Does it ever cease to amaze you that just as you are getting to the good part – the part of the story where the Aha Moment is getting ready to jump from the tongue of the speaker – that is when the video data will go into the buffering mode? You know, it is right at that peak, heart-throb part in the thrilling movie, the interesting TED talk, or the riveting documentary!
Right there – that spinning, circular buffering symbol will pop up on the screen, delaying the forward motion of progress. Is your reaction generally the same as mine: big sigh with a vocal, “Ugh”, frustrated thoughts, and more exasperated words? Me, too!
Here’s the Deal with Buffering in the IT World: it is the pre-loading of data into a reserved area of memory (the buffer). In streaming audio or video from the Internet, buffering is all about downloading a certain amount of data into the buffer before starting the stream of information. This advance supply of data is intended to prevent disruption should there be momentary delays in transmission while the presentation is rolling.
Buffering in Leadership
In your leadership life, why does buffering always seem to happen right when you are at full-attention, on a roll, and expecting the outcome you’ve been waiting and working for? Why, oh, why do your best efforts, your long-anticipated moments of achievement, and the fulfillment of your wildest dreams have to be interrupted by the impact of buffering? Me, too.
Here’s the Deal with Buffering in the Life of a Leader: You are the driving force of information (data) for decisions, communications, and management of people, processes, and plans. While you are charged with the ultimate responsibility, those who are responsible to you must take in and process the information (directives and plans) you provide.
While they may have some reserve information in their experiences, there are times when the stream of your information and directives gets backlogged by a myriad of disruptions. Often, this is because of work overload or resistance from humans. Even though you provide the information early and often, does it feel like you are perpetually addressing the chronic work overload and collective resistance to change? Me, too.
Buffering and Your Leadership Impact
Many leaders describe perpetual buffering like this:
- Interferences: also known as challenges from people and processes that fly right up in the face of perfectly orchestrated leadership decisions and plans.
- Delays: also known as “stop and wait” then, “restart and wobble” followed by “run and fall” in all things called, “daily operations.”
- Betrayals: also known as backstabbing, undermining, and double-minded human behavior that opposes anything and anyone not having the same sire name, especially in the dreaded committee dungeon of leadership.
In the hum-drum of everyday leadership life, the perpetual buffering modes often include:
- Forcing you to wait on people and processes you’d rather leave far behind – preferably in the dust of your progress. Me, too.
- Making you late in chasing the setting sun of your deadlines and noble outcome goals – thus missing the splendor of the kaleidoscope of accomplishments upon the horizons of your efforts. Me, too.
- Compelling grating on your last nerve of patience as you tug on the ball and chain of resistant, obstinate, and otherwise lacking common sense kind-of-people. Me, too.
Some Slight Benefits of Buffering
In spite of all of the sharp irritations of the buffering process, shall we consider the slight benefits of the spinning circle of delay? Here’s the deal:
- If not for buffering interferences, you might not have the vast experiences in dealing with the repeated complexities of troubleshooting or rerouting entire Gold-star plans and processes. Therefore, how would you ever know the joys of turning on a dime within a moment’s notice, which actually cost you the entire day of your marvelously efficient plans? Yes, me, too.
- If not for buffering delays, you might not have the familiar taste in your mouth of ground teeth and gnashed names of a few “special people.” Therefore, how would you ever know the joys of developing patience in the fire of endurance, which actually served to waste untold numbers of perfectly good sticky note pads? Yes, me, too.
- If not for buffering betrayals, you might not have the valued wisdom gained from overcoming the attempted coups of jealous packs of spear-throwers – aimed right at your title and position! Therefore, how would you ever know the joys of discerning who is for you and who is against you; better yet, who is sitting on the fence waiting for the most personally advantageous position to leap toward? Yes, me, too.
Wrapping Up this Spinning Buffering Thing
In and through all of the interfering, waiting, betraying – and grating, what are you to do if you really would like to establish a great leadership impact? Without getting into the creation of additional buffering modes (due to a monologue of more information), let’s consider these two self-evaluation leadership-kind-of-questions:
- What can you do different to prevent the annoying irritations of future buffering processes?
- What can you do better in the midst of future buffering processes?
And, yes, I am fairly certain future buffering processes will occur, so just plan for it. I’m thinking your careful attention to these two questions might reveal a few personal leadership growth and development opportunities (a.k.a., needs). Yes, me, too.
In the glorious ending of each buffering experience, are you finally willing to:
- Go a different direction if it is generally more efficient for the process and outcome goals – in spite of the fact that annoying interferences compel you to look for a different direction?
- Cheerfully accept a slight delay if it is proven to include the best interests of your most valuable asset – people, not processes; even though delays often challenge your last layer of patience?
- Shift the focus from the nastiness of betrayal if your leadership wisdom can affect slight changes in the behavioral patterns of a few good men and women; even though your natural instinct is to grab the dull knife of the Resident Backstabber and use it for your own purposes?
Altogether, the chronic spin of the buffering process can have its perfect work in and through your leadership impact upon people. Here are a few possibilities toward that perfect work:
- What if the lasting-kind-of-leadership impact brings forth some good outcomes that reach far beyond productivity, plans, and profits – into the character traits of culture and people?
- What if your leadership impact reaches into the hearts of people, where the Aha Moment jumps from the spinning buffering circle right into the place of real behavioral change?
Yes, me, too – as in: that is the kind of leadership impact I long to leave as a legacy of all of my perpetually buffered efforts.
Now, that kind of leadership impact outcome would truly never cease to amaze me.
What about you? Can you stand to be amazed?