I have had the honor of being a guest blogger for the DSWA.  Hop on over and check out my blog for the week.   Never Underestimate Someone  http://www.mydswa.org/personal-development/never-underestimate

Have you ever gone to your favorite website and a screen splashes in front of you telling you that it is down for maintenance?  “Maintenance”, you scream, “I needed something right now!!”  It is frustrating to say the least.  But maintenance is very important for technology.  It is the hidden gem that can make a company successful or a failure.

As an illustration, let’s look at cars.  I drive my car a LOT.  I am a busy Mom with several kids and a job.  I am not unlike a lot of other women I know.  Unfortunately, I forgot to change the oil in my car.  It led to me actually having to replace the whole engine.  It was extremely costly, very time consuming and utterly my fault.  If I had just taken the 30 minutes required for an oil change, I could have saved myself a lot of money, time and heartache.

Technology is the same way.  There has to be time given to maintenance, checking switches, routers, connections, and cables.  There has to be time given to rolling out the newest upgrade.  The good news is that IT people, unlike mechanics, work late at night and early in the morning to try to limit disruption.  If well planned, outage times are minimal and inconsequential to business.

So, the next time you see a splash page saying the site is down for maintenance, cross your fingers and check back in a little while.  Hopefully, your company will be up and running better than ever!!


I was leaving the church parking lot and it was raining.  In front of me was a car headed towards me and a man in wheelchair (with a parka).  There was not enough room for all three of us go at the same time.  There was also a car behind me.  As I sat waiting for the man in the wheelchair to cross the street, the car behind me jutted out, as if to pass me.  At that point, he saw the situation as it was.   He was now in incoming traffic and he could see I was waiting for a man in a wheelchair to pass.  He quickly ducked back into place.

Leaders can sometimes be impatient.  I think it is just our nature.  We want action and we want it now!!  Good leadership is not always about leading though.  A lot of times it is about following.

A Better View

The car behind me did not have the same view I had.  I was leading him in the correct manner but he did not know me well enough to trust that I was doing what was best.  As a leader, we must garner the trust of those around us.As a follower,we must trust those that have a better view.

Trust Your Leader

Ernest Hemingway wrote “the best way to find out if you can trust someone is to trust them.”

Many people with “type-A” personalities struggle with trust.    It is not as hard as it seems.  I am not saying that you should sign over your “baby” to someone you just met, instead work through the process.   Let them hold your “baby”, then maybe next time they can hold him a little longer while you walk away for a few minutes.   Trust is a muscle that must be built in every organization for it to thrive.

In World War II, there were a lot of pilots in the air.  This led to a lot of plane crashes.  When the plane crashes were investigated they found no visible reason for many of the crashes.  They were not shot down and there was no mechanical failure.  After a lot of searching, they discovered the issue, vertigo.  As the pilots were flying through the air they got confused and instead of trusting their instruments, they trusted their feelings.  Their feelings led them straight into the ground.

Trust What You Know

When your life begins to spiral out of control, go back to what you know.  I was recently helping a friend who had gone through a serious mental battle.  We took a very simple approach.  When her  mind started  spinning, she needed to go back to what she knew.  In her case, it was her name, the names of her children, her husband and her faith; this allowed her to begin to feel grounded again.

The same is true in business.  When you are having a bad day, your boss is mad and the clients and customers want your head on a platter, take a few minutes, breathe and go back to what you know.

Feelings are extremely valuable.  They make us human.  They allow us to laugh and love and enjoy life.  They  can also allow us to spin dangerously out of control and crash and burn.  This hurts us and those around us.

When you begin to feel your world spinning, hold on tight and go back to the basics.  If you follow your gauges, you can guide that plane to a safe landing!!!  (Then you can jump out, kiss the ground and cry)