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Posts tagged ‘Management’

26
Dec

Creative Whack # 13: Look to Nature

Maybe it’s a result of being on vacation, but I’ve had to drag myself from off the couch to open my laptop.  I’m being very lazy.  But, it’s rather nice. It’s plenty nice!

I’m not even keeping track of the news this week…. My brother gets the New York Times every day.  I opened it only once this week.

I needed a break from all the bad news anyway.

Tonight we were watching old re-runs of 60 Minutes, and after about an hour, or so of watching, I got very depressed.  It was painful to be reminded of how horrible the economy is; how gloomy the job-market has looked – though it’s getting better.   But hearing all the sad stories of people without any money, no jobs, being foreclosed on…..  Although it is always upsetting to hear these heartbreaking stories, it was especially very upsetting tonight.

Even though I am not worried about finding work, it’s very unnerving to hear the stories of people who have been laid-off for over a year and still have no work.  And I actually RESIGNED from a job!

I thought for a moment tonight: Am I nuts?  And I answered myself: Well yes, just a little!

Seriously, I’m not really nuts.  And it was not nutty to resign from the horrible job I had!  Truly, that job would send me to the grave earlier than necessary had I stayed one day longer.  Either that, or I fought the system via the EEOC.  I really didn’t want to do that.

I couldn’t pretend to be happy working there anymore.  Just because it’s a job, is not enough for me I can’t just have a “job” for the sake of a job.  Why should I spend my working hours being miserable, working with people who are miserable – and with people who are just miserable period?  It felt dishonest and it felt like I was purposely hurting myself.

A lot of people hate work.  I want to love my work.  I have always loved my work, and I still do.  I was allowing the environment – the negative and demeaning environment – to cause me to hate my work, and to not want to give my best.  I began to resent giving them my best work, when I realized that I knew I had to get out of there.

Too many people stay at a job because they think they have no choice but to stay.  I understand that, but I cannot do it.  It goes against my nature.  And, if I don’t care about my well-being, who will?

So, that leads me to Creative Whack 13, Look to Nature.  These Creative Whacks, you may recall, were

Designed by Roger von Oech

created by Roger von Oech, who has a few wonderful products that stimulate creative thinking.  I love his Creative Whack Pack and plan to discuss all 64 of them here, eventually.

So, what does look to nature mean?  To me, it means many things.  Most importantly it means, not denying or defying your own nature and instincts.

“Let nature by your guide,” is the first sentence on the card.  It’s taken me a while, but I understand now that I must follow my instincts.  When I don’t follow my instincts I get into trouble.

It’s not easy to allow nature or intuition be the guide.  I certainly don’t always make the right decisions or take the right road, that’s for sure.  And, I can be impulsive.  I always work on that.

My decision to leave a job that was making me so unhappy was something I had to do despite all the risks. I had to ask myself if I was being impulsive.  I truly can say: No, I was not. I’ve spent the last four and a half years being miserable – too long.

What I need help with is strength.  Staying strong.  Staying the course without undermining my success with fear of the unknown; or maybe, fear of success?

In order for nature to help, it’s important to clarify what the problem is.

I do need to think with a bit more clarity about what problem I need to solve.   I’m pretty sure it’s going to be strength to get me to my next job – my next big thing.

The roots of trees say strength to me.  I love trees, especially the big, old ones

The root systems that support the great Cypress trees and support all the things that live within the branches of the tree:  The birds.  The bird nests.  The leaves.  The squirrels that make the tree home.  The animals and the insects that trust the tree.  That is a good model  for me.

Trust.

Now, there’s something I need…..

14
Dec

and that door slammed so good

It was a marvelous day!

I thought I would wake up with some regret at resigning yesterday from my “real” job.  I didn’t!   Not a one.

Well, the paycheck…. ?   Nope.    Not even that has me worried.

I did the absolute right thing by resigning.  The moment I decided to stand up and walk out was not something I even thought about doing before it happened.  It was as if my entire being, all of my senses, converged in that moment and empowered me with a certainty and a conviction that I rarely have experienced.

It needed to happen.  If I were a man, you could say I’d “grown a pair” in that moment.  Hah!   🙂

That workplace had become far too toxic.  It has been from the beginning, five and a half years ago, but I always hoped it would change.  Waiting …. Waiting…. Waiting…. Nothing……….

After five years, I think it’s a forgone conclusion that change won’t happen. Employees will continue to be treated horribly, nothing will ever change until the leaders are held accountable for the messes they make.

The leadership is old-fashioned and ultra conservative. But, it doesn’t fit with what’s going on in the academic side of the university.  I always wondered how the administration  could be so backwards and old-fashioned when the university is so forward-focused…

The Vice President of the university I worked for, has a conservative 1980’s mindset.  She’s stuck there too.  The kind of training and development she expected was what we were doing in the 1990’s, when we didn’t have any tools, and our (the industry’s) understanding of Adult Learning in the workplace was just beginning to make sense.

When people don’t know what they don’t know, it’s one thing, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ignorant.  It means they have a deep refusal to change, or improve or adapt.  It may mean that they have not been exposed to new ways of thinking…. maybe.   But, when people know they don’t know something and still make no effort to change, or understand, it’s either ignorance, stupidity, or laziness – probably it’s all the above – in toxic amounts.  Regardless, it’s not an effective way to run a business in today’s changing world.

At my level in the organization, to be “written up” for being two to three minutes late, when I work well over 50 hours a week, is beyond the pale.  I guess I have come a long way, baby…..   I’ve taken a big step with regards to self-respect.  No one will demean me the way they’d demeaned so many other employees for such a long time.

Can you imagine?  They have actually fired people for being a minute late more than three times?!!!

I kid you not.

Maybe that’s why they thought it was no big deal to write me up?  I think that’s why they tried to talk me into staying.  Did they think giving me a “write-up” is the best way to handle an issue that happened more than a month ago?   It’s true.   They actually think it’s a positive thing!

You see why I had to resign?

If I had stayed there, my self-respect would have flown right out the door.

I slammed the door behind me as I left.  Like Nora in Ibsen’s The Doll’s House.  I did it.  I had my say.

And that is why today was a VERY good day!

15
Sep

a nice and random thursday

It’s Thursday night that means I’m glued to Project Runway!

After work tonight, I went to a chapter meeting of the South Florida Chapter of the International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI).

It was absolutely wonderful because our guest speaker was Dr. Sivasailam Thiagarajan, fondly known in the Training and Performance Improvement industry as Thiagi.  He is a professor at Indiana University, author, and one of the world’s most celebrated and creative performance improvement guru’s.

He appeared at our dinner meeting via Skype and discussed how to successfully and strategically use Rapid Instructional Design techniques in the classroom.

What a dear, funny, and humble man.  He even made sure we got a copy of his recent book.

And so, my day ended in the best way, but it’s time to say good night…  Just as soon as Project Runway is over, of course!

So, goodnight all!

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