Sharpening the Saw

Ok, in my last role, I was successful in turning around a struggling product and business and getting something out the door that will generate cash for Amazon and will get significant PR. What I failed to do was keep the saw sharp. I spent all my time in spreadsheets, product requirements, marketing plans, project plans, etc (much of which was unnecessary churn created, but that's for another post), that I have not read books, blogs, articles, met people, visited customers, or even blogged myself like I should have.

That stops with my new job.

Moving forward, I must protect my saw-sharpening. More and more my value to customers and my superiors is about my knowledge, my insight, and my instinct. Already on my new team I am being looked at to make that hard, final decision on what we should or shouldn't do, and when we should do it. Such decisions have a direct impact on success, and should not be taken lightly. So, I absolutely must be the eyes and ears of the market and feed that back into the team.

How do I keep sharp? Or, how do I propose to?

  1. Work 1 day a week away from the office. Go to a park. Climb a mountain. Take a boat ride. Sit in Tulley's (no Starbucks, though ;) ). Work at home. Sit at the mall for an hour. Play golf with someone new. See how fast I can drive my car in the windy roads of the cascades (ok, not that).
  2. Post a comment on a new blog every day. Forces me to search out different sites.
  3. Visit a customer every week (on average). Right now I am 1 behind (2 customers in three weeks), but after next week I will be caught up as I am meeting with 2.
  4. Have lunch with someone new outside of Amazon every other week. I'm probably a little behind on this, and not sure if I can meet this goal, but I definitely want to do more than one new person a month.
  5. A blog post every day. This is an outcome. If I do everything else, something should pop in my head and I should be able to conjur up something to opine about. And, more importantly, I must protect my time to do so (going to try and do it during the business day instead of late at night like I have been). If not, well, I am not doing my job.

1 comment:

Brian Erst said...

I think you also need to have Amazon fly out your most active blog commenter so you can really get his full level of insight on your processes. ;)