Week 14: No Harm, No Foul – #AlphaFemaleFriday
“ WEEK 14 / 133 – 133 WEEKS TO SUCCESS ”
Up until a few weeks ago, I had no idea what an “SOP” was. There, I said it. The past four years, I had excelled in academics. I felt like I knew every obscure acronym, industry jargon, and then finally I hit a wall. I was humbled, and I learned very quickly. The past two months have been a huge learning curve for me.
Within the past few months, I have engaged in unfamiliar territory. I have aided in planning my first luxury event with an intimate team, learning the wonders of the importance of communication and seeing the struggles which unfold when there’s a breakdown in communication. I have helped plan Global FAMs to parts of the world I have never been to. I’ve seen faces and heard names of people at network events that are from these parts of the world I’ve never been to, but given that the hospitality industry is so small and intimate, I’m quite confident I would see these people once again in the future.
This week, I find myself thinking about SOPs—which for those of you who were like me a few weeks ago, stands for “Standard Operating Procedures”. Before I was where I am now in my career, I was part—technically still am—of a small startup of three. I was one of those three that helped lift the company of the ground. Everything moved very quickly in a startup, especially one that was one part technology and the other part hospitality and tourism. There was no time for these so-called “SOPs”. There was only time to think quickly and act fast.
Now that I’m part of a team that holds SOPs to a high esteem, as many large and structured corporate giants do, I often find myself in the crossroads. There are times when I feel like I need to act by the book, where everything is black and white and where A=B and B=C so therefore A=C. The longer I’ve been in my position at work, the clearer it becomes that most of what I deal with, what we deal with in this industry, is in the grey area. Now, it’s A=B, B=C, and A=C on Tuesdays between the hours of 3 PM – 5:15 PM.
The moral of the story here is that when people think of corporate giants versus startups, they think of them in terms of mobility. They think corporate giants are slow to act and slow to think because of all the hoops they have jump through and all the red tape bureaucracy that must cut to make changes. They think startups are fun and hip because they’re all about the spirit of entrepreneurship versus the vital principles of leadership and management. I think that startups and larger corporations have more in common than people realize.
It’s only when you take a step back to view the whole picture that you realize startups, although usually less haughty than corporations, can hold you back as much as corporations do (lack of funding, run-ins with the law that you weren’t aware exists, auditing…) In that same vain, corporations can move just as quickly as startups when they have that funding available, when you have the resources to ask your HR person if this is legal or “SOP”, and when you’re BFF’s with the accounts payable person who cuts that check for you for the upcoming tradeshow—no problem. It’s all about perspective, and as much as I can, I’m keeping it a positive one.
@AlphaFemSociety tweets by @KellyRGonzales
Each week, I take a tip from Lois P. Frankel’s book, Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office, and explore how each of these tips affect myself and other women in similar positions on the road to becoming the women we want to be. There are far and few between who are a few steps behind me, and many more who are far advanced. I found that Lois P. Frankel’s advice applied to novice, intermediates, and experts alike. It helped me see that I was already doing right, served as a reminder to keep on doing what I was doing and how to keep that momentum going. The book also showed me areas where I could improve, and gave realistic tips to jump on board. There are a total of 133 tips, and explore one tip per week in a program I call: 133 Weeks to Success.
Join the movement using the hashtag #133WeeksToSuccess with posts which are posted every #AlphaFemaleFriday.