Team Awesome!

So many conversations and questions with you after my presentation Monday morning. I had a couple more than once, and I thought I’d share some of my answers.

I have several different options for my future; how do I choose?

First, remember it’s a multi-dimensional choice. A pro/con list just isn’t going to cut it. So ask yourself these four questions and write down your answers. What do I want for the future me – what are my ambitions for the future? What do I want for the present me – how do I want my work to be recognized? What do I want for the bigger me – how do I want to have an impact? What do I need for my life – compensation, life/work balance matter – what do you need to live? This exercise will start to help you see what’s important to you. Some of you heard about my handy dandy calculator that takes these questions and adds math to some serious questions. Want a copy? Just email me, and I’ll send it to you.

Can you expand on the Now/Near/Future concept?

First, let me remind you of the definitions.
Now Work = time you need to spend on things on your “to-do” list that need doing this week.
Near Work = time you need to spend thinking about what you need to be doing in 6-12 months. Consider this research and development. Often strategy conversations resulting in additions to the Now Work list.
Future Work = time you need to spend learning about what you need to know to be smarter at your job. Remember, your leadership team relies on you to be the expert; it takes investment. This week at Basecamp is an excellent example of using this time wisely.

Here are the questions to ask yourself.
If I were to look at my current time how much time am I spending in the Now, Near and Future?
What do you think they SHOULD be for your role?
What does your manager think they are?
What does your manager think they SHOULD be?
If your numbers and your manager’s numbers are out of synch, you have a problem. Worse, you don’t even know.

Here’s what I recommend. Bring this concept to your boss and before you share your numbers with them, ask them what they think your numbers are and what they think they SHOULD be. Then share what they are and what you think they SHOULD be. This simple framework using mathematics and your time allows you to have a hard conversation around priorities and expectations. Bonus points – have this conversation with the people who report into you. It’s an eye-opening discussion.

Most people I share this exercise with have a surprising and very candid conversation about their time with their boss. What often happens is there’s a desire (from the boss) for you to be spending more time in the Near and Future buckets. It’s step one in moving your narratives from “people who make their work look like magic and can make anything happen” to “strategically critical peers whose insights will help us build the future.” If you want to make AdOps part of the C-Suite, that’s the narrative shift that needs to happen.

If you have any other questions or if I shared a different tool with you, please feel free to reach out at

Also, if you’re interested in bringing Future Focused language and programming into your team I’d love to figure out what might work for you. We have all sorts of options.

Best of luck to you all on your exploration of the future,


PS. If you want to learn more about The Figure 8 Voyage, you can read the daily posts from Randall here.


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