Posted by: kerrywills | September 13, 2019

Taking accountability

I am a strong believer in taking accountability. A few weeks ago I was driving home and a car was coming from the other direction and was over the middle line so I edged to the right and when I did, I hit someone’s mailbox with my side view mirror. I returned to this person’s house to let them know what I had done and offered to pay for a new mailbox. They declined my offer but appreciated me letting them know (as a side note their mailbox was angled into the street and probably not as far back as it should be).


Interestingly, this weekend someone hit my mailbox during the day but did not own up to it. I was not annoyed at the $25 for a new mailbox or the time it took to replace it so much as the fact that someone would destroy my property and not own up to it. It may have been a new driver that was scared or someone who just did not care but either way it did not seem right.

This is a good reminder that, even at work, we need to take accountability for our work which includes when things go wrong. I often find myself apologizing or owning up to mistakes at work and I find this is the best way to move past them as opposed to making excuses or blaming other people.

BTW if the culprit is reading this blog, then I forgive you.

Posted by: kerrywills | September 6, 2019

Conflict is inevitable

I do not like conflict and really do try to avoid it. Unfortunately it is inevitable in a business setting as there are many scenarios that arise….

  • People have different opinions on recommendations, options or decisions
  • People can have different agendas
  • People have different personalities and do not get along
  • People could just have a bad day and want to take it out on people


We need to recognize these situations will occur and determine how best to address them when they do. My approach when conflict does arise includes the following tactics.

  • Stay calm
  • Focus on facts rather than blaming others
  • Look to negotiate to an acceptable solution or compromise

Many days I feel like all I do is deal with conflict with others or within teams.  All I try to do when this happens is survive and “live to fight another day.”

Posted by: kerrywills | August 30, 2019

Marketing and branding

We all have personal brands in the workplace and should try to be aware of how we are perceived. This means considering what are brand is, how do we want to be perceived and assessing how we are perceived. Some examples of a personal brand at work could include the following:

  • Being an expert in a particular technology, function or business area
  • Being seen as someone who has good insights
  • Being able to navigate the organization
  • Being seen as someone who gets things done


We should always seek to be aware of our personal brand and what we can do to influence it. For example, how we dress and interact with others could be influential in our brand. If a person wants to be seen as a team player but then is argumentative that trait would work against the desired image. We should also seek out the guidance of others to get a sense of how we are perceived so we can have a better understanding and seek to correct any possible deviations from our plans.

Posted by: kerrywills | August 23, 2019

Get creative

There are always problems to solve at work and especially on projects. Sometimes, we need to get creative with the way that we tackle these situations. A recent example where this occurred was on an initiative that I was helping with to set up a Digital Center of Excellence for our company. We wanted to start with an inventory of all of the websites that we managed. Like any Fortune 100 company the organization has many departments, divisions and teams and so we started reaching out to each of them to understand what they had.


We then got creative and realized that we have a Security team that monitors all of our sites and we were able to get the full inventory of 400+ sites from one source rather than chasing down dozens of people.

The point to this story is that by using some creative thinking we were able to accomplish an activity that could have taken weeks of time. We should always be thinking of innovative ways to complete activities or solve problems and not just assume that the most straightforward way is the only option.

Posted by: kerrywills | August 16, 2019

Building muscle

I have been working out since I was 14 years old. I have learned that the best way to build muscle is to constantly change your workout routine and to put stress on your body. Muscles can get used to routines and stressing them is what causes them to grow.


In thinking about this at the gym this morning I realized that Wisdom is the same way. We need to continue to have different experiences in order to grow as professionals. It is the difficult projects and situations where we learn the most. Experience can mean knowing what not to do as much as knowing what to do.

So, just like building muscle through changing our experiences we need to build our wisdom the same way. This means we need to continue to look for new challenges, change our roles and get out of our comfort zones.

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