Corporate Strategy

122. Historic Confrontations

June 08, 2024 The Corporate Strategy Group Season 4 Episode 16
122. Historic Confrontations
Corporate Strategy
More Info
Corporate Strategy
122. Historic Confrontations
Jun 08, 2024 Season 4 Episode 16
The Corporate Strategy Group

Have you ever been shocked to find out that something you believed in was a complete fake? We kick off with the bombshell that the legendary Leroy Jenkins video was staged! This revelation opens a fascinating dialogue about historical moments we wish were authentic, setting the stage for Clark's uplifting vibe check. Clark shares how our productivity tips have transformed his work life, making him more efficient and less stressed. Bruce and Clark even contemplate authoring a book about these strategies before diving back into our episode.

We then shift gears to a reflective discussion on a recently completed event that was both a challenge and a triumph. From technical glitches to long hours, we explore how these hurdles became valuable learning opportunities. The importance of updating resumes and sharing successes on LinkedIn is highlighted, along with the idea of taking a much-needed vacation. This segment underscores how crucial it is to document experiences and plan for future improvements, making the next event even better.

Lastly, we recount some corporate horror stories that range from the humorous to the harrowing. From superhero personas to high-pressure work environments, we discuss the impact of corporate culture on personal well-being and team dynamics. We also tackle the complexities of design system projects, the emotional toll of workplace conflicts, and the lessons learned from leadership challenges. Join our Discord community for more engaging discussions and mentorship opportunities—we’re eager to hear your stories and share more insights!

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever been shocked to find out that something you believed in was a complete fake? We kick off with the bombshell that the legendary Leroy Jenkins video was staged! This revelation opens a fascinating dialogue about historical moments we wish were authentic, setting the stage for Clark's uplifting vibe check. Clark shares how our productivity tips have transformed his work life, making him more efficient and less stressed. Bruce and Clark even contemplate authoring a book about these strategies before diving back into our episode.

We then shift gears to a reflective discussion on a recently completed event that was both a challenge and a triumph. From technical glitches to long hours, we explore how these hurdles became valuable learning opportunities. The importance of updating resumes and sharing successes on LinkedIn is highlighted, along with the idea of taking a much-needed vacation. This segment underscores how crucial it is to document experiences and plan for future improvements, making the next event even better.

Lastly, we recount some corporate horror stories that range from the humorous to the harrowing. From superhero personas to high-pressure work environments, we discuss the impact of corporate culture on personal well-being and team dynamics. We also tackle the complexities of design system projects, the emotional toll of workplace conflicts, and the lessons learned from leadership challenges. Join our Discord community for more engaging discussions and mentorship opportunities—we’re eager to hear your stories and share more insights!

Everything Corporate Strategy:
All the links!

Elevator Music by Julian Avila
Promoted by MrSnooze

Don't forget ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it helps!

Speaker 1:

Did you know that's fake? What do you mean that's fake? Yeah, I didn't know this either. I learned this. I think Restrepo was the one who told me Leroy Jenkins is totally fake Staged. Oh yeah, are you serious? Dead, serious Serious is a heart attack, dude that ruins everything it does.

Speaker 2:

It does. That was such an incredible moment in gaming history, I know, and it's totally oh, jake, I mean you got.

Speaker 1:

If you do it, you got to go, cause it was all like back of the throat. You know, that's it really was. It was just sound in there. Oh, I know.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Holy cow, I can't believe that's faith. That's honestly really disappointing. There's some things in this world that you just want to be like it's real. I know it's real and just never ask questions.

Speaker 1:

Part of me you know when I heard it was fake. Yeah right, santa, also, you know, probably a real dude once, right. And that's the thing about Leroy Jenkins is, yeah, that video stage probably actually happened to them beforehand, and like we got to recreate this because it'll be hilarious on YouTube. You know, they picked up some rando, right? Maybe his name was actually Leroy Jenkins and like that's the best thing I've ever seen. But we have to recreate this because no one's recording.

Speaker 2:

And you know what God bless them God bless everyone.

Speaker 1:

Every single one of them, and God bless us for being back once again on schedule with the episodes. We doing it. Welcome back to Corporate Strategy, the podcast. It could have been an email. I'm Bruce and I'm Clark. Hey, clark, how you doing Vibe check?

Speaker 2:

Bruce, I'm living life. I'm going to take a page out of Alex's book because he always brings the positive vibes. Yeah, outside of work, life is great. Man Like, overall life is wonderful. Work, you know it's a grind, it is what it is. You know I'm not hating it, I'm not like in love with it. You know I'm just doing it every day I feel like I got a plan and I just do. But outside of work, man, life is good. You have a plan every day. At work, I do. Now it's funny, I've been using the tips from this very podcast and I have a plan and you know what. It feels dang good to look at my day and know what am I going to accomplish today, what's my goal, and to be able to do that.

Speaker 2:

I'm not kidding when I say I've been able to do it the last 10 days. I've been able to stick to my plan seven out of those 10 days and it felt wonderful. Everything in my to-do list check off, inbox zero. At the end of the day it was so good man, I can't believe it can I ask you okay?

Speaker 1:

so I know we're not in the topic, we're not in the news, we're not. This is just vibe check. But I got a work question for you. When you, when you followed the plan, did you work less? Yeah, dang, when I followed the plan.

Speaker 2:

I got to a point like where I was in a meeting. I'm like, oh, this is weird. Everything on my to-do list is done. I have zero emails in my inbox. I can just like be here in the moment and I'm done, that's it.

Speaker 1:

Listen, you know we're not going to share this live in the pod. We'll definitely cut it out because I do so much editing now. But I'm just telling you we need to make a book called the Plan and we just write down whatever the heck you did and we can retire early. You know what I'm saying cash out.

Speaker 2:

That's it, that's.

Speaker 1:

That's the whole plan, yeah definitely cut this in the pod though, so people don't steal the idea.

Speaker 2:

You know we don't want anyone to hear this, because you know they'll.

Speaker 1:

Then they'll realize they're all part of this mass money marketing scheme and they're going to, you know, succumb to our psychological attack that we're doing on them right now to convince them to buy it you know, I I don't want them finding that out and I don't want them to realize they're part of some scheme that might be in the shape of a structure that the aliens help the egyptians build. So you know, we got to be careful about that too.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, great call, great call, okay. Okay, we'll move on podcast.

Speaker 1:

We let this out, yeah yeah, we'll definitely cut all of this out. No one heard this, thanks I love it all right.

Speaker 1:

Vibe check. Bruce, how are you? I am so relieved. You know I've been talking about this previous episodes. I've been having a big event, huge event coming up. I'm through the woods, came back wednesday via train, which was a nice way to end it all off. Uh, I'll tell you what, though like 8 to 11 11, most days I was working Cause like I had to go entertain afterwards we had like parties that I had to host and, like dude, I don't think I've ever worked such long hours in my life, but I'm through it now. I would say the results were tremendous. I feel really, really, really good about everyone and all the efforts that went into this and the results that are coming out of it. Like I've done this event three times now in my my tenure at this startup and this was by far the best. I would you know. I wouldn't even go so far as to say 10 X better, because that's too low a number. Wow, corpos, 10 X, screwed out. We're at like 23 X.

Speaker 2:

Dude, yeah, I'm so happy for you, I'm proud of you and and that that you're at the end of the the tunnel. Now you can just like come out on the other side and all the hard work you put into it paid off. But totally recognize that's a freaking grind, you know. And eight, by the way, if no one and listen to this has ever worked a conference when you were like work in the booth. It is exactly like bruce is saying it's non-stop, like people are coming up pre the whole entire event opening. You're setting up things, you're setting up the demo, you're making sure things work the night before you sometimes get there and nothing's working.

Speaker 2:

You're like well shoot, I'm working all night to get this thing going, and then we're here in the morning doing the booth. So, man, it's a grind.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. In the, in the two and a half years I've worked here, the lab we use has never broken. And guess what Broke right in the middle of day two. You know, wouldn't you know, right in the middle of it, right in the middle.

Speaker 1:

Which you know it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We got to switch over to another lab setup instance we had and it worked just as well and it also helped uncover some things that we need to learn about our product. So like just great experience. Even when things went wrong, they went right. So I'm I'm as happy as can be, and the funny thing is I looked at my, my jira today like, well, what, what is little bruce gonna do now, now that he's through the, the months of hell in preparation for this event, and launch product launch at the same time? You know, busy work, gross like I gotta go back to being stressed.

Speaker 2:

I think it's vacation time. You get through the big event. Now it's time for a vacation.

Speaker 1:

That's what I'm feeling for you so next year we really like to go to japan, yeah, and I'm kind of I'm learning japanese right now, I'm kind of saving up that time so I can do like a big two slash three week vacation next year with no questions asked, like go all in, like a week in Tokyo, a week in the various other cities, and then you know, just just figure, you know, go big right. So I don't want to push it, I also don't feel like I need it like I'm not the most incredible feeling.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, I'm through the stress. It was two straight months of just grueling literally all day in the chair working on things, going to meetings to figure out like how we're going to release, talk about plan, like nonstop. Now I'm through. This is a vacation, right, like I'm just like oh, I've got I got boring, old, busy work to do. I gotta clean up some battle cards. That's nothing, you know. I gotta update a placemat inside of our box. That's nothing. I can literally do this in my sleep. So it's kind of I have a vacation, very true, and now I missed it, you know, yeah yeah now like oh shoot, I kind of miss working that hard.

Speaker 2:

We should do another event, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Things are going to slow down for the summer.

Speaker 2:

Now is a great time, though, and you know this, but many other people don't. While it's fresh in your mind, write down some notes on the event. What didn't go so well, what can we improve for next year, cause you know you'd be going back and next year, I think, you get an opportunity to talk about like hey, how can we plan in a longer cycle next year to be more successful at the event? That way it's not such a grind to get to it.

Speaker 1:

I got a list, man, I got a list. You know what else? Just if, if someone else is in this situation, or if you're in a situation where you do a lot of work that runs up to a release not only write notes for retrospective reasons update your resume and I'm not saying that because you're going to quit. I'm saying it because, while it's fresh in your mind, you have really good experiences and metrics that you can be excited to write down and broadcast, like I did this. This is the hottest stuff that you do in work right, because it's the most visible. It usually produces the most revenue for the company. These are the things you want to make sure you capture and don't forget, so when you do need your resume, you don't have to think about oh, how many booth attendees did I get, how many demos did I do, or whatever the thing is you're proud of like. Write it down now.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely. And also, you know, while it's relevant, worth making a LinkedIn post. I know we talk about LinkedIn being the sludge pit. Bruce posted bangers on LinkedIn but now is a really good time for you to post things like that, because then it's another living record to be like. Look at this video and how awesome this is and, who knows, Maybe a recruiter will reach out to you and be like dude you killed that you should come work over here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. When I, when I post my quote, unquote bangers on LinkedIn under my superhero name, anthony Cusimano, let me tell you, wisdom is shared with the world. People sure do love it, they love it for sure.

Speaker 2:

You're not as great as you are on LinkedIn. You're a normal, a normal, a normie like me, who doesn't disclose their actual personality. Then, yes, post on LinkedIn so you can just have relevant content and hopefully people will see it Actual.

Speaker 1:

No, Bruce is who I really am. That other guy, that's just the mask I wear. That's the mask I wear to work.

Speaker 2:

You know, I don't even know the difference between my real self and Clark anymore. Whoa, that's creepy. The lines are blurring. After this many episodes and how long I've been talking and, being the pseudonym of Clark, I barely even know my real name.

Speaker 1:

You know it's funny, Like OK, we're way off now, but like what's really funny about that is originally we chose Bruce and Clark because Batman, Superman and you and I, you love Superman. You've got Superman shirts. I love Batman. I have like read literally a thousand Batman comics in my life. That's not even an exaggeration. Literally a thousand Batman comics in my life, that's not even an exaggeration. Batman is Batman and Bruce Wayne is the super or it is like a persona. Superman and Clark Kent are one of the same because you know, he's a symbol of hope and he does the same things in both personas, because he's such a just an embodiment of light and good. It's kind of crazy, Kind of just wild. It is really weird.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and pretty much everyone who knows who Batman is. This is weird.

Speaker 1:

They call him Batman, yeah.

Speaker 2:

No, it's. This is so weird, it is so true how we have formed into these actual personalities ourselves.

Speaker 1:

That we totally lifted from detective comics. You know, totally cool, Totally cool.

Speaker 2:

Um, you know, totally cool, totally cool. Um, all right, we have some crazy news I want to hear the news.

Speaker 1:

Hit me with the news because I got nothing. Okay, so this comes from bloomberg, everyone's favorite journalistic output. Uh, you can. You can choose whether or not that's sarcasm or or truth. Podcast producers make do with half, with less. Sorry, I'm gonna just read this again pod. This is a terrible headline. Podcast producers make do with less. After budgets are sliced in half, distributors and advertisers have tightened their spending, making buyers of limited run series harder to come by Now. The reason why I chose this news is because I just want your reaction on this. Okay, so the new normal for podcast production deals. The article goes on to talk about how you know, not long ago, a new podcast series was a good setup. Production companies were super excited to put down money. Clark, how much do you think businesses were willing to invest in a new podcast?

Speaker 2:

Oh, no For 10 episodes. 10 episodes, okay, yeah, I'm going to say 50,000.

Speaker 1:

Multiply that by 10.

Speaker 2:

No, half a million dollars.

Speaker 1:

Half a million dollars, Clark. What have we done wrong?

Speaker 2:

Oh my goodness, we've made negative dollars in the over 100 episodes that we've done. What are we doing?

Speaker 1:

21,000 downloads in the corporate strategy podcast not not freaking anything close to that. So now this they're complaining because they're like, oh yeah, producers aren't looking to invest as much anymore, so do you know how much they're investing? Now, clark, oh no is it half? It's just about yeah, 150 to 250 000, to which again I say please give me a sliver.

Speaker 2:

Give us just 10% of that.

Speaker 1:

We will talk about how much we love downloading Raid Shadow Legends to our phone and getting all the best heroes for so much less than that Shadow Legends. Get your one pack here on this link. Use our affiliation code slash, bruce and clark. Get in there and get your custom heroes and join my team. Like, please, 10 grand, like I'll take it.

Speaker 2:

We'll take this. Actual dollars that they're making this is. This is wild. If that's a possibility for us in the future, raid, come to us. Nor vpn, come to us next, we're ready.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, what's that? What's the raycon headphone? I'm ready, like I don't even care what crap you're trying to get me to shill. I can shill it like the best of them oh my gosh dude, I can't believe those budgets.

Speaker 2:

That is insane and it's no because, like it's so, there's not a lot of production that goes into it. Obviously you do all the work so I don't actually do anything, so I can't accurately speak to that. But that much money for the budget is wild.

Speaker 1:

Right, you know they're talking about how, like serial, which phenomenal podcast, yeah, the one that kind of started it all it. It caused this swell of investment for limited run shows like that. And now you know, I guess the market's tailed off, which I don't get, because I hear more people talking about podcasts today than ever before, absolutely. And part of me thinks, well, maybe there's just too many, right, like there isn't the opportunity to invest in just one big one. Now you got to kind of put 150 K in every pot except for ours, and you know see which one brings back the moolah. But, dang yo, how do we get on this? It is funny that they're acting so depressed about it. Meanwhile, yeah, here we are, 120 episodes strong, totally not a dime from what we've done.

Speaker 2:

So I thought that was maybe one day, maybe one day we'll be here you, you know. But I think the reward is, after you know all the good things, it'll come, our time will come. We just got to keep grinding, keep putting out these episodes for the good people, keep bringing value. And who needs the money, you know.

Speaker 1:

That's true. It was never about the money. I don't care about the money. In all honesty, this is a hobby. I've spent money on way worse hobbies than this, but, agreed, I certainly wouldn't want to complain.

Speaker 2:

You don't want to see the other things I've spent money on? Oh no.

Speaker 1:

If you just saw my office, you'd be disgusted. So yeah, Raid Shadow Legends, we're still waiting for the call. You know how to reach us. Just call us and that's the news.

Speaker 2:

Nice. Well, it was great. Well, thank you for bringing the news. As always, I have a topic for us today. I'm so excited it's going to be a blast. So, literally, full transparency. Yeah, literally in full transparency.

Speaker 2:

I messaged Bruce this about like two weeks ago because I was thinking about it I think of the commute home one day and I was like, oh man, I've got a great idea for an entertaining episode for the people and maybe, you know, there'll be some learnings along the way where we get some Bruce bangers and some Clark Jitter movements that we can share with the people. But I'm excited for this one. You ready for me to announce it? I am so ready, please. What are we talking about today, clark? Today is going to be horrors of the deep.

Speaker 2:

Bruce and Clark share their worst corporate situational stories that have ever happened in their career. So the setup for this is Bruce and I are going to kind of divulge what was like the worst moment. It could be like like a project. It could be a human interaction, which is that what I think both of us are leaning into a team situation, the worst one that we can think of, that we've had to deal with it throughout our corporate career, which between the two of us it's like what over like 25 some years. So we've been doing this for a little while and I'm sure we have some good ones stored up and as we were talking, we didn't actually like share any of the stories, but there's so many that we could share.

Speaker 2:

There's a few that stand out, so I'm really looking forward to hear what yours is, bruce, and I think you've heard mine before, but maybe not in the level of detail I'm gonna share today, so I think it's gonna get even better.

Speaker 1:

I can't wait. You've definitely heard mine before, but I'll try to spruce them up for the second telling. Maybe I'll add in some flavor and things that didn't actually happen. I love it.

Speaker 2:

Well, since I brought the topic, I guess I can start by all means. So I'm going to take the whole entire group back. We're going to rewind, go back in history here. This was probably circa 2016 or 17. So like seven, eight years ago.

Speaker 2:

So like seven, eight years ago, at the time I was kind of transitioning from a software engineer into kind of a product owner role. So I was kind of like teetering the fence of the two, trying to figure out is the product owner thing the thing that I want to do or is the software engineering thing the thing I want to do? And I fortunately had the opportunity with this team that I was on to basically play both roles and my manager was super supportive to try to figure out what I wanted to do, as long as I could still contribute to what our team was working on. So in all this, we were tasked with one of our projects being creating a design system for our applications. So we kind of looked you know we were way behind.

Speaker 2:

And Pris, you know this we were way behind with looked you know we were way behind. And Bruce you know this we were way behind with some of the tech that we were working on and our user experiences. Our user interfaces were broadly not like web user interfaces that were modern and sleek and easy to work with. They were very much like installed on a server that you had to like remote into and like launch on the server itself.

Speaker 1:

It was like 95 UI, at best it was bad.

Speaker 2:

It was real, real bad. And so we were kind of tasked with like let's bring our user interface into the modern world. Everything's going to be web, so we need to create a design system so we can reuse these components and have a consistent brand experience across our whole product suite. And I was like sweet, I got put on this tiger team. Based on some work we did Bruce on like some I don't know if it was you and I, but in different groups working on some like hackathons and things like that. They're like hey, you guys are great, you guys go work on that. So Bruce and I were not on the same team, just to be clear, I was on a different team. But yes, yeah. So I was chosen to work on this and Bruce was pulled away to work on something else. That was important and this project Real quick Clark.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the fact that you said something else that was important. Can I just give you a side note? Today I learned that that something important has end of life, forever, at all times. So I'm glad you put it that way. Or it was important at the time. It was never important, but we spent millions of dollars on it anyway. Continue with your story, okay.

Speaker 2:

Now we see where that ended up. I actually think this design system that we built was scaled to almost all the products and is still used in some rendition, so I feel pretty proud of the thing I worked on, anyway.

Speaker 1:

You did great. Yours turned out really well, so congratulations. Good for you.

Speaker 2:

So anyways, for people who haven't built a design system or don't really know what I'm talking about, think of it as like lego blocks, right, it's like you have these consistent pieces you can kind of just reuse and place over and over again and it's just a way for you to like. Instead of, let's say, you have like 100 buttons on a website, you can just create like one reusable button and that way if you need to change something, if something's broken, something doesn't look quite right, you change it once rather than changing it 100 times. So we were kind of tasked with building out this initial system. In order to be successful there, you really have to have a dynamic team of engineers, user experience folks and kind of like a product mindset person to do this, because you kind of have to understand what components should we build, what's important from a user interface perspective, what does the design need to look like? And then obviously someone's got to build the thing. So the engineers kind of come in handy. So, as I was saying, I was kind of playing the product and engineering role. So I was doing some programming, but it also was being like the product person in the mix and helping prioritize what we should build.

Speaker 2:

So, as we were kind of getting into the project itself, as with any ambitious project like that, the leaders of the company were like hey, we need to get this out sooner and we need to spend less money on it. So they're like get it done faster and we don't want to spend as much on it. So you're going to have to figure out how to do this. So, being kind of the product person and all that, I'm like great, you know, our lever is scope and time. We've got to get this done faster. We need to reduce scope and we're not going to make things like a perfect design system. So, rather than making everything reusable and flexible and whatever, we're going to take a few shortcuts. And the purists of any design system would say like, if you do that, you're sacrificing integrity. But also we're a business and like you have to be able to keep on iterating and get things out to your customers. So it's super important that you kind of balance those two things and there is a give and take. And so my mindset as the product-esque type person and the engineer, I was like okay, we're just going to cut a few corners along the way and we'll iterate on those things after we get the MVP launch out of the first product. We're going for idea.

Speaker 2:

And we started to get up in arms and meetings all over the place where they're like you're cutting scope here. That's, that's misaligned with the vision of the design system as a whole. By doing this or making these decisions, you know you're sacrificing the integrity we think we're going to have to. You know, spend three to five months more before we release an MVP. And I'm like yo, our leaders are saying we got to like launch this thing by this bit I think it was around an event actually Like we got to launch this thing in time for an event so we can announce it and hopefully not lose more market share than we're already losing to our competitors.

Speaker 2:

So, with all that, there was this one individual that was our design lead and him and I would just we'd get into it in calls. I'd be like, no, we're cutting scope here. No, we're not doing that, I'm mescling it up. You know I'm going to talk to your manager about this. I'm like, okay, go ahead. I'm pretty sure my manager and I are like we're on lockstep man, it's fine. So, anyways, he would always do that Every meeting we'd like get into a little bit of argument and then just decide to disagree and never talk to each other again.

Speaker 2:

And one time I was visiting this site that he was located at and I was always in there early. Like I love to get an early start before anyone else, so I would always get in the office for anybody else on my team, I'd be the first one there when I was visiting and, awkwardly enough, I walk in and guess who's sitting there? No, All alone in the dark, I'm not kidding myself. Lights off Like it's dark because we were in the north and it was wintertime. This lights off like it's it's dark because we were in the north and it was wintertime, so it was dark anyways, but still all the lights were off. He had his one light off on his desk and I was walking in.

Speaker 2:

I'm like oh boy you've been at proxy at time, man, it was probably like seven, six, forty five, seven am, so he was already there. God knows how long he was there for, but he was there, light flickered on in the dark, like working on his, his computer, and man, I could just feel it. You know, bruce, when you could feel a situation like the blood start to I'm feeling it right now your blood start to rise a little bit and you're like, oh, this is going to be it, him and I, we're going to hash this out. So I walk in, I like kind of say hi, and I could just feel, because we just got off a meeting the other day, that like he was about to do something. So the man, as I'm walking in, I say something, he like turns around in his chair, he looks at me, stands up and he just starts getting loud.

Speaker 2:

and I was like he's serious yeah, I was like oh, here we go. It's like seven in the morning. He's like I can't believe you did this clark like you're sacrificing the integrity of this. I completely disagree with you. And he just started getting like really close to me and I was like holy cow, this is getting real heated, real fast. No one's around, no one's around, it's just us. And I'm like okay, this is like. I mean, this is like one of the situations where you're like okay, what do I do? Do okay, what do I do? Do I just like walk out, because I'm not about to get into an actual physical altercation with this person?

Speaker 1:

Throw down man throw down.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we started talking and you know, he just kept on raising his voice. I was just trying to voice my opinions. I was like we're a business, we got to like get this thing out. And he's like, well, you're to get back to the core because you're sacrificing it now. And you know, all that being said, we got into it a little bit. No physical altercation happened. You know, I talked to my manager about it later, but we kind of just simmered down and decided to go our separate ways.

Speaker 2:

But that was one of the craziest situations I've ever had in my life, where someone would like get up in your face and like yell at you about this decision or disagreement that you had in a physical, like work environment and I obviously am was not, especially at that time, great with, you know, especially face-to-face altercations like that. So I just tried to diffuse the situation, like listen, it's not personal, like I'm just trying to do my job. These are my priorities. I got to get this thing out on time. You know, if you're happy, you got to escalate it up. And so, yeah, all that happened. And then the next day guess what, the man quits. No way, he goes MIA. I didn't know. This week I hear he resigned. I'm like holy crap, like I guess that's the way it went. Everybody just disagreed with him and he's gone. That's it wow.

Speaker 1:

So I'd heard this before, but I didn't realize that was the result yeah, it was absolutely crazy and what was wild.

Speaker 2:

Like a year later he reached out and like apologized for acting how he did and like still occasionally like likes things that I post here and there. It's like I still haven't dealt with that. Like I just said, like thanks, appreciate it, and that was it. But it just was crazy that this situation happened and that the results of that were, yeah, someone just leaving their job because of the disagreement you know, what's funny is like both of our stories when I'll tell you've heard it before.

Speaker 1:

I think the podcast has heard it before, but I'll tell it with more detail. They're both interesting because it's one other person, right? Like obviously it's a blow up scenario, so usually it's going to be one other person. But I'm curious and you can ask me the same question Would you work with this person again?

Speaker 2:

Maybe if we had time to kind of hash the situation out together. Yeah, but given the way it went, I would never recommend this person, yeah, role for a job. I would never want to work with them again, and the reason being it wasn't because they weren't great the person was really talented but just the way they dealt with those situations and in a lot of ways they tried to like go behind the back, my back first, and like talk badly about what I was doing without me even knowing about it, and be nice to my face. And then it all kind of started heating up in other meetings when push came to shove and things were getting real tight. And that's when that this all went down and the physical altercation and and I think that just ruined my trust in working with this person, no matter how talented they are.

Speaker 1:

Uh, reactions, right, Like, yeah, you know when we get to mine, so we'll get to mine soon. But like I was told in the past, I think you were this. This is when you were working on this product specifically. I was told in the past that I can be too reactive and intense and come off too passionate about my thoughts and feelings. This is when I was in engineering, I think you. I told you about this, right, like someone took me aside and told me like you're really smart, you're right, like you're not wrong, but the way you present it and the way you react is way too intense for people and it rubs them the wrong way. And receiving that feedback was so helpful to me in my journey because after hearing that, I completely changed how I reacted, until the story I'm about to tell you right now.

Speaker 2:

And what you said is so. It's so critical. It is like I hope and I hope I am like apologizing like he realized the situation was not right and, to your point, it's like there will be. We were, we were all so passionate about the project, right, we also cared so much, we worked so hard.

Speaker 2:

That was the reason I was getting in early. Who knows if he even slept that night, so it could have just been. He was working really hard, trying to make his point. He, he was super passionate and you know, when I showed up that early, he probably didn't expect to see me and that's when the tiredness came out and he wasn't able to control the emotion around it and he probably was on the brink of like, do I still want to be here, do I not? And that's when it all just came to a head. But I hope, for everyone's sake that works with this individual, that they were able to deal with this and figure out a better way to deal with that situation. Like you said, got the feedback of you know, hey, you're super talented, but you've got to learn how to, when things don't go your way, figure out, control what you can control and understand how you can deliver that message in a way that makes sense. But ultimately you've got to be a team player. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Man, the team player part, so important. It's funny. You might see a recurring theme in my tale as well. The one other thing I just want to say about yours is when you find yourself like I'm assuming I didn't know the early part of your story, like that he was there so early, I assume he was probably there all night right, like this had rattled this person to the core and you were the outlet of all of the pent up stress, frustration and everything that just so happened to be the closest by.

Speaker 1:

Don't let yourself get to that point, because it's truly on him. Like he could have been right and you could have been wrong, and it's he's still wrong for the way he went about it and it's because he pushed himself too far. He let his you know, his mental and emotional well-being decline because he's just focusing too much on a problem. At the end of the day, the corporate is going to make decisions that we hate and that we disagree with, and we have to be able to say, so long as the check still clears, I don't really care, right? Because, like you cannot change their minds and you cannot take it out on the people around you, it's never going to get you anywhere? Oh, apparently we have lost. No, we lost Clark. Good, can you hear me now, clark? Okay, I can hear you All right, well, they got the moral of the story. You didn't You'll have to figure that out on your own, but you existed through it, so I'm going to assume you've already got one. Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I don't know what happened. I disconnected but we're back and, Bruce, I'm really excited for your story.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so you've heard this before, they've heard this before, but I'm going to give you the full context and I like that you told yours first, because I think there's lessons to be learned in both of these. So you know, I have been yelled at in front of the entire organization numerous times in my career and that's always been annoying, especially because, I would say, a hundred percent of the time it was not my fault. In fact, it happened just a few months ago and all I I wanted to laugh because the person yelling at me was so wrong about the thing they were yelling about. It's like I can't exactly tell him he's wrong, but like the number of Slack messages I instantly got that were like oh my gosh, I'm so sorry, like I don't know why you are the recipient of rage today, but here you are. It's just you just got to laugh, right, like not in my control, not on my power, and honestly don't really care so long as the check still clears. But there was a time, one time, when I literally could have quit my job that day, and this was when I first went into marketing.

Speaker 1:

About a year after I joined the marketing team, I was asked for the very important task of updating our cloud messaging and you know, cloud at the time was still a relatively new concept. I'd say you know Amazon, aws, microsoft Azure, google Cloud they've been about seven years in their in their heyday. But I was at a data protection company. Data protection is always slow to keep around with the trends, so I was on the hunt to make really good cloud messaging. And it all started with a really cool idea and Alex Restrepo was in the room.

Speaker 1:

As it happened, I ended up going to a whiteboard and drawing this little journey and it was of a rocket ship leaving Earth to go colonize Mars. And I came up with this whole narrative about how you have to prepare before you go on the journey. Then you have to get there, travel and protect your goods along the way, and then when you land, you have to continue to optimize and make your strategy continue to work. So I took those same terms and apply them to data protection. Right, you can't just point blank go protect data.

Speaker 1:

You have to prepare, you have to see everything you want to protect, you have to make sure that everything works the way you expect it to, and then you have to go off and protect it, but that's not all. You can't just say backup one and done. You have to continue to optimize this and ensure your journey is good. And that was so true for our cloud story because a lot of people weren't backing up cloud workloads at the time. So, like perfect analogy, right, my boss loves it. I show it to some other people in the marketing team, they love it. So what follows is the ask to share it with product management and I start sending emails.

Speaker 2:

It all begins here the hate for product management.

Speaker 1:

It kind of existed before this because I did have some altercations with them as a sales engineer. But this is really where the hatred truly started and you're going to hate them too by the end of this story. So I send an email and I say hey, I'm working on this new idea for a cloud message. I need your guys's buy-in on this. And there was like I think there was four or five people at the team, including the SVP of product management, on this email where I included images, documents, words, everything. It took about a month for me to prepare this presentation. I sent it to him. I said I'd love to meet with you. Let me know what time's good and we can get it on the calendar, because I need your buy-in, I need your approval. Like, sales engineers have looked at this. They love it. I showed engineers just regular developers this. They love it, marketing loves it, everyone loves it.

Speaker 1:

Week goes by no response. I sent another email. I said, hey, I'd really like to get some time on your calendar. We actually need your buy-in for this to get approved. I'd CC my boss, who is, you know, a director of marketing, and I say, like, please just let me know when we can get some time to talk through this. Otherwise you can just look through it in the email and it would be great if you could just say yay or nay if you want to make any changes. Now's the time.

Speaker 1:

Another week goes by, no response from five different product managers. And so I say OK, boss, at the time what do I do? He's like OK, well, let's see the VP, let's make sure the VP knows what's going on. And I'd already presented to the VP. The VP approved. So now the VP sends an email basically says hey guys, bruce really needs approval on this. We want to make sure your voice is heard, otherwise we're just going to go ahead. You have one more week, um, so we give them one more week and literally no one responds, not any of the four product managers. A email, three weeks, no one responds. So I said, okay, I guess we can just continue. We give them a fourth week. No one says anything. So I'm like well, we have to go in production. Like I have to get this messaging ready for the next launch. There's just no time to make it work otherwise.

Speaker 1:

So I spend a month actually getting the assets cleaned up. I go through and get a professional company to build me a slideshow presentation, use the rocket analogy, creates really beautiful graphics. And basically two months later I get on this call with all marketing and all of product management and everyone's presenting what they've been working on, kind of just sharing everything. And this is the first time these people I've emailed have actually shown up to anything, even responded to an email. So I run through the presentation.

Speaker 1:

I had a partner at the time. She was on the presentation as well, worked very hard on all of this and literally during my time of pitching, the SVP of product marketing stops me and says this is terrible, what are you doing? And I was like, oh, I'm sorry, I don't understand. Like you don't like the graphics, the color. And he's like no, the messaging, why was no one involved? And I said that's strange. And the way I'm talking to you right now is like how it went down. Like I sent emails to you and your team, as did my boss and my VP, like I don't know what you expect. He's like I expect to be involved. I was like, oh, okay, well, if you expected to be involved, you should have responded to the numerous chances I gave you and your team to be involved. And he says, well, you clearly didn't involve the sales engineers with this because they would never use this. I said, actually I did. In fact, I met with them at meetings you were invited to, where they gave feedback and were part of this whole storytelling experience. And he's like, oh, I don't believe that he's like you wouldn't know the first thing about sales engineering. And I said, actually, actually, I was a sales engineer for two and a half years, so good of a sales engineer, in fact, that they moved me into marketing to help with the problem of how bad our SE sucked at the time.

Speaker 1:

So this continued. It was just like a back and forth of like this man being an absolute buffoon and his team sitting there quiet, and I'm just like I start messaging someone like can you please back me up? You have emails in your inbox. Just say he's wrong. Someone say something that's not me. And like I'm messaging my boss. You know I'm like dude, what do I do? This is really bad SVP getting mad at a lonely little product or solutions marketing manager. And it continues.

Speaker 1:

Eventually it's like, well, we're not going to get any more of this conversation. This is bad. We need to go back to the square one on this and I want to be involved from the beginning. So I was like, okay, all right, uh, sure, let's. I mean, actually I didn't say sure. I said I think it's too late for that. You had your opportunity, but we can take this offline and cause.

Speaker 1:

I honestly didn't care at that time If I got fired or shot in the face. I was so enraged and embarrassed and upset, and this is this is the worst experience I've ever had in in marketing or just in work in general. Like I've been yelled at before, I've been wrong and wrongly accused, but this was just something else, because everyone else was there and no one spoke up to defend me or my team or my work or the things they approved. And what followed after that was three months of me meeting with him and his stupid team and then so my original words prepare, protect, optimize In three months. So ultimately, this whole thing took six months to get through. Do you know where we landed?

Speaker 2:

Oh no, it's the exact same thing, isn't it?

Speaker 1:

no, we removed space from the analogy entirely. It became super boring and the words were transform, protect and optimize. Oh my god, six months of my life wasted because this man had the audacity to just be an idiot for like 15 minutes in front of the entire company. Now what's funny is, after this whole thing went down, I started to become really apprehensive and aggressive with both him and his team and they complained to my boss. They're like well, bruce is really hard to work with and he's like well, yeah, he thinks you all hate him and you kind of screwed him over in front of the entire marketing department. They's like significant placations.

Speaker 1:

What I want is to be done with this effort of us spending six freaking months on three words. I just want to honestly just want to get paid and go home. Um, and that experience, like as much as I hated when it happened, toughened me up so much to now I can be called up by the founder of my company publicly in front of the entire marketing team for something I didn't do and just laugh. Just laugh because I don't care. That's truly where I like lost my ability to have care or passion for anything I do, and it was a gift in a way, because now I'm not attached to anything anymore. But that was the lowest point in my entire working career easily, oh my goodness.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I know you've told me about about that, but you definitely went to a little more detail on this one, and, man, there are just so many things to take away from that product they're the worst yeah, I think honestly, that's the biggest takeaway.

Speaker 2:

like product managers, absolutely worse, and I am lumped into that crew, oh, but no, it's just so like unfortunate, because, like you, the thing that I hate about that most and what I'm what I absolutely despise about corporate culture is someone at that level. Putting someone down like that in front of a company for how clearly hard that team has worked on that and cared about it and tried to involve you like that, just it's. It totally just speaks to how terrible the culture was at that time at that company and especially those groups on. That is just not a conducive work environment that is helpful to anyone. And at the end of the day you ended in the same spot and you just lost good people.

Speaker 2:

You know, I'm sure people all saw that as a negative hit on the culture and I'm sure many people left after that to be like shoot you know one, these SVPs could come in and just shoot down my idea that I spent months on hard work, dedication, all that, and then two, that no one protected poor little Bruce and stood up and said like hold on a second, like we're not going about this this way, and that's what I hate the most and I've been lucky enough to have some leaders that have been in situations like that, where they stepped in and they were like no, no, no, we're not doing this. Like if you feel this way, you and I need to hash this out one-on-one. We're not doing it here. Like it's clear you were trying to be involved, you, you're wrong.

Speaker 2:

Like you need, and that that's what I hate the most is like there was no protection of a manager versus an svp, so many levels in between. It was just you on an island on your own facing this person who was way more senior. That obviously is a terrible part of the culture. Oh, just grinds my gears. I was getting heated with you just talking about it. I know it's bad I got.

Speaker 1:

I got heat. My blood was boiling, just like your blood rised during your story. It was like, oh yeah, just thinking about this, remembering this, makes me so mad. And it was funny because, like in retrospect I truly think, when I told him the sales engineers were involved, you chose not to show up to those meetings, like it might not have been the right thing to say, because that put him on the old crap. I've messed up and now I look like a fool as an SPP. You know he not looks like a fool in front of the entire marketing department, which you know. Marketers are just a bunch of idiots, you know. So if you're the head of product management and you look like an idiot in front of marketers, what does that say? So you know it was. It's just not a good situation.

Speaker 2:

I don't think there's any actual way. Way that could have gone good. I think he was the problem uh, turned around. The integrity move would have been bruce and maybe calling out his own team hey, were you, did you get an email about this? And they're like yeah, we had a couple weeks to respond and we tried to talk to you and you didn't. If he just was like, oh shoot, okay, well, you're right. Well, bruce, you know, please continue, we'll kind of circle back. If we do have any feedback, we we're going to get back to you and like that would have been, that wouldn't have made him look like an idiot. It would just be like you're busy, your priorities weren't the same, you handled this in a really good way, where now Bruce can continue, didn't ruin your morale or, you know, your happiness at the company. And then everyone saw that it's like OK, he acknowledged he was wrong, it's okay to do that.

Speaker 1:

Did you imagine that actually happened? Because, like, in that case, he would say hey, did you involve my team with this? And I was like or he could ask his team hey, did Bruce give you guys notifications about this? And they said, no, like bam, problem solved. He knows where the problem lies, it's with him and his team and we just move on and that's it. Like he would not look like a bad manager, his team wouldn't look bad. It's just like oh no, we've been busy, we'll go take care of this. No one looks bad in this scenario, but the way he went about it made everyone look bad, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

It's just funny. That is rough man.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, great time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah Well, great things to take away. I mean, I think both you and I, as leaders, have grown from these situations.

Speaker 2:

I think everyone in a long corporate career, you'd be lucky to not be scarred by a situation like this or worse. So I think, bruce, you know the things you learned, and the things I learned is like disconnect it from being personal. It's business. It's not the end of the world, it doesn't matter that much, no matter how much you think it does. You're part of the corporate cog. They'll replace you tomorrow, no matter what level, and so just keep that in mind as you're going through these situations. Stay level-headed, try to diffuse the situation as best you can and, at the end of the day, just walk away with your integrity and, worst case plan E exit.

Speaker 1:

Do not get attached to work, for it will consume you. Let it go. Let it go, for it will consume you. Yes, let it go.

Speaker 2:

Let it go man Well, great, great fun on this topic. I.

Speaker 1:

I think it'd be interesting to like.

Speaker 2:

bring certain other people that have been on this before, like maybe we bring back Alex, maybe we bring on Mr Yonkers. Get some other like horror stories from the deep. I would love to hear some of those from other people as well, even.

Speaker 1:

Squidboy, I want all the horror stories. If you've got a good one, I know we're running up on time because I've got a hard stop. If you have a horror story, that's the best of these we want to hear it. Please jump in the Discord. You can get there by either looking in the show notes and looking at our link tree. You can get everywhere you want to go from there, but the Discord's where we want you to go. It's a great place to hang out. We've got lots of friends in there. There's lots of good mentorship links, being able to talk about what's going on in the world, job offers and posts.

Speaker 1:

You're missing out. But, importantly for us, we want to know what's your horror story and if it's really good, we want you to share it in this pod. So please let us know about that. Everything else you need to know is in the link tree. All we ask share this pod with your friends and fam. Let them know what we're doing, tell them the good word of corporate strategy and if you want to help, there's donations in there too. You know what? We'll just keep it there and just remember to 10x your output when it comes to sharing corporate strategy. As always, I'm Bruce and I'm Clark and you're on mute Touch base next week.