On The Merits

My first assignment on this 2007 contract, was to shadow the resident expert for a month so he could take his first vacation in forever. To come on board with virtually no pivot table experience and cover this guy’s manually intensive reporting with such high visibility — I had my work cut out for me.

I didn’t miss a beat.

And as a bonus, that first month had given me a gold mine of insight into the entire universe of their data — and I saw some opportunities for improvement to boot. In telling a new colleague about my approach to those problems, he replied, “Interesting!”

I picked up on the veiled criticism and asked to hear what he really had to say.


He had a more simplified way to accomplish my goal. I ditched my idea and adopted his — retooling my work over one weekend. By Monday morning I had finished converting everything — then sent an email to the team to share my edifying experience.

For me, it’s always about the best idea — and openly acknowledging those who open our eyes.