You are always the one to blame… And that is a good thing!!
I’ve been recently let down…
It is at times like these that you take pity on yourself and forget that recognizing the problem is but a tiny part of finding the solution.
I’ve been let down.
Those who have read something I’ve written before (hey mom) would know that I vomit the expression “goal-oriented” quite often in this blog… And that is for good reason. You see, part of my therapeutic purpose behind this blog is getting to see things from another perspective (a reader’s, in this case) in order to find a solution for my own problems, or challenges, as they so beautifully put in workshops). The reason behind the analysis of a situation should always be to find the solution. I mean, it is not that hard to grasp, but still a great majority of people keep burying themselves under layers and layers of self-pity, claiming that the world is unjust and waiting for somebody, even God, to come to their rescue.
The cliché here is, that he reason behind the analysis of a situation should always be to find the solution.
The next logical step, in this here analysis, is finding out what you can have an influence on in life and, basically, you quickly draw your own conclusion that the list is very short. The influence you are granted is, in a great majority of cases, limited to your own actions and their influence on people around you. It doesn’t matter how high up you are in the food-chain of a company… You are dealing with people. People are a complicated species, since they have things like feelings and free-will. If you belong to a leading position inside a company, you gave people who have an obligation to execute tasks for you. You, on the other hand, reward them with a salary at the end of the month and, as they say in my mother-tongue, “one hand has washed the other”.
But then comes repetition. Modern society is being bombarded with revolutionary product development and creative enterprises… Everybody wants in on it, because having fun at your job is advantageous. I mean, think of it: the dream-concept is spending fulfilling forty-hours at work every week, accomplishing something and hey, you get paid to do it at the end of the month. Awesome, right?
What I mean to say is, with the internet giving people all the information they need, basically everyone wants to be a product developer at Apple. And the problem is not what they want, but rather what they don’t.
And this is where your influence on people finally comes into play: do you have the possibility, even if it is down the road, to guarantee your employee that you are going to grant him the aforementioned wish in the long-term? This is the first step into some sort of a miracle that can happen in an office. See, there are two ways to get people to do things for you reliably (basically, a hard one and an easy one) and I’ve employed the latter with certain amounts of success, going as far as convincing myself that it is the only effective way:
The most obvious way is constant threat. This is easy: employee does his job right, keeps his job. Fucks up or doesn’t want to, loses it. I mean, there’s no gray area here. Countries have employee-protection policies, etc. but if you have to cut your losses, you do so and move on.
However, is it easier to get someone to do what they want because they have to in order to pay their mortgage, or do you get better results when someone wants to do a good job. What if they want to do their best out of it, because they like you? It is, in essence, a longer process, especially with the generation that is just now joining the work force and basically doesn’t give a fuck about you, their parents, being their raison d’être adhering to the teachings of Marshall Mathers. But hey, these are the people you need to connect to. How often didn’t I hear from one of my favorite Padawans, as I call them, that he doesn’t care much about what he is doing, that he wanted to learn more technical stuff for his future endeavors, but that he did it because he wanted to get things off my back. That is just awesome, and the next day I started a plan for 2014 where he would get more time to deepen his knowledge in the technical aspects of the job.
Now, realistically, this doesn’t happen every day… Thus the certain amounts in my description of success in that matter above. However, by threatening people with consequence (which is a necessary means, not an end) I achieved short-term success that had to be repeated on a biweekly basis. Some people have time for that. Most don’t want to have time for that. I, on the other hand, don’t have time for it. I need the division to flow like clockwork, every now and then taking a look over everything in order to be at ease, that everything is going according to plan.
And this is how I come back to my tag-line.
I’ve been let down.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am 100% the one to blame. Everybody likes saying they’re the boss. Well, this is exactly the position where, when something doesn’t go according to plan, you are alone the one to blame. I mean, who made the plan, right?