The Mystery of Star Wars

The season finale of Andor came out Wednesday. Superb. Just an amazing all around story, with absolutely stand out performances, writing, music, cinematography and weight. I’ve been thinking a lot about why this series is good, and I’ve got ideas.

First though, there are “blocks” of content, if not better articulated as “eras”.

  • The original trilogy
  • The Expanded Universe
  • Prequel trilogy
  • Clone Wars
  • Sequel Trilogy
  • The Disney Universe

The beauty of the original series is that it dealt much more with the mystical, the portions that were not shown on screen. The final arc of a large and mysterious world. You remember the characters much more than the action.

The expanded universe was largely inaccessible to the public. Unless you were a super fan, Thrawn means nothing to you. Mara Jade even less. These books/comics focused primarily on the recesses of the universe, and there was some insane junk delivered in those years. There’s a reason that all of this was retconned when Disney bought it…a right mess with some minor bright spots.

KOTOR decided to just ignore every movie and most of the EU to time travel to the “wizards everywhere” phase. The best parts of here are not related to the Jedi, but the power struggles and lore of the Sith, as well as the overall good/bad aspects of the universe. Understanding why Revan took his path is truly amazing.

The prequel trilogy is quite bad, with a few exceptions. It’s a spectacle for the eyes, no doubt, and the stunt work is practically a dance. And the pod race never disappoints. Yet the writing is atrocious and the editing even worse. Midichlorians are a ridiculous addition to the mystery, and by the end you’re actively rooting for the Jedi Council to be wiped out due to ineptitude. The need to explain everything in logical terms goes counter to reason people liked Star Wars in the first place – fantasy.

Clone Wars provided a medium to tell the hidden stories of the world, which effectively became Expanded Universe part 2. It’s somewhat ironic that the Anakin character in these stories had more complexity than the films, given the budget and attention. This is pure fanfic and goes to great lengths to focus on the characters rather than the events. You could tell this was led by passion.

The sequel trilogy is a pure money grab, and a reskin of the original trilogy. The Force Awakens is a bad attempt at remaking A New Hope and skipping all the bits that made you invested in Luke and the rebellion. Then again, it’s set up as a mystery box from a director known for mystery boxes – you want to know what comes next, not so much what’s going on now. The Last Jedi feels like an alternate cut of an existing movie, more to prove a point about how the universe keeps moving and how insignificant the rest of the stories are. It’s a movie of extremes, purposefully testing assumptions. Rise of Skywalker is like Marvel’s Avengers but with Star Wars paint – where you simply have to put your brain in a drawer and let the spectacle go forth. The teleporting lightsaber still makes me want to vomit.

The Disney Universe is much more complex. Rogue One is fascinating because for the most part you can’t really tell it’s a Star Wars movie. It focuses on the little people doing big things and paying a tremendous price for it. Solo didn’t work because it was telling a story no one really wanted to hear, about a character everyone thought they knew, with details that removed the mystery surrounding them. Obi-Wan barely passes the bar here because the same actor played the role, but it’s fundamentally flawed for the same reason as Solo. Mandalorian works because it’s not about things we know about, and goes to great lengths to not explain things, letting the practical and logical story just flow. Star Wars is the setting, not the purpose (with some exceptions). Andor is very similar, in that the story isn’t so much about him, but the people around him. People will remember the Ferrix brick because it’s not a prop, but a believable part of that world’s culture. It’s focused on the people and the reality of their actions – not on some hand waving space wizard.

I’m hopeful that we can get more grounded stories from the Star Wars universe, where the threat is ever present due to their size, not their magic sticks. Where a person can try their best and still fail. Where the bad guys are hard to tell from the good. Guess we’ll see.

Living Ships

The whole Twitter stuff is enough distraction. I disabled my account yesterday and I’m moving on.

No Man’s Sky doesn’t have many timegated systems, 2 that are quite obvious – Frigate missions and Settlement Upgrades. The latter doesn’t have any real impact on gameplay today, and feels more like the seed of an idea. A sort of ant farm really. The former is a very weird (for this game) system that allows you to send smaller ships on missions, where they can return with various items. With two exceptions, these items can be found through other means, so this activity acts as a more passive gameplay than much else.

Obviously, I am not considering mining operations as timegated.

In 2020, the Living Ships update was added. This is a quest that starts in the Anomaly, requiring 3200 Quicksilver (a unique quest currency, takes less than a week to collect this much). Using the Void Egg, you embark on a quest that spans a few systems with relatively simple steps. Each quest then has a 24hr timer, so it ends up taking about 5 days to get to the final part, where you unlock a new starship. Living Ships are starships in a practical sense, all S class, and cannot take any normal upgrades. Selecting your ship is dependent on the system in which you unlock it… so some save scumming is advised to get a look you want. All told, about 2 weeks or so to get one. Now, aside from looking cool, in nearly every other regard it’s worse than any exotic ship due to the upgrade issue. Less cargo slots, slower speed, less damage…

One of many, many designs

In July 2022 the Endurance update added an upgrade path for Living Ships. You need Psychonic Eggs, which only come from Frigate Missions, and then only from missions where there is an Organic Frigate. To get the first Organic Frigate, you need a Dream Aerial, which is a random reward from a normal frigate mission. Getting more Organic Frigates pretty much requires Anomaly Detectors (found in asteroid fields), and then pulse driving until you get the proper encounter (could take 20 mins). Frankly, that is a ton of RNG and timegating to get something that does look cool, but is a real struggle to actually improve. I’ve got my ship, 10 Organic Frigates (that was not fun), and 3 upgrades. Now it’s just a matter of sending them on mission and hoping for RNGesus.

A view of some of the organic frigates

I do get that none of this actually matters in the larger scale, and it’s truly more of an end-game customization thing. The real joy in NMS comes from the discovery and building phase, and then slowly drifts off as the new-car-smell fades away. That joy lasts for way longer than I had expected. There’s a true sense of achievement when you finally reach one of your goals – be it automated mining, a cool base, or a new ship. The fact that you’re not pigeon-holed into a single activity in order to find progress is amazing.

I know I’m in the long tail now. I could reset the universe (crazy typing that out), build an underwater base, or complete a full farm setup for every remaining element (there are only 4 I don’t mine currently). Regardless of where this goes in the next few days/weeks, this ride has been absolutely amazing.


The Musk/Twitter saga continues, with ever impressive results.

Dictating that remote work is no longer possible when people have been hired with that construct, that certainly didn’t work out. There are some cities where it’s just not possible to be “in the office” because there’s no housing. Changing the terms and conditions of employment with no notice, welp, that’s a heck of a fun event that employment lawyers will enjoy.

Oh, and then coming back 2 days later saying “actually, you can continue to work remotely, manager’s will be accountable for it” is yet another genius move.

The real kicker though, is a 48hr ultimatum that you will need to work nearly double the hours, with no timeframe of duration, and no incentive to doing so. Or door #2, take 3 months pay. Which is certainly more effective that yet another firing wave (which will cost them more for reasons). Then to be surprised at the number of people who decided to nope the heck out.

We’ve all had bosses where we’d probably climb through glass for, knowing that they’d be right there with us and celebrating as a group at the end. Musk has done everything in his power to alienate the entire workforce, and no sane business person would want to engage with him in the future. Not that they necessarily disagree with his result, Bobby Kotick will gladly fire anyone, but moreso in the way he’s doing it. There’s a balance to be had where you may hate the CEO, but you like the company and have some belief there’s a future. Not much of that right now at Twitter.

The pundit math right now indicates that Twitter employee count has dropped by 88% since Musk took over. We may have found the fastest way to lose $44bn on record.

There’s bound to be an upside here.


I like Star Wars. I used to love it, back in the Extended Universe days (c’mon, Thrawn!). The prequels were a really hard sell, and the sequels are a just painful to watch. Clone Wars was amazing. Mandalorian hit the perfect itch because it went to great lengths to show what the world looked like without Jedi. I saw a couple episode of Book of Bobba Fett, wasn’t for me. Obi-Wan is all about Ewan McGregor, but it’s a story I just can’t care about.

Back when Star Wars Galaxies was around, way before NGE, the Jedi were next to impossible to find. KOTOR’s success had little to do with the actual Jedi character, but with the companions and world building around you (HK-47 is infinitely more interesting than Bastilla).

The problem is fundamentally with the Jedi and both their wilful ignorance and complete inability to solve anything without their magic sticks and super jumps. Jedi were cool when it was just Obi-Wan and Yoda, and you had no idea what was going on. It was the mystery and mysticism that made it work. I won’t lie that the Battle of Naboo with Darth Maul was cool as all heck, but apparently Force Speed only works when Jedi are being shot at.

I am full up on Star Wars now. I could care less about Skywalker. So color me jaded when I heard about Andor, yet another Star Wars series to fill in another retro-active gap. He’s dead Jim! What kind of story can be told when you know there are no stakes at hand?

Well, it seems that you can tell an extremely good story. One that is lead by a crazy good cast, ridiculously amazing writing, music that is better than most movies, and a villain you can empathize with. Andor in any other setting would be amazing, in line with any noir sci-fi you can name. It tells a story of the middle folk in a galactic war, the organizers without any real power but searching for answers. The light show at the end of episode 6 is something that will stick with me for years.

I still like Star Wars. Perhaps if we can get more Andor and less The Rise of Skywalker, I may love it again………

NMS – Stasis Device

No Man’s Sky has is an open ended game, where the goals are mostly self-driven. There are certainly crumbs along the path, to give you an indication that something exists to chase, but the decision to do so is mostly yours to make. Now, compared to most MMOs today where the systems are not at all connected (or just dumped at the next expansion), most of the systems in NMS are interconnected. Derelict Freighters, Frigate Missions, Nexus Quests, and Mission Boards all get you to a similar goal – improving your own freighter.

One of the challenges of these open games is that the initial breadcrumbs often lead to a massive gulf of content, before you can find footing for the actual goals. Examples are things like Factorio or Sim City, where you will likely reach a point where you need to undo a lot of what was built in order to move to the next step, as you didn’t fully understand the logistical implications of earlier choices. Minecraft sort of has this, where you have “starter homes” before you get the idea of the larger/complex systems. NMS is more like this, where development is almost always forward. It’s certainly possible to make bad choices, but they are clearly bad choices when made, and you can recover from them quickly. Even your starter base isn’t a bad thing, because you unlock more blueprints, see how the various systems interwork, and rather simply grow it to something larger (though likely, you will want a base on another planet for reasons…)

Along this path is the RNG of loot. There’s a ton of it, and all of it has some use. Either you craft with it, eat it, upgrade with it, or sell it. Some of these items are of a rarer quality than others and are therefore worth more. When you find your first item that’s worth 500,000 credits, you’re going to be extremely happy. On the 5th time, you’ll start wondering how you can more readily acquire said item, and if there’s something beyond. Well, there is a path for both.

NMS Crafting Tree

Currently, there are two “ultimate” crafts – Statis Devices and Fusion Igniters. Each is worth approximately 15m credits. The top row of that image is the base material required to start. With the exception of Mordite, each one can be farmed in raw form, though the pre-requisites to do so varies a tad. The metal & gas items have to be mined, while the plants need to be harvested.

The harvesting part isn’t too bad, you need glass Bio-Domes to harvest 16 plants. You need seeds and some elements to get started, so it will take a few days to get it all sorted out at a single base. No power required, just the glass to build it all (which ideally is bought).

The mining part is less obvious. You need a Survey Device in the multi-tool in order to find gas/mineral hot spots. It’s a hot/cold game to find them, and then fingers crosses it’s the actual material you want. Finding Paraffinium took me way too long. Once you have those 2 elements, then you need to find a power hotspot, giving you 3 points of interest. Finding the center of those, you build a Base Computer, a Portal, and then some Supply Depots. You then branch out from this base, back to the points of interest and build various collectors (harvester, miner, generator) and then connect all that back to the base you built. Repeat for all the base materials you need (3 to 4 bases). Building each base like this also has a cost, mostly in Metal Plates. You’ll also learn how to “extend” your base past the 300u limit up to the 1000u limit (this really feels like there’s a bug preventing the true size).

The table above gives you an idea of the materials required to make 10 Stasis Devices. The first 2 items listed are actually a combination of Oxygen + Carbon/Cobalt. In most of the scenarios, you can expect to wait 24 hours between collection timeframes, assuming you have 50 or so of each plant, 2 harvesters of the elements, and 5 supply depots along with it. Getting the entire production chain ready is a good 10+hours of effort, with a fair chunk of shopping ahead of time to stock up on construction material (metal plates, ferrite dust, chromatic metal and glass most notably).

Once it’s up and running, it’s a rather simple affair to collect the material (<5 mins), process the Carbon/Cobalt (2 mins), and the craft the materials (2 mins). If you time it right, you can queue the processing for the next day, making it even faster. That’s a nice 150m in your pocket per day.

Scaling to MORE than this is a tad more painful, mostly due to the fact that items only stack to 9,999 and you will run out of inventory space. Plus, with perhaps 1 or 2 exceptions, there is no object in the game that costs more than 150m credits. Being a billionaire is more status symbol than much else. Though perhaps it can help seed a massive gold mining farm…

What a Week!

I’ve been down with the flu/cold for a week now, think I’m going to have the cough for a while sadly.

Crypto Stupidity

Reference the prior post.

FTX managed to lose “billions” in what appears to be a clear ponzi scheme that targeted investment firms. See, a ponzi scheme impacting mom and pop won’t make the news all that often, but you take money away from rich people with friends, and it’s a big deal. Crypto, in every single form, continues its amazingly clear path of scam. No different than stock market pump and dump / shorting scams mind you, just a more interesting flavor.

The most “famous” crypto, Bitcoin, has also managed to lose 75% of its value in 12 months. Cue the various pundits claiming that now’s a good time to invest. That’s how these schemes work, right?

Twitter Insanity

This has to be the most epic troll of all time, with the costliest bluff being called. $44bn because he went against someone other than government aid. Wild.

The rumor that he fired half the workforce based on code stacking is just too hard to believe. The best / most important coders are the ones who solve problems with less code, not more. The only reason this rumor seems even viable is the fact that they reached out afterwards to try and hire people back.

The blue checkmark fiasco suffers from hubris. The amount of trolling Musk has done over the years was no match for the interwebs. (Side, that Eli Lilly lost $20bn from 1 fake tweet tells you all you need to know about the value of that company). It has been an absolutely glorious time watching a “genius” continually pour gasoline on his money pile and make a truly concerted effort to push advertiser revenue away for good.

Oh, and Twitter’s fact checking of Musk’s lies is just pure gold.

US Midterms

This is more comeuppance than anything else. It’s been years of people decrying the horrible human being that is Trump, and his disdain for anyone that is not him. Imagine people voting on a platform FOR something, rather than AGAINST something *surprised Pikachu*.

The best part here is how the most ardent supporters are now turning their aims at Trump. Because he’s mean to their teammates. Like, where have you been the past 40 years?

Hopefully, the adults in the room can find some common ground and work for their people. The world could use some rational US thought again, across party lines.

That said, tomorrow is the 15th and Trump has a “big announcement”. The wolf in the henhouse may not be done after all.

Loaded RNG

No Man’s Sky has both determinate and RNG elements, and they intersect in very interesting ways.

Obviously, in the “near infinite” variety of planets, there needs to be some randomization. Theoretically, there should be enough random to have bubble shooting dragons somewhere in this game. There’s a “pool” of events that can occur given fixed conditions. Every planet has creatures, plants, caves, secrets and so on. The variety of each changes, and the quantity, but they are there. Systems are classed on the star type, which impacts the resources found within. There’s a random element to the major race in a system, and then the type of industry. This also impacts the types of events in a given system, as well as the types of ships you’ll find. What remains random (in general) is the quantity and quality of an object.

NMS has a ranking system for many things, from the lowest (C) to the highest (S). Within each rank is some additional random aspect to stats, so that the best rank A item may be better than the worst rank S item, though the overlap is min-maxing in practical terms. A Gek system, for example, will have 7 shuttle types, 7 Haulers, 3 Fighters, 3 Explorers, and 1 Exotic. These types are randomly selected from a pool, but are fixed for that system – realoading will not change the look of these ships. This also applied to Freighters, which is where I’m going with this.

Freighters are acquired through space battles. These battles only trigger when both the following have occurred: 3 in-game hours have passed, and 5 warp jumps have completed. (They will not occur in an unoccupied system, a black hole system, or an Atlas system.) When you warp into a system, it will be assigned a specific Capital Ship Freighter, which is selected from a given pool. The “largest” of them require you finding the correct – random – system. I wanted a Resurgent Star Destroyer, the largest of the bunch inspired by Star Wars. To find this thing, I needed to ensure I had a save prior to my 5th jump. I created a save point and then made single warps until I found the ship TYPE I wanted. That’s RNG phase 1 down, which took about 30 minutes.

RNG phase 2 is finding the highest rank ship, S. That means reloading the same TYPE until I found the proper RANK. To do this, I entered the battle, went to the nearby star station, and created a restore point. This meant I could enter the freighter, scan it to see the rank, and reload if it was not S. The odds of finding an S aren’t exactly high, reports vary between 2% and 5%, with “better” chances in 3* systems or Outlaw systems. The good news is that the reload doesn’t require a battle, simply flying into the freighter. It took about 90 minutes of reloads to finally get an S class.

Effectively this was save scumming, where I limited the RNG portions to only the ones I could not control. Under normal circumstances, you can only roll the dice every 3 hours for a TYPE and RANK, which is a crazy level of random. All told, it took me just over 2 hours of reloads to get what I wanted, which is over 100 attempts. At regular rate, that would have been closer to 300 hours of gameplay. Yeah, I’m good.

Does this freighter have any practical value over others? There are some minimal stat boosts. The real benefit here is 100% cosmetic.

Next up is finding an exotic starship. The good news is that they always spawn as rank S, though the odds of spawn are relatively low. I think I found a way around this though… while I was hunting my freighter, I noticed that starships landed inside the saved freighter, and there was almost always an exotic within. Now the kicker is figuring what type of exotic I want, spawning a space battle (3 hours + 5 warps) in the proper system, and then entering the freighter to collect. Sounds simple, let’s see how that works out.

Twitter 2.0

I’ll preface this that I am not in the personality cult of Musk worshippers. Credit where due, but also accountability. Making inefficient processes efficient, I’m game. Filling in a niche, okie doke. I’m still waiting on solar panels and something other than Jules Verne’s version of tunnels (high speed rail is in every respect a better choice). The whole Twitter debacle is hilarious to me, as this is a man who has not experienced any sort of consequences and is an absolutely amazing grifter (SpaceX subsidies would make you shiver).

He ran his mouth, put in an offer for a company with horrible financials, accepted terrible conditions, and tried to back out. Clearly the lawyers were salivating at the prospect. I get that the folks working at Twitter are worried about job cuts – they will get fired and collect severance and the talent gap for those skills means another job (hybrid no doubt) is an option. The change certainly sucks fierce, but there are much worse situations. So he’s now leading a company with staff that have one foot out the door. Culture issues abound and headhunters are at the friggin’ buffet.

As for the actual mechanics of Twitter, this is even better.

Twitter makes all its money on advertisers, which is funded on two core aspects. First is metrics. There needs to be a lot of accounts and volume of activity. Bots be damned, the pump those numbers! Second is message control. Ain’t no company that wants their ads to show up in the middle of racist tweets or death threats – so content moderation is an eternal struggle.

So if bots are removed, metrics go down, advertisements go down. If content moderation is removed, advertisements go down. So that’s 2 plans that won’t make $$$.

Hmm, so let’s see if the content (you) can become the source of income. The absolutely insane thought of negotiating in public with Stephen King has to rank really high in my list of “shit that I never thought I’d see”. Apparently those who want a blue checkmark will pay $8/m to keep it. Which is such an astoundingly dumb idea as these are the people generating the content advertisers want. Freedom of speech has a monthly fee.

And finally, how can anyone in their right mind think that this person can be the CEO of yet another company and actually accomplish anything? If ever there was evidence that tech CEOs don’t actually provide any value, here’s the perfect use case.

This is Bond-level villain stupidity. And I’ve got my popcorn.

Successful Series

This post is brought to you by the news that Henry Cavill is leaving the Witcher after season 3. Liam Hemsworth will take over. Right.

There are many factors that make a successful series. Casting is a huge part of it, where the actors need to demonstrate both chemistry between the characters and be able to deliver their own character. We’ve seen ample examples of great actors who don’t like the role for a set of reasons. Writing is also a big part, where the larger storyline and then individual components fit together with some sense of logic. Jumping the shark is a real thing. And we can’t forget the overall leadership of the series, where there’s a vision and structure to help tell a storyline. Budget is the last piece – unless you’re looking for a B-movie view, you need to invest in some regard. When all 4 are missing, you get something like Jupiter’s Legacy.

Comic books were next to impossible to adapt until CGI/effects were able to catch up to reality. We’re talking complex and integrated storylines that span decades, a veritable treasure trove of ideas. And over the years we’ve had varying levels of success in these spaces – Teen Titans Go is one of my favorite examples of setting being used for parody. Things like Smallville lead us to Green Arrow and the Flash. Agents of SHIELD is a result of the Avengers movie. Gotham hit some solid notes. The Boys is just an insane series that was already insane in comic book form.

Where that was successful, series based on books has been less so. Books are rarely based on dialogue, and the context is the real driver. For every HBO Dune series, we get something like The Sword of Truth that follows. They are notoriously hard to adapt into a visual format, because they never were visual to start with. I mean, Superman in yellow, with a hat, just doesn’t work. There’s no effective reference point. Heck, the Rings of Power series had to apply Peter Jackson’s visual style because there’s just no other visual reference point. And the stories themselves are told over hundreds if not thousands of pages. A character may only have minor progress in a book, but TV series need something, and they need it NOW.

Game of Thrones is a really good example of this, for a multitude of reasons. The initial launch was based on a solid set of novels, with great casting and writing with direction. When they moved beyond the books, the overall vision was lost, and the ending was clearly rushed, with the actors having stopped caring in the end.

The Witcher is slightly different in that it’s both a series of stories in books AND a video game series. Both have the same foundation and concepts, though there are certainly more liberties taken in the games. Fundamentally, it’s a retelling of Frankenstein, where the real monsters are the humans.

Henry Cavill is a self-avowed geek. He nearly lost out on Superman due to a WoW addiction. He’s built his own gaming PCs. And he’s a HUGE advocate for the Witcher being made in visual form. And it helps that the guy actually looks like Geralt.

As the story goes, he put in a lot of effort to convince execs that a Witcher series could work. The first season was a bit over the map, with Geralt being more of a grunter than a speaker… where in the books/games here’s certainly more talkative. Season 2 was really weird, with some excellent stories and then baffling choices. And during this time Henry was in the media explaining how he was trying to defend the books while ensuring the writing team put out good content. That is a conflict of interest if ever, and certainly can’t make for a good work environment.

So here we are now. The greatest advocate for the series is moving on. With rumors that the disagreements on direction of the series as the cause. And with respect to Liam Hemsworth set to replace, there’s not much hope that this will get past season 4, if that season even comes to pass.

What a strange set of events.

Playing Catch Up

I truly enjoy coaching hockey. There are dozens of reasons why organized sports are good for childhood development and being able to share in that experience and having even a tiny impact is an amazing reward. Sharing a passion is always fun. The big kicker here is that, by and large, all the people involved are doing so on a voluntary basis. Issues with parents stems from unreasonable expectations and they are almost never a volunteer. Issues with the kids are quite rare, and if they do occur, it’s almost exclusively because of a parent’s involvement. Once you let the kid know there’s no reason for them to stick around if they are not happy, that outcome becomes rather clear.

The theme here is that the kids themselves have a fundamental need and desire to learn. You can break it down into smaller digestible pieces, demonstrate practical examples, and then see results upon which you can build the next lesson. You’re not born a rocket scientist, you are crafted into one, with a LOT of external help.

Adults are not the same. Many of us are set in our ways and the concept of learning as an adult is implicit rather than explicit. If people take any form of training, it’s less for the journey and actually learning, and more about the result – the certificate or such. It doesn’t help that a lot of training is non-practical, and only deals with theory. There are apprenticeship programs where the entire program is based on practical application over years. I’m more in the space of a week/night/end training session where people are provided the high level theory and come away with a piece of paper saying they have all they need to apply the knowledge. I have many books on home repair. No way you’d want me to build a house.

It doesn’t help that as adults, few of us make time to concentrate on learning. It’s often incidental, a happy coincidence that you have experience doing something, not necessarily understanding how it all works. How often have you met someone who claimed to be an expert in your field, demonstrated their work, and you were just plain amazed at how the house of cards hadn’t fallen yet? Adults are prideful and not willing to accept that there is something they may not fully understand.

I’m more than happy to help people along that path. Either through coaching (the how) or mentoring (the why). I’ve done it many times in the past and hope to continue to do so. The “success” in that work is predicated on a single factor – the people wanted to learn. One standout was an individual who was emotionally upset that they had done “all the right things” but had been continually passed over for opportunities. We sat down, reviewed what they thought was “all the right things” and realized there was a noticeable gap between their perception of expectations and reality. Built a plan, coached and feedback throughout, and a year later they got the opportunity they were looking for.

That first session was not a pleasant one. When one thinks they are doing everything right and have never had feedback along the path, it’s a massive strike to the ego when there is critical feedback. Separating the individual from the performance is essential. Clearly the desire was there, it was the approach and tooling that needed work. Someone who is willing to accept feedback and apply it, that’s exactly the type of person people want to have around.

And then we have the other side of the coin, where there are people who are not willing to accept feedback and are part of the team through obligation. There are times where it’s just not possible to find progress with individuals – less a failure of the process than of the relationship. In my entire adult career, I have only ever met 1 person who was purposefully doing a bad job. I’ve met plenty who willfully disregarded the rules, because they thought they knew better. They were being sheltered from the consequences of their actions, and once they were held accountable for the results, the behavior changed quickly. Being able to have a conversation where and individual is respected but understands their tools/approach needs work is a ridiculously exhausting process. Every person is different and merits a different level of tact.

I’m in a spot now where I am coaching 2 sports teams, mentoring a half dozen people at work, and coaching 3 individuals. I am growing conscious of the mental & physical toll this is taking. It’s like a slow leak, and every day I have just a tiny bit less energy to get through the day. I know what needs to be done to address this, and I can’t do that alone… the plan is in place it just needs to come to fruition in the next few weeks.

I’d like to get back to a sense of balance while still being able to help other folks. Fingers crossed.