the sun, doing a little 30 minute walk, getting the blood moving, and then from there I'll come home, shower and then the meeting hell will start, and typically meetings are all day long, like 830 until five, every single day of your life.

Speaker 2:

How do you know what his job?

Speaker 1:

How do you know what his job?

Speaker 2:

No, no, I don't. I would literally do. How do you quit this? You know it has its ups and downs. It doesn't sell it. There are any ups, Clark, You've given me zero ups.

Speaker 1:

It's a fun industry and, bruce, you know what it is. We're not going to disclose it to people.

Speaker 2:

It's a fun industry.

Speaker 1:

I've worked in worse industries. It's interesting and it's fun the stuff that I get to do, but it's grueling in terms of kind of, you know, having to herd cats every day because I'd say, in terms of talent, we don't have the best talent. So the amount of it's a people problem. We talk about people, process technology. I think it's a people and skill set problem, which is why the good people tend to get roped into everything. Now the light at the end of the tunnel is I've hired my whole team. I told you before, you know, I got over 10 people now and they are taking things off my plate left and right and it's a matter of keeping on delegating, you know, getting to trust them and what they're doing, and then ultimately it pulls me out of it. But the double edged sword, bruce, the double edged sword is you're kind of going through the day. It's how do you not let them get pulled into the same lifeless crap that you got pulled into? Correct? That's the balance. So you've got to make things. So the things that I end up worrying about is not so much like OK, this person's asking dumb questions about this project. I've answered a million times. It's how do I get my team and shield my team from stupid pointless meetings talking about stupid pointless things, and that's kind of where my focus is now where I spend my life, so I'm a big proponent in letting things break.

Speaker 2:

You know this. I've said this Is your shielding them, perpetuating the problem.

Speaker 1:

It's hard to say. I think I'm like the. I'm like the bad guy. I tell my team this all the time like use me as your bad guy If you've got to go tell someone bad news or if you don't know how to navigate a situation. I'm happy to be blunt about like we're not doing this because of X, y and Z, and so I think they're capable. But I think again back to that people problem. It's like if things break it just makes the situation worse and I end up having to work more. But if I can force people to not do things that are stupid, then eventually people end up kind of doing the right thing after they kind of get that blunt realization Because I think people don't give that hard enough feedback of like I'm not going to this because I don't understand the purpose, and then it encourages people who don't know what's going on and keep scheduling those types of meetings, if that makes sense.

Speaker 2:

Kind of Kind of yeah For me. Well, I don't know the intimate details of your day to day, but I would argue if you're in meetings all day long, like from eight, 30 to five, if it's nonstop meetings and you can only get your job done at breakfast when you should be watching cartoons, then there is something fundamentally wrong with the way the organization is working. And if you're attending meetings because you're shielding your team, then again there's something fundamentally wrong, because the wheel has to break Right and you cannot carry it by. You're not Jesus Clark Can't carry that cross by yourself, your team, and there is no Jesus in team Last I spelled it, I think and this is just complete outsider looking in, hit me you need to expose your team to all the disgusting crap that goes on with your organization and they need to like push back. So you can push back because you're the only one feeling the pain and you think you can soldier it for yourself. But you're not the kind of person I know you. You're not the kind of person to complain that things are broken. You're the kind of person to persevere and work through the brokenness. And I think if your team felt it and they they're not, I know they're not as strong as you, because no one is Clark, no one's as strong as you. They felt it and they pushed back or they started quitting and you had to explain to the upper ups why they're quitting. That might affect some change.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's a. It's a good point of feedback and I think, to be honest with you, culturally, that's the core issue, because I've had problems with retention. You know the time that I've been here the team is great and I think that's what I'm trying to balance is you can only control what's within your control, and sure things could break. But will it truly make a difference? And I hate to say it, I've kind of hit that stage of grief where it's like it's not going to make a difference if more people quit. We're going to keep operating this way because we have a core issue with the way this organization is. So to your point about quitting, yeah, I don't think we're far off. I don't think I'm too far off. It's just a couple of things I'm like carrying over the finish line that I want to see through. You know what I mean. I know it's like I put too much time into this five year plan to not finish them. And that'll be a great thing to like put on the resume and be like okay, I can't do this anymore. I'm taking a year sabbatical with my boy Bruce. We're corporate strategist now.

Speaker 2:

Hell yeah, that's what I'm talking about. I mean, after this call I'm going to take a year sabbatical because I feel sick. Man Clark, I have nothing but respect for you. Does anything unique happen during the eight to five? It's not meetings that we can talk about.

Speaker 1:

Typically starts with you know like usually regular teams have standups. I'm usually like talking with some of my peer leaders about issues or like staffing concerns or things like that, how we get ready for the next whatever business case review that's coming up. I'll be honest, we spend way too much time building presentations for people talking about stuff that's like do they even care about this detail? Like we should actually be doing work. I've gotten myself out a lot of that. I used to feel a little bit of FOMO. This is helpful for all the freshers out there. You think you need to be a part of every presentation. Eventually you figure out a lot of the stuff doesn't matter, and helping with the presentation or having your name there doesn't matter. So focus on doing the actual work and those are the people who get recognized, and I think that's what I've realized over time. So I pulled myself out of all that stupid let's reformat everything that we already have into another format because someone didn't like the format kind of business. I'm like, yeah, if you want to go, do that. Feel free, I'm not going to do that?

Speaker 2:

Are these presentations, pitches or status meetings, status oh, we're going to both.

Speaker 1:

A little bit of both. I'd say primarily the latter. I think it's more like status updates and it's like well, this person didn't understand that, so we got to rework the same information in five different ways to get them to understand it. Oh my God, and that's not. What I've realized, and this is for everybody to kind of learn from. This is, if you actually do the work and know your crap, you don't need to be part of those presentations, because when they still don't get it, they end up coming to you anyways, and then you have a five minute conversation. They're like oh, now I get it All right, cool. So it's pretty pointless to waste your time reformatting the same information over and over again.

Speaker 2:

This is me, or do you work with some incompetent people? I said it's a people problem. Yeah, it certainly sounds like it. So I mean that just blows my mind. My, I mean I also have been now roped into a status meeting at the beginning of the week, which is a great time for me to catch up on Reddit. But I have to fill out a slide, and I look at the way some people fill out the slide and let me tell you, it's just like man, you really have a handle on your information. It's great, I'm glad you know your information, but all you could have told me was things are going good. Yeah, things are going not good or things are going bad. And then tell me why. And we could have gotten the same exact result. At the end of the day, I've got a great format for you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I started using that, I think would help everyone too is a Clark Shetter movement. I haven't thrown out that in a while. It's been a while. It's been a while. It's been a movement I've been doing and I think people have been receptive to it is three things what? So? What? Now what? And you can literally just put bullets underneath that of like, this is the situation, why do we care? Because it's breaking X, y and Z, or this person's not getting their, their payments or whatever is happening. And then now what? What's the next steps? It makes it super easy. You literally can just type those what five words and then you just put a couple of bullet points underneath it and makes it super easy to understand and it's easy to write on a slide.

Speaker 2:

I like that a lot. That seems very reasonable and very understandable. Isn't it kind of funny that we use JIRA or Monday or all these different applications to track work? And the whole point of using these applications was so that we could pass it off to someone in leadership and they could look at it and say, oh, I see what's going on here. In reality, we use those things because they ask us to, and then we have to take those things and take the data and put it in a different way so that they can understand the data the way they wanted to understand it in the first place, and all it does is just add more frustration and work into the cycle.

Speaker 1:

Yep, that's exactly what happens. I should be able to pull JIRA, look in the backlog and be like, okay, I understand what Bruce is delivering this quarter.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. All right, if you're concerned with that, then we can spin up a meeting. But if it looks good and it smells good and it you know everything's moving from left to right on JIRA, there should be no reason to meet with me ever.

Speaker 1:

I should pull up your burn down chart and be like Bruce is turning through his work. He's well on track for his estimates that he has for the rest of the work in this quarter. Great, I'll leave Bruce alone.

Speaker 2:

What is the point of doing that if you didn't have to prove it for everything?

Speaker 1:

Right, it turns into just a work management tool that gets so busy as you scale that no one understands it. And it's really just a bad use of the. You know we're talking about people process technology. This is the technology and the process around how you use your work management tools.

Speaker 2:

Right, because now you're reducing processes and technology to slow down your day even more Exactly.

Speaker 1:

And then you're spending cycles, hours and hours every week reformatting the same information into a PowerPoint which is just a waste of your time.

Speaker 2:

Can I ask you a very difficult to answer question, clark? Is it actually going to be, or is it going to be easy? What's good in your day?

Speaker 1:

Well, you already know one of them. It's my one-on-one Wednesdays.

Speaker 2:

Okay, guess we talked about that before, but for those that didn't hear that episode, what is one-on-one Wednesdays in tail?

Speaker 1:

So I'm a big believer getting things done again and coordinating your days with light tasks or your working blocks. So all my one-on-ones I put on Wednesday and what I do on those Wednesdays is I walk around the office building that's, you know nice weather, and I just mash all my one-on-ones together. So I know I'm not on the computer, I'm just talking to folks. I really enjoy those days because generally it's the people that I associate with to get things done. It's not a pointless status meeting. You know what I mean. So I can talk to my team about what a success, look like what are your guardrails. Or talk to my partners about like hey, this isn't going too well, I need you to fix this, can you be accountable for this? And those are actually really productive meetings because one you're connecting in person, which is nice sometimes, but then two you're also meeting with only the people you really care about. Like I don't set up one-on-ones on my coveted one-on-one Wednesday with anybody, it's really just the important people that do the work. That's good, thank.

Speaker 2:

Odin for one-on-one.

Speaker 1:

Wednesdays, exactly, but I don't think about them trying to murder me, like you suggested on the other episode.

Speaker 2:

That's good, that is good, hey. So okay, you get to five o'clock, what happens?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, Five o'clock if there's not a meeting for later or so. I work for an international company. I try to stack all my night meetings because occasionally I'm working with Europe, I'm working with Asia, whatever it might be, and sometimes you do have to have the occasional night meeting or morning meeting, which is tough. So you try to get off earlier than five. Doesn't always happen. You make some dinner for the family, you hop on a call, you do the business, then you go to sleep, Then you wake up the next day and the cycle repeats.

Speaker 2:

I'm sorry, let's go back. That was a lot. You make dinner, you spend time with family and then you get back on work.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you get like a good hour break. This is only one night a week. I've shortened it. They used to try to make it like three times a week. I'm like there's no way in heck I'm getting on more than one time a week.

Speaker 2:

So how long does one night a week go for?

Speaker 1:

It's short into an hour. I've done some big projects overseas and occasionally it's been like three hours. Every week you'd have one night of three hours long as a meeting, so you basically would get home, eat dinner and you'd be on meetings the rest of the night.

Speaker 2:

Does anything get done at this company? Does anyone actually work?

Speaker 1:

Things do, but it's very painful and labor-intensive. I can't tell a lot better than where it's been. So just imagine that I want you to look back at a little wide-eyed Clark and think how bad my life was in the first couple years.

Speaker 2:

I mean, if it was bad, then this sounds like hell. Now, just between you and I, Clark, Like there's no time for work.

Speaker 1:

No, the only time is when you're munching on your bagel, not watching your cartoons in the morning.

Speaker 2:

I'm never going to do that?

Speaker 1:

You're not really getting anything done.

Speaker 2:

I would get fired from your company, Clark. They would fire me and then I would report them to the Better Business Bureau and probably sue them.

Speaker 1:

That's wild. To me it's a crazy day, and the thing I think is fun about product management is your days are pretty different. Like one day you could be talking to customers about an upcoming project and your user experience and A-B testing and doing a lot of fun stuff. Sometimes you can be talking to your B2B partners and exploring things with them or taking on a new challenge. Like it's not. Like at least in my realm, at the level I'm at like I'm day-to-day meeting about projects you know what I mean and like every day's routine. If I go to my daily stand-up I write user stories, I attend the sprint demo, I attend the sprint planning I don't really do any of the day-to-day stuff anymore. It's kind of just, like you know, trying to align the strategy and the future of things and then making sure, as I mentioned earlier, the team is protected from stupid crap that's coming their way. So ultimately, they can just focus on what their mission is.

Speaker 2:

Your team is doing all of the work while you suffer.

Speaker 1:

They do a lot of the actual day-to-day work. I don't do really any of the day-to-day work they do, but I'm kind of their shield of trying not to make sure they don't get burnt out and I lose all of that.

Speaker 2:

See, I think that would be such a positive, Not, I mean just why might works they don't get? Burnt out. Everything falls apart. Your company has to. They're forced to take a look at. Well, we can't do anything anymore because we sucked and everyone left and now we have to actually fix the problem. That's my brain. That's what I see it kind of happened.

Speaker 1:

Well, you're going to have a couple of employees they all left because of burnout, like it was just really crushing them and ultimately, like I said again, I think it's a leadership culture issue, yeah, of either lack of experience of running these things at scale even though some of them are really great, I think they are probably not what this company needs to be successful. You know what I mean. I think, in general, the business is doing really well, which is awesome. That doesn't mean it's great to work here, yeah, you know, I think that's the thing that sucks.

Speaker 2:

So I have found, with success comes more work, which is, like you know, we talked about the very beginning of the episode. With advancements and efficiency, just comes more work. I think the only thing that's ever guaranteed in life is there will be more work ahead of you, no matter what you do, yeah.

Speaker 1:

No matter how much you try to optimize. That's why we said I can't remember what episode was we said, hey, if you like, automate a ton of stuff in your company and you're working like one hour a week, you don't tell anybody.

Speaker 2:

Don't tell anyone, it's actually worse. You found the perfect job. Yep, Never share it with a soul. Keep it a secret to the day you die, which is 10 years left. And what we thought was because that's why you're getting this privilege.

Speaker 1:

Exactly the best thing that's going to come from that is, you end up getting more work on your plate. I like uh uh, corporate, that's corporate for you. Baby Got a little bit.

Speaker 2:

I want to get a Xanax after this episode. Holy cow, any other nuggets of loveliness you'd like to share with us? Clark, about your day, I think when you're when you're really busy.

Speaker 1:

The only thing I'd add is like you can climb the corporate ladder this way. Is it scalable for a long period of time? No, and I don't know how people do it. Some people put up with this crap for like 40 years. I don't know how you have a family. I don't know how you enjoy anything Like. To me it's a short term thing. To get short term results, to see some things over the finish line and it's like okay, no more, like can't do this. So I think if you're meeting your goals, sometimes you got to make those sacrifices and you know, do what's best, keep it human. That's why I protect my team. But I think you know it's important to find those things that give you energy and make sure you get some sun, make sure you're exercising, make sure you're eating right. That's how you make it sustainable for the period of time that it is and I think as long as you're doing that, you can make it work. But it ain't easy. It ain't easy to work in an environment like this.

Speaker 2:

No, no, it's not. I couldn't do it, and I'll be the first to tell you that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's my day Hope. It made you feel really hopeful and you are very happy about how I'm living my life.

Speaker 2:

I'm going to put a trigger warning on this episode because if other people react the way I do, you know they're going to be need medication. So now I'm scared. Thanks, clark, that's great, good job.

Speaker 1:

You did the assignment. I tried. I'd be honest I was kind of dreading talking about it and I'm happy we did it. At least it's done.

Speaker 2:

I should have dreaded hearing it in retrospect. I really should have. I wasn't prepared.

Speaker 1:

Well, in the future, for corporate strategybiz, we're going to create a new project. We're going to create the best company culture ever. We are we are.

Speaker 2:

If there's one thing I'm taking away from all of this, it's that, given the opportunity, just run from this any chance you get, and if you get the opportunity to create something better, please do, because holy cow, yep, yikes, yikes is all I can say.

Speaker 1:

Yep, that was a short, sweet episode. I'm sure everybody feels really happy about it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's great, it was really good. Hey, if people want to get in on the fun, that's what we have going on here.

Speaker 1:

Could they do that, clark? Yeah, if you want to hear more depressing life stories from me, you know you're more than welcome to join our Discord. To hop on our website corporatestrategybiz Yesbiz, we got. All the episodes are on there now. Sorry, folks that I accidentally sent an email to last night. My bad, but yeah, all the episodes are on there now you can sign up for a newsletter. Did you know? I did that, bruce.

Speaker 2:

No, I didn't. I don't sign up for the newsletter. I don't believe in newsletters.

Speaker 1:

OK, first of all, how dare you? But yeah, all the things are on there. Just go to our website, or? I think you mentioned, Bruce, you got all this in the show notes now, so you can literally just one click join the Discord or go to the website or anything, which is great.

Speaker 2:

And if you feel like supporting the show we weren't joking earlier about keeping this short because we're running low on time. We are fun, fully listener supported, but also host supported, and by hosts I mean me. We run off of my bank account. So if you want to help out and run the pod, keep the pod afloat, take a little sting out of my monthly bills. You can help us by going to our Buy Me a Coffee page, which you can find on our website or in the show notes. Support the show, we would really appreciate it. And if that's not possible for you, more importantly than that is word of mouth Sharing this with your friends. Your enemy this episode's great to send your enemies. By the way, maybe you don't share your friends this episode. Don't give this the first. But those of you that know, send this to people you hate. Just get our listenership up on this one so it feeds the Google SEO and people will be like why the heck Do people listen to this depressing stuff? And then it becomes an addiction. So share. That's all that really comes down to is please share us, yeah you got to share you wide-eyed freshers.

Speaker 1:

I hope this is not the first thing that will you incorporate, but that's what you've got to look forward to.

Speaker 2:

If you're a fresher and you've heard this, I mean you're probably like dang do I need to just go join a mission and volunteer for the rest of my life? Get out there and do something good? Probably. Probably is the answer.

Speaker 1:

Hey and no, you know what's looking really appealing right now Taking 10 years off your life just to retire, yeah.

Speaker 2:

You know, that question was a lot easier to answer after this episode.

Speaker 1:

Exactly so now you have one.

Speaker 2:

It's really easy to say yes to the grim reaper on that one, hold boy. Hey, thanks for listening, clark. Thank you for sharing.

Speaker 1:

We appreciate it. That doesn't sound easy to live. Thanks for this therapy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I don't feel like I helped you at all. I just asked questions and regretted asking them. So thanks, Clark for bringing it out, sharing it with the fan, and thank you for listening. And remember, throw your manager under the bus. I'm Bruce and I'm Clark. We'll see you next week.

Reflections on Time and Voices
Work, Retirement, and Life Expectancy
Morning Routine and Work Productivity
Working Environment Challenges and Strategies
Effective Communication and Work Efficiency
Challenges and Struggles in the Workplace