Who Are You?

Who Are You?

  • Are You Serious or Are You Casual?
  • Do You Strive For Excellence or Do You Strive For Acclaim?
  • Do You Produce or Do You Pretend?
  • Are You Driven By Process or Are You Commandeered By Urgency?
  • Do You Plan For Improvement or Do You Maintain Order?
  • Do You Focus On Operations or Are You Lost In Bureaucracy?
  • Do You Seek Understanding or Are You Too Busy?
  • Do You Seek Justice or Do You Look For Justification?
  • Do You Apply Knowledge or Do You Give Orders?
  • Do You Learn And Grow or Do You Seek And Destroy?

I believe very strongly in the first choice in each pair above and I work very hard to practice, maintain and strengthen the resulting discipline in both my work and in my life. I am employed at a large state university alongside more than 20,000 other cogs. And asking me to go to work each day is like asking a swimmer preparing for a competition to train in a public pool catering mainly to children and teens who are there merely to make a big splash.

I don’t mean for that to sound harsh, pretentious, or judgmental, but perhaps it does. I only mean that I work hard at a regimen intended to lead me toward improvement, learning, and growth and if others choose not to, I don’t want to be critical of their choice so much as I want them to get the Hell out of my way.

Though I believe strongly in the first choice in each pair above, I understand they are not mutually exclusive. Regardless of intentions, we find ourselves moving up and down each spectrum. What I work to be conscious of is the cause for the movement. For example, when I am commandeered by urgency I find it is often because of someone being the Hell in my way. The same is true for bureaucracy. But when I am casual or unproductive or busy, I find it is often personal choice.

I am currently in a place at work where my supervisor is, (and most supervisors within reach are), destructive, meaning they tend strongly towards the second choice in each pair above. Regardless of which direction a supervisor’s direct reports lean or stand, the job itself by definition is rooted firmly in the first choice in each pair, and the further a supervisor finds their self from that ideal, the more entrenched we all become in our second choices.

Additionally and unfortunately, due to the large numbers of constituents and the job specialization that requires, we have some jobs and departments totally immersed in a second-choice function. For example, Human Resources is completely about bureaucracy and within that function they may practice first-choice habits and even learn and grow within their bureaucracy but because they are rooted where they are, they are destructive.

Additional thoughts:

To be serious is to differentiate fluff from substance from essence.

To maintain order, to keep the peace, hinders, stunts, limits improvement. Progress requires upheaval.

To seek understanding is to become increasingly more efficient.

Justification is Oppression.

Process implies forward movement. An urgency is an interruption.

Busyness is not busy. Busy is at times unavoidable. Busyness is pretentious.

It is much easier for a destructive supervisor to maintain order than it is for him or her to plan for improvement.

Operations implies active accomplishment. And if active accomplishment is serious productive improvement, then a bureaucratic operation arbitrarily hinders, stunts limits accomplishment.

An efficient bureaucracy works to distract, intimidate, persecute, partially by turning the poor and oppressed against each other.

Busy is the top layer. Busyness is the only layer.

Acclaim for excellence is a waste; time and energy better spent on serious productive improvement.

To seek power destroys personal learning and growth. Once attained, to maintain power or to exert power hinders, stunts, limits potential for improvement and others’ learning and growth.

Justification can easily be found in power and in bureaucracy.

A destructive supervisor is one who is immediately responsible, conspicuously separated from that responsibility, and often protected, safe, comfortable.

Final thought, for now:

Please, get the Hell out of my way…

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