Work with People Who "Get" You
The past couple of weeks have been... well... distracting. That much should have been obvious with the lack of original blog postings. But most of you who read this blog know that I have been enjoying the ultimate masochism by finalizing two book projects this summer.
Race Through The Forest has been just that: a race through the proverbial forest of the publishing world. I've actually been working with two publishers on this project. My original publisher, Tiberius, maintains the rights and handles all of the Amazon activity. I made the decision to hire my current publisher, Lexicon, to reformat the book and make it look more like my other two for brand consistency. But still, one would think the second edition and second printing of a book would be easier than the first. Not so, my friend.
The project has come with the normal bumps and bruises, but I have to say I've been so impressed working with Catherine Staub and her team. She has been a communication hub between me and the printer the past few days. I always feel completely comfortable talking with her about any publishing-related issue.
I started processing why this was the case. What makes Lexicon stand out? (For the record, I really liked Tiberius, too, and the ONLY reason for the switch was geography.) Even so, Des Moines is a publishing town. We have historically held much talent in the field of creating literary tomes people want to read. For Catherine and Lexicon, books are just one drop in a very diverse bucket of publications they produce. They create everything from photographic layouts to corporate publications (all of the highest quality) and a lot of other things I would never guess. The big reason for going with Lexicon time and time again is... well... they "get" me.
They understand what makes a project manager tick. Catherine can read me like a book. She knows when I'm in my gregarious and goofy mood, and she knows when I'm in my down-to-business mood. She knows how to encourage and negotiate on the triple constraint of project management, and she knows when (and how) to tell me I'm not being realistic. She knows how to tell me bad news. She celebrates the victories along the way. In short, she gets me.
Besides a shameless plug for my publisher (who deserves that and much more), this post is about YOU. Do you work with people who "get" you? Do you allow them to understand you and your needs? Have you shared the difficult "come to Jesus" meetings with them? In office politics, I sometimes advise people to play it safe and not reveal too much... at least in the beginning when trust levels are low. However, there comes a point when the veil must be lifted. Trust has to be built. Emotional bridges are the foundation to Carpe Factum. I know I don't work well with people I don't trust (and I've seen plenty of them in my career). But when the trust level is present and the communication is zipping along... watch out, world!
Big thanks to both Lexicon and Tiberius for a great project completion.