Penalizing Managers For Giving Bad Reviews As Afterthought

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 08:48 PM with 0 comments

photo of performance review form

As the new year starts, for many it is also the start of the annual review process with their employer. Where this process varies from company to company, typically it entails creating goals for the coming year, taking into consideration the goals for the team, organization, group etc. and then at the end of the year measuring if you met those goals or not along with feedback that was accumulated throughout the year.

Ask any person who goes through this process and they will likely tell you they would rather spend time standing in line at the DMV! Many people feel it's a waste of time, not only in the fact that they have to spend time working on it but also at the end of the year a couple of things typically happen - one, they don't get a raise or a bonus, and two, for the first time they learn at the end of the year of something that happened months ago or even earlier in the year.

When you get written up on something in December that happened in March, how can you really do anything about it, nine months later, to affect any change? In other words, the performance appraisal process is broken, and I have an idea to fix it -penalize the manager that gives you a poor review or feedback at the end of the year as an afterthought when they had the opportunity to tell you earlier.

Say what?

If you think about it, at the end of the year when someone is giving you a review, their own personal review doesn't necessarily reflect yours. It should, for a manager should be measured on the overall performance of their team, as they should be ensuring their team is excelling at all times. Some manager do believe in this (including, fortunately, the manager I have now), however many managers don't want to be bothered by this throughout the year and as a result giving a poor performance review at the end of the year is really no skin off their teeth and comes naturally to them. Sometimes that poor performance review is based on asking others who have worked with you to provide their input, which is often referred to as a 360° review process. Even when organizations say they have a "immediate feedback mechanism" to let people know when they do well or when they do poorly, it rarely happens this way. Finding out about a problem at the end of the year when there's really nothing that can be done about it serves nobody well.

If the person giving the negative feedback is giving it too late, it is they themselves that should be marked down for it in the end of the year process. This gives the person giving the poor review skin in the game and makes them part of the solution. The whole idea is to inform people at the time something happens that something was unsatisfactory or could've been done better or could've been corrected. When it's given at that point, the person that has the opportunity to make the correction, discuss impacts on their workload that impacts their success, identify the need for education or training or greater organizational issues that need to be addressed that the manager may not even be aware of, et. al. The person and their manager or whomever is giving the negative feedback can then together put a plan in place to lead to success, along with a timeframe and measurement.

Been there, wish it was done

Many times throughout my career I have been on the receiving end of negative feedback too late to do anything about it. When I asked why nothing was brought up sooner, I was never given a definitive answer, namely as the review process did not require it. On the flipside, I have had many managers who gave me continuous feedback, comments, adjustments, etc. as I worked with them, and this was not only greatly appreciated but led to my success and the success of the project I was working on. I also hear this from friends and colleagues that hear of such late-in-the-game feedback they can do nothing about, which simply makes the workplace even less tolerable.

Deconstructing Giving Timely Feedback

Why not strike while the iron is hot, and give feedback while it is fresh, meaningful and can produce a positive outcome? This takes facing issues head-on, something many managers may not be comfortable with or other senior people don't want to be bothered with. By making these mid-game corrections, it allows everyone to succeed, and may also impact the bottom line of the team or organization. This investment in one's team is as important as any training or materials you spend money on them, and can reap even greater rewards.

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7 Blog Topics Written in 2007 That Are Still Relevant Today

By Mike Maddaloni on Thursday, December 28, 2017 at 11:53 PM with 0 comments

photo of 7Up soda bottles

Back when this little blog from which you are reading this post turned 10 a year ago, I started thinking about what I have written over these years, especially that first year. As a new writer at a time when social media was still in its infancy, I wondered what topics or “hot irons” I decided to “strike” a decade ago. This led me to pour through the archives of The Hot Iron and reading what I wrote in 2007.

As it turns out it was a mix, from well thought-out articles to short pieces that would have probably been social media posts had those networks been more prevalent. In all, I made 236 posts over 365 days. Where some in hindsight I probably would have written differently or perhaps not at all, there were many I read which pleased me that I shared my thoughts with my new audience. Overall, there were 7 topics or themes which I covered back then that I feel are still relevant today, and I would like to share them with you on a short trip down memory lane.

1. Domain Names – As the genesis of this blog was from, and was to support, my former Web consulting business, coupled with the fact I felt many people knew very little about domain names, I wrote several articles on domain names that first year. Over the years, I continued to write even more about domain names because, even after over 2 decades of they being commercially available to the public, I felt then – and still today – domain names are not well understood.

Among the posts included Be the master of your own domain (name) on registering domain names in general, Own the Domain Name for Your Name to encourage my readers to register the domain name for their own name, Know Who Manages Your Domain Name as many register domains but will forget where they did so, Beware Unsolicited Invoices for Your Domain Name on deceptive practices for selling registration and Web-related services by sending what looks to be a legitimate invoice, Domain Name Owners Not Who You Would Think on missed opportunities to register domain names and Observations of German Domain Names about how this American saw domain names in action in Germany.

Ten years later, I think all of these posts and what they discuss are very relevant. As I work with firms and talk with people about domain names today, much of what I wrote could inform them, and possibly save them time, money and headaches.

2. Networking – I never took a class on networking in college or afterwards, namely for until recently there was never such a thing. What I learned about meeting and connecting with people I learned literally on the job, through trial and many errors, as well as successes. Perhaps I should have developed a class on it (or perhaps I still should?) but as a close second I wrote about several aspects of it.

Posts on networking I wrote were My Networking Event Checklist about how I prepare for networking events, Community building is up to ALL of us on why I network, Nametags Essential for Networking on why there’s nothing wrong with wearing nametags and Time to Write The Note Cards on following up with people after meeting them.

In several of these posts I mention Jason Jacobsohn, someone whom I met online then in real life after following his blog Networking Insight, which today is still a vibrant resource on the art and science of networking. Even though I no longer have my own business, the need for connecting with others still exists, and is the driver for why I recently started dMorning.

3. Opportunity Cost – Shortly after starting my business I learned quickly about trade-offs, and when you do something it often doesn’t allow you to do another. Through this balancing act I had a flashback to college and penned All I remember from Economics 101 - Opportunity Cost. Where opportunity cost has come into play for much of my life, as it does for most of us, it was intensified when I was the boss and sole staff of my business. This discipline was an on-going effort, and helped by seeking the counsel of other small business. As time went on, and jobs replaced my business and my family grew, recognizing the opportunity cost of one decision over another became even more important in my life.

4. Customer Service – The challenges I faced as a small business owner, I learned, were not that much different than those faced by much larger organizations. However I was always stunned how an entity with many, many more employees could still miss the mark on things that, to me, were obvious. I thought that then, and sadly I still do today.

In 2007, JetBlue Airlines had an incident where passengers were stranded on an airplane. During a discussion on this with a colleague, an idea popped into my mind, which I wrote in A Free Idea for David Neeleman, an open letter to Neeleman, the founder and then CEO of the airlines, and I offered to him this idea. I have no idea if he, or any other airline CEO, ever read it. But by hearing the customer services disasters airlines still experience in 2017, my guess is not.

5. Accessbility – My first exposure to Web site accessibility came when I helped a friend who is legally blind with his PC. This was a rare case of providing tech support to a friend that had a benefit – learning the world of accessibility tools. I learned about JAWS, a leading “screen reader” which literally reads aloud what is appearing on the screen – be it icons, a menu or what is in a Web browser. Where this was great to be exposed to, I also learned of the challenges he faced with using the Web – most Web sites are not designed or programmed to make it easy for someone who is visually impaired to navigate and use them.

I wrote specifically about my experiences with my friend’s computer in a post called Unintentional Unusability where I barely scratched the surface on many areas, and mentioned how a design decision for this very blog was based on this experience. It was because of this I was eager to adopt the now-defunct service Odiogo which I went into detail in the post Hear My Blog Posts.

Today Web site accessibility is something I am still concerned with and work to overcome. As technology and their tools continue to advance in some areas, they continue to lack in this particular area.

6. Giving Back – As giving back to the community has always been a big part of my life, I made sure to include it when I came up with a list of “gift ideas” which were simply promotions of my clients. Where the idea was to send business their way so they would ideally send more business mine, I wasn’t betting the farm on this tactic, and it was probably good that I didn’t either!

Among the posts I wrote was one that would only send a good feeling back to me, and needed resources to a great organization. In Gift Idea – Help Young People by Donating to YouthBuild Boston I asked people to make a donation to YouthBuild Boston, a non-profit in Boston that I have supported for years, and at the time were a pro-bono client of mine. YouthBuild Boston works with young people to help them be self-sustaining. They offer skills training in the construction trades, as well as the support they need to succeed. They are an amazing organization, and one that is well run as well. If you haven’t made all of your year-end donations, they are a highly worthy recipient today as they were then.

7. Health – When I started my blog, my business was home-based and my office was in the den. A decade later, I am once again working from home, this time for an organization. I have a nice short commute, but it is a commute where I walk and sit, and sit for a while. When I came upon the post I wrote Walk to Work Even If You Work From Home, it reminded me that I need to get off my butt more during the workday, even when the weather is in the single-digits as it is as I write this.

Deconstructing What I Wrote 10 Years Ago

As time goes by, some things remain a constant, which I found in re-reading what I wrote over a decade ago. Many issues and thoughts I had then are top of mind today, and I this to the fact they are part of who I am and what I believe in. My quest for people to learn, understand and be able to use technology in a calm, connected, active and charitable world is a journey I am still on today. As I continue my blog into its second decade, topics I will write about will likely include those mentioned above.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Announcing dMorning Tech Creative Networking In Northeast Wisconsin

By Mike Maddaloni on Sunday, November 05, 2017 at 08:24 PM with 0 comments

screenshot of dMorning Web site

With great anticipation I am pleased to announce a networking event for people who work in the tech and creative fields in Northeast Wisconsin. Introducing dMorning.

So what is dMorning?

The idea behind dMorning is relatively simple - informal networking before the busy workday starts, with no set rules and no agenda. Since I moved to the Fox Valley of Wisconsin this past summer, I have been looking for something like this, as I work in the Web and I am looking to meet people who work in similar fields in my new home area.

In the past I have hosted a variety of meetups where I used to live in Chicago – some specific and some general – and I have found the latter to be more interesting. A casual gathering of people to talk about what they are working on, sharing stories and bouncing ideas off each other… this is something I have wanted to restart for a while, and why not here? My plan is for this to be a monthly event.

The first dMorning will be on Friday, November 17 at 7:30 am at All Seasons Coffeehouse in Appleton, which is conveniently located off I-41 at Wisconsin Avenue. I only say it goes until 9:30 am as that is likely as long as I will be there. There is no cost for dMorning, you only have to pay for any beverages or food you purchase from this locally-owned business.

What’s in a name?

You may be wondering about the name, dMorning. As I sought out a name for this, I didn’t want to pick something limiting. On the Web site at dMorning.com there are some ideas of what the “d” could stand for.

Hope to see you there!


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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My Guest Lecture On Consulting at University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh

By Mike Maddaloni on Friday, October 27, 2017 at 05:02 PM with 2 comments

photo of UW Oshkosh class with Mike Maddaloni

Last week I had the honor to guest lecture to students at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh (UWO) on the topic of consulting. As the students are working on group projects where they consult to organizations on the Web and social media, I was thrilled to be asked to share my experiences, stories and advice on consulting and working in technology.

The class, Application of New & Emerging Media, is taught by Dr. Sara Steffes Hansen, associate professor and chair of the Department of Journalism at UWO. The class is a required course for the Interactive Web Management (IWM) major, and also part of the curriculum for journalism and public relations majors. The interdisciplinary IWM program combines journalism, business and computer science courses to prepare students for digital careers, where all of these skills are vital.

With 10 students in the class, it was a good setting to talk on this topic of consulting, as well as the upcoming deliverables for their project, including an interim status report and a proposal to the client at the conclusion of the semester. I talked about the commonly-accepted description and roles of consulting, my take on it, as well as real-life examples (with client names properly masked) of positive and not-so-positive experiences throughout my career which spans now a quarter-century. As nobody nodded-off in class and the questions posed by the students were of a high caliber, I am hoping they got as much out of the time as I did.

Dr. Hansen said the students handed in their status reports this week, and discussed the aspects of customer service and risk. She added, "the students applied those real-world examples and consulting essentials from your presentation to their own communication efforts with clients. They could articulate the management of risk for the unknowns in their projects, which is a part of any Web, eCommerce or social media endeavor. It was nice to see the students enjoy their consulting roles in this discussion."

This is the second time I have given a guest lecture in one of Dr. Hansen’s classes. Two years ago I spoke to her class, incidentally a pre-requisite of this one, on the topic of blogging. Where the last time I remotely spoke to the students using the Personify technology and a 3D Web camera, this time I was in person in the classroom, the method I prefer much better.

I have posted the slides from the lecture on SlideShare, and you can view them embedded below or view them at this link on SlideShare’s site. On slide 11, I selected 3 famous people to help describe proposals – can you guess why I chose them?

(photo credit – Dr. Sara Steffes Hansen)


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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3 Tips On Sharing Content For Reluctant Twitter Users

By Mike Maddaloni on Monday, October 02, 2017 at 09:26 PM with 0 comments

photo of Twitter quote tweet box

I’ve encountered a recent phenomenon of people who are new to using Twitter. Some are businesspeople who feel they need to use it but don’t quite embrace it. Some are employees of companies who are asked to share content on behalf of the company but don’t use it for much else. Then there are others who have been told they should be using it but are not comfortable as compared to other social media platforms.

These people are what I consider “reluctant” Twitter users. I’d like to offer them – and everyone else – some straightforward strategies to gain familiarity and comfort with this social network.

Let’s start with simply sharing content from others. When it comes to sharing content on Twitter, I offer 3 tips to help you through the process. But first, let’s define what “sharing” is. It is the process of posting, or tweeting, information you want to inform others of. It could just be the text of a tweet, a link to a Web page, a picture, or a combination of all of these.

These tips are:

1. Identify something of interest to share with others – Where this may be obvious to some of you reading, I know for others it is not. There is no “perfect” content – it can be any of the formats mentioned above.

When you think of who to share with, I am referring to the people who are following you, plus any Twitter users, providing your profile is public. As for the latter, people can search all tweets (known as the public timeline) for any topic they are looking for. They may find one of your tweets, and could like or retweet it, thus sharing it to their followers. So when you see someone you don’t know like something of yours, this extension to your network is why.

2. Use the Tweet button – Now that you have identified what, how do you actually share it? The ideal way is by clicking a button or link which will open up a text box and format a tweet for you. With Twitter now being around for over a decade, most Web sites, news media, blogs, etc. have such a link or button, as well as sharing buttons for other social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Pinterest).

That being said, there are many sites that do not offer such a button (like here at The Hot Iron). For these, you can simply copy and paste a link into the box when you go into type your tweet. You also can use built-in sharing functions on your Web browser or mobile devices to compose a tweet.

3. Personalize it – Before you press the tweet button, personalize what you sharing. Personalizing allows you to add your point of view, your reason, your whatever to what you share. Personalization can also include the Twitter username of someone to send the tweet to as well as a personal message to them or anyone else reading it. You can also take personalization to the next level by adding keywords or hashtags (keywords preceded by the # symbol) to what you write, as people may be searching Twitter for content with these words.

Like with anything, start someplace and the more you do it, the more comfortable you will be. Following these 3 tips will hopefully make this as easily done as said. The next time you find an article or anything else you want to share on Twitter, try these tips and let me know if they work for you or not.

Deconstructing Tweeting Content

Sharing content is at the core of the term social media – being out there and social by sharing content from a media source. Any new activity takes time – more for some than others – but with practice you will get comfortable. Having some guidelines can help you get over the hump. In time, you will gain a level of savviness with using Twitter.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Why I Don’t List My Birthday On LinkedIn

By Mike Maddaloni on Sunday, June 11, 2017 at 02:42 PM with 0 comments

screenshot of LinkedIn birthday notifications turned off

Happy Birthday! Or should I say, Happy Birthday?

When you hear those words, what do you think of? A child’s birthday party? A co-worker gathering for birthdays for the month? Or a recurring line from a Christmastime cartoon?

Or perhaps do you think of an onslaught of people, some you may not even know well, sending you those 2 words in a rote fashion over a social media platform?

It is for this latter reason why I don’t list my birthday on LinkedIn.

Sincerity vs. Obligation

Adults have a variety of traditions when it comes to their birthdays. Some don’t acknowledge them at all, some dog you with it like it’s a national week of celebration, and most are somewhere in between. For myself, my immediate family will acknowledge it, I get a few messages from those cousins who keep track of everyone’s birthdays, and that’s it. And I am fine with that.

As social media platforms have evolved, they have asked for more and more information about you. This includes LinkedIn, which most regard as business social media platform and, ideally, above the fray of such frivolity. However, that’s not the case, as they ask for the date you entered this mortal coil. Capturing this in their databases, now owned by Microsoft, is not the extent of it, as they now share your birthday with your connections on that unique day – as you go through your feed seeing who has a new job or work anniversary, you will also see who is marking the day as surviving another year on this planet.

This compels people to “like” or go as far as to wish you a Happy Birthday with a canned greeting. On occasion someone, likely a person who actually knows you, may put a more personalized greeting, but for the most part the obligatory methods are the ones which are used. On the surface this may seem nice – look, everyone’s wishing me a Happy Birthday – but it is insincere, and for some, intrusive, as many people don’t like it highlighted.

Just Say No As I Do

screenshot of blank LinkedIn birthday settings fields

If you want to rise above the fray of the frivolity of empty birthday greetings on LinkedIn, there are 2 steps you need to follow. First, don’t list your birthday. Under your contact info on your profile page, simply remove your birthday, as shown above. Second, you can turn off notifications of those who still have their birthday listed on the social platform, so you won’t be inundated with requests to wish them something that may not want to hear. The image at the top of this post is what this looks like on the LinkedIn notifications page.

But Wait, What About in The Name of CRM?

As some of you are reading this, you may be thinking I am missing the point of why LinkedIn is asking for this information to begin with. My guess is some of you who are in sales or have businesses may think birthdays are a great way to engage with customers and provide an added level of personalization, and taking their birth date from LinkedIn to your own customer relationship management system is a natural step.

Think again. Just because someone has their birthday listed on a social media site, it’s not because they consciously entered the information. Other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter ask for more information than – if you think about it – you should comply with. Entering your birthday may be as natural as entering your email address or even your name, as you don’t think twice about it. Just because it’s listed there for a person, don’t assume you personally have permission to do with that data what you will. The platforms likely have it covered in their terms of use though. The best way to alleviate this is to just not do it.

Deconstructing Birthdays in LinkedIn

Birthdays are personal. Sending birthday greetings to a person you do not know well, just because you saw they entered their date onto a social media platform, can be awkward. Especially when using a business-focused social platform like LinkedIn, pause should be taken when acknowledging or using this information, as the person who entered it may not be aware of how it would be used or shared.


Do you have your birthday listed on LinkedIn? On other social media platforms? I welcome your thoughts on this in the comments to this post.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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The Simplest Web Site Content Plan

By Mike Maddaloni on Sunday, March 05, 2017 at 06:55 PM with 0 comments

image of content plan model

Quick – how accurate is your Web site?

My deepest apologies if I caused you to have anything from a puzzled look on your face to a panic attack. But if you own a Web site and have any sizable amount of content, it should be periodically reviewed to see if it needs to be updated.

Where there are tools available to help this – perhaps within your content management system (CMS) where you update your content, or external, third-party tools, I’d like to share a basic, straightforward and low-tech way to remind you to review your content.

From Louisville With Love

In a past role I managed the technical environment for our Web site and Intranet, working with staff from Marketing together as the Web team. One day someone from the facilities department stopped by my desk, and the brief conversation we had went something like this:

Julie (not their real name): “Hey, Mike.”

Me: “Hey, Julie”

Julie: “You know the Louisville, Kentucky office moved, right?”

Me: “Yea, I saw that someplace… why are you asking me?”

Julie: “Because the old office address is still on the Web site – you do something with that, right?”

After that thrilling conversation, I got on the phone with my marketing counterpart (we’ll call her Natasha) and has basically the same conversation with her, however I said Julie’s lines. This was followed by a few choice adult words by both of us, then Natasha proceeded to make the change to the Web site.

Maintaining With a Plan

Still on the phone, we both could hear each other exhale. We were glad we were able to make the change quickly, then the conversation continued around how much other outdated content was out there, updating it, and a plan to do both of these tasks moving forward.

As with many Web sites out there, content has many owners. The marketing teams for each product managed their own content, and Natasha was responsible for the overall “corporate” content. We didn’t have a feature-rich CMS for the site that could alert us to “expired” or “expiring” content, nor were there many decent comprehensive content tools at the market at the time – and we looked – so we had to come up with our own solution.

What we came up with was straightforward yet highly effective, and it came about with these steps.

1. First I listed all pages of the Web site and put it into a spreadsheet. As we had a Sitemap page it made this task easy.

2. Natasha then took the spreadsheet and added a column called “frequency” and proceeded to make the frequency of how often page content should be reviewed (e.g. weekly, monthly, quarterly).

3. I took a look at her revised spreadsheet and made suggestions regarding the frequency – remember, I am much, much more than just a technologist!

4. Natasha, using the final spreadsheet as a guide, created calendar alerts with links to the pages as reminders to review the content.

That was it, and it worked.

Of course some content would be reviewed more frequently, namely when it was modified or other business triggers occurred. The point of the above exercise though was to ensure that, on a regular basis, all of the Web site content would be reviewed for accuracy. In addition to this, I would perform regular link checks to ensure the content was technically connected.

What Works For You?

As you are reading this, I hope you are thinking of the content of your Web site, as there is no time like the present to be thinking about it! In addition to the site itself, your extended Web presence includes your social media profiles and feeds. As it’s easy to tweak one or more and forget about the others, perhaps this “detached” solution of using your calendar will work for you too?

Deconstructing a Web Content Plan

In this hyper-speed world of content development, it’s not unusual to have inaccurate or incomplete content out there, exposed, for all to see. By coming up with a straightforward and highly usable plan, you will be able to get ahead of long-standing errors and omissions in your Web presence.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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Thriving In A Culture of ASAP

By Mike Maddaloni on Sunday, November 20, 2016 at 04:57 PM with 2 comments

screenshot of ASAP definition page heading

When you see “ASAP” in an email or text, do you cringe? Sadly most of us do – I do – as the acronym, which is made up of pleasant words, has ended up becoming a harsh term.

Looking up the definition of ASAP in the dictionary you see it stands for “as soon as possible” which is, as I said, pleasant. But thinking back to the cringe-causing event (or more likely events) that come to mind when you read the opening of this post, do you think the person typing ASAP really meant “as soon as possible?”

Hell no I can hear you say! Rather than asking you to do something as soon as it is possible for you to do so, aren’t they really asking, “drop all you are doing and respond to this right this fucking second!” Let’s be honest, this is what should be listed in the dictionary as the true definition of what ASAP means, and not just the words behind the acronym.

The Culture of ASAP

Most organizations have a culture of ASAP. In this hyper-connected world where any information can be had in seconds, we have a heightened expectation that seems to come with a narrowing window as time goes on.

Note I say “any” information and not the “right” information or even accurate information, or any other qualifying adjectives that requires strategic thinking. This has no place in the culture of ASAP, as everything is being responded to fast and furiously. Even if the answers or responses have already been prepared and presentation in reports or dashboards, the person slinging ASAP around has no time for these tools and want the answers from you and right now, though ironically they may be the owner of said reports and dashboards.

Succeeding Under ASAP

It goes without saying that to get beyond a culture of ASAP takes leadership. Part of that leadership is in communications – sharing expectations of greater foals and what may be asked of a team. As well, the team is given time to ideate and strategize the big picture down to their area of expertise and can thus be proactive in using information sources or channels.

In the absence of that leadership, there is still the ability to make gains and efficiencies yourself to make your life easier. Simply documenting ASAP requests is a great start, by recording overall what is being asked, looking for trends, and comparing it to what you are doing now. Incremental improvements to processes or reporting can be made as a result of this analysis. As requests come in, make sure you are clear as to what is being asked and – if appropriate – why it is being needed. The “why” can influence “what” is created. These latter steps are things I do on a routine basis to make both the collection of data and reporting of information much more efficient.

Deconstructing ASAP

Priorities in business change frequently and requests can come in that need to take top priority. With some analysis and a small series of successful changes, dealing with ASAP can be made much less harsh, as it is likely to not go away altogether.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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I’m A Teacher

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at 09:35 PM with 1 comments

”photo

Who would’ve thought a wedding reception in Indianapolis would be where I’d realized something that has helped shape the path I’ve taken with my career?

It was following the wedding of my friends Jen and Bill at their reception where it happened. Bill was making a speech, and though I don’t remember it verbatim (sorry, Bill!) he began talking about teachers, as he is one himself. Then he asked everyone in the room who was a teacher to stand up.

And I stood up.

Not only did I stand up, but nobody snickered or asked me to sit down either. This is when I first realized I am a teacher.

Define Teacher

When I lookup the definition of the word teacher in my favorite book of words, it reads, “a person or thing that teaches something; especially: a person whose job is to teach students about certain subjects.” This is why I have never thought of myself as a teacher, namely as I have never had a title with the word “teacher” in it before. My job titles have had “consultant,” “manager” and “president” and other business titles – but never teacher.

As I look at my career present-day and past, I have always been teaching in some capacity. There is teaching in the formal sense, were I have developed training and offered classes in the US and internationally on Web application and their underlying technology, I have also developed Web portals to host and deliver these materials. Then there’s teaching in a more advisory role, where I am consulting with people on business decisions and how to apply technology to help solve them. In some cases I am coming in with the answer after strategizing on it, other times I am troubleshooting in real-time to come up with a solution.

In the above cases, teaching is pervasive. I’m not simply saying to a client, “do X,” rather I am explaining what “X” is, answering their questions on “X,” informing them about “y” and other letters of the alphabet, and ensuring they have all the information they need to make an informed decision.

Educating vs. Selling

Some of you reading this may be saying, “yea, but aren’t really selling something to people in these cases, not teaching them?” Part of that answer is certainly yes, but when someone or some corporation is shelling out a lot of money, they need to understand the why, not only from a pure dollars-and-cents point-of-view, but with regards to how to best leverage and use it among other aspects. Teaching of course is an important role for sales and account people too, not just for the technology strategist like myself.

This is of course not to say that everybody is a teacher (I don’t recall everybody standing up at that wedding reception). Many don’t like to or want to teach. Each to themselves, but for myself I have always found this as a very rewarding aspect of what I do, past and present. Not to mention making my job easier by working with a well-informed client.

Deconstructing Being a Teacher

There are many more people out there who are teachers than realize it. We always envision a teacher as someone heading a classroom in elementary or high school, and has the word “teacher” in their title. I am not saying I am a replacement for them, rather someone complimenting their contributions to society with my own.

And you can give me an apple anytime!


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


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About My Deconstructions

By Mike Maddaloni on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 08:19 AM with 0 comments

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When I started writing here at The Hot Iron, the name came from the expression, “strike while the iron is hot.” Though my entry into the world of blogging could be considered more functional than creative, taking burning topics – whether business, technology or personal – and boiling them down was far from anything new to me.

Much thought has gone into the direction of my blog lately, which is one aspect of the thought into my greater self. As I have considered the focus on what I write, I have also focused on how I write, namely in the approach I take with covering a topic. The product of this quest is what I am calling My Deconstructions.

What is a deconstruction? As I write here and elsewhere, I will strive to take my analysis and reporting on a topic and conclude it by breaking it down into essential points and conclusions. In some regards it will be similar to my book takeaways; rather than rating a book I share what I gained from the time spent reading it. In some cases it is a summary, and in others I look back on something I took from it and am surprised I came up with it! The deconstruction may be takeaways, action items, next steps, essential components, revelations or something else I haven't thought of a category for.

Like anything, I have already started writing these and will see how it evolves. As a reader, whether your first time or as a long-time one (and I know there's a few of you out there), I welcome your thoughts and feedback as this new approach appears in my future posts.

Deconstructing Deconstructions

Why shouldn't what I write about deconstructions have one itself? As time is always of the essence, taking the time to make or reiterate the main points from something is always useful to whoever is consuming it. It also helps the reader understand your main points, as you never want to assume someone has gleaned them from reading your work. In the end the reader – you – will say if these deconstructions are helpful, and please let me know in the comments to this post either way.


This is from The Hot Iron, a journal on business and technology by Mike Maddaloni.


Did you enjoy this? Subscribe to The Hot Iron by RSS/XML feed or Read by Email.

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