Remember what Ivan Drago said to Rocky Balboa in one of the “Rocky” movies?
“I must break you”. Right?
Do you ever get the feeling that no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you put into your job, how loud you shout what you need people to do, you still get punched right in the face as if it was an uppercut from Ivan Drago?
Feeling like a punchbag is annoying, isn’t it?
As these punches start to take a toll, as an LSP operations executive, you are slowly made to treat the time for sleep, the time with your family and the pleasures of the world as luxuries, always coming after one thing that’s always there. Your job! Well, when looking around, I start to believe some people can really be married to their jobs. And guess what… there’s nothing wrong about it, as long as the marriage is a happy one, with all its ups and downs, that’s obvious.
And at the end of the day, when you look at it, do you feel like you could have done more, or better for, in short, being more productive? That’s the point, isn’t it? To see the important things grow and develop.
All stuff that matters, KPIs and all, that productivity of your teams, all things affecting profitability?
So, when you see your resources wasted on fixing those delivery issues the ultimate source of which is a bad time and risk management – there comes the finishing blow. High time for therapy? Life is the hardest puncher of all out there. Professional life in operations is very close.
When you and your team start a new project, sourcing it to a vendor, who does the job OK, but forgets about one thing that is crucial – communication – and the whole project falls apart, would you say you still love your job or do you need to stop for a moment and rethink how come things got that far in the first place?
As it’s always you who has to clean the mess when the project fails, your head will be on the plate, delivered before you know it. Your CEO will ask questions. And one of them will be that question you’re not particularly fond of: “who’s responsible for this?”
Life doesn’t break you. It’s people who do. First, it’s jabs, then hooks, and then you’re down.
It’s always been about people, so one good idea may be having the right people in your corner, a team that will lift you up and make you the winner instead of breaking you.
Yes, I know. That noise is unbearable. Everyone saying the same old boring stuff about deliverability, quality standards and dedication before everything else. Everybody has to say that. That’s just how it is. No one cares. But try to shout “TEP is dead!”. Ha! It’s even better than “yeah, send us the project, we will happily mess it up for you and leave you with a mad client unwilling to pay”.
Then, what if, instead of promises, you looked at the facts? Just the way you’d analyze an opponent. Everybody puts their portfolios, case studies and what not, on their websites. You have it all there.
All you need to do is just take the time and look for yourself (still you need to filter the mentioned noise, of course). Or, trust your vendor manager to take a closer look at some alternatives.
New beginnings can be pretty exciting. Something ends, something else begins. I have mentioned marriage already, right? The new can be refreshing and give you that extra energy to move forward. It’s a new chance to have someone who finally takes the burden off your shoulders, who listens more to you than themselves, who talks to you the way you both understand each other clearly, who delivers on their promises.
The only constant is change. And change is good.
And it’s true that people can promise you gold. But does it mean they will always deliver? After all, it’s about the partnership. About giving, not only getting. Just as your work is about getting things done. Your way.
And then giving back. A win-win. A balanced, responsible relationship. Like the one between a coach and an athlete. Not a one between a fighter and a punchbag that never punches back.
Get to the point where you can happily leave the office to go and take on this parachuting challenge you have already managed to forget you ever wanted to take. Or, this 6–hour movie binge watching with your friends you have never had time for. Or, just do a million of other exciting things waiting for you out there.
It can even be a good night’s sleep you’ve dreamt of for so long.
The job will still be there. Waiting for you. Only this time, with the right team in your corner.
Everyone has their Ivan Drago. And no matter if you are a swarmer, a slugger or a puncher, get it on!
This round is yours.