Nothing is that urgent or important or interesting that you need to read your phone while using the urinal. Nothing!
Yesterday, in a wider team meeting, my ultimate manager (three levels up) presented his 'career journey': essentially a graph with time on the X axis and something akin to a measure of happiness on the Y axis. But this wasn't limited to work, it extended to his private life.
Getting a good job offer was, obviously, high on the Y axis while having a subordinate raise a grievance against him was low. Divorce was low but getting remarried and having kids high.
What really stood out, however, was how he included things like depression and alcoholism — he wasn't afraid to admit that his life had been messed up at times and the curve of the graph reflected this all too visibly.
Today, in a far less formal environment, I thanked him for his presentation but, more importantly, for his openness and honesty. I explained about my struggles with depression, and how I had come up against managers who, not knowing how to deal with it, acted like it didn't exist. I said it was good to have people in charge who got it.
His reply? "It's more than good, it's essential."
Just the right side of brutal.
There's getting the vibe right and then there's going too far just to prove how edgy you are.