Category Archives: Other Stuff

Finding balance.

Finding balance

This weekend, my son got his first bike.

It’s the kind without pedals, meant to teach him balance.  Riding it is all he wants to do.  All the time.  And when I look at his little face, so totally focused on his task, I can see myself.

My energies tend toward extremes.  If I do something, I want to do it 100%.  Otherwise, I feel that I lack commitment.  That I’m somehow an imposter.

Whatever I’m tackling, it can’t be anything unless it is everything.

So being a stay-at-home mom was a struggle for me.  Although I love being with my son, much of the Mommy lifestyle is outside my comfort zone.  I find all the activities, classes, and play dates physically and mentally draining.  And for awhile, I beat myself up for that.  I felt that if I wasn’t giving it everything, I wasn’t doing it right.  Or worse, that I didn’t deserve this awesome opportunity I had been given.

But we can’t shame ourselves into being something we’re not.

At some point, we have to accept that we are who we are and move forward.  My kid will be just fine, even if I’m not the most outgoing Mom on the playground.  And my career will be fine, too, even if for now, I can only squeeze in a few hours after bedtime.

Like the bike with no pedals, it feels awkward and scary.  But eventually we find our balance.

 

My favorite management movies for a chilly holiday.

film reel snow

Are you looking for some smart entertainment over the holidays?  Something to make you laugh while still honing your management chops?  Well, you’ve come to the right place.  Here are a few of my favorite, light-hearted business movies.

9 to 5 (1980) is a total classic, obviously, with a great cast and a great soundtrack.  From a management perspective, it’s a window into the typing pool era, with its rampant sexism and low glass ceiling.  When Judy, Violet and Doralee are forced to take action against their sleazy boss, they take the opportunity enact some much needed change in the office.  Their use of colorful workspaces, flex hours, job sharing and on-site daycare prove these ladies were way ahead of their time.

When a Japanese company takes over an American auto plant in Gung Ho (1986) both cultures have to learn to adapt.  This is an 80’s comedy, folks, so the cultural differences are played a bit over-the-top, but the film addresses the reality of Japan’s influence on the domestic automobile industry at the time.

A more recent cult classic, Office Space (1999) explores the depths to which a bad boss, clueless consultants and a temperamental fax machine can drag us.  “The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.”  There is a management dissertation in that sentence alone.

If you’re looking for a series-binge, as I often am, Masterpiece Classic’s Mr. Selfridge (2013) is a good choice.  I love my Edwardians, so I was into this one immediately.  The series follows the adventures of American retail tycoon Harry Gordon Selfridge (played by Jeremy Piven) as he opens a one-of-a-kind department store in London in 1909.  This period piece has the expected romantic dalliances and family melodrama but also offers an interesting look inside the beginnings of the modern department store.  Selfridge’s marketing ideas and charismatic leadership are worth noting, as well as the burgeoning role of women in the workforce.

 

How about you?  What’s your favorite management movie?  I’d love to add it to my must-watch list.