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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Power Circles continued

A picture that somehow stays on my retina: an elderly woman with a young girl, five or so. Probably the granddaughter. It was in a shopping area with hardly any traffic and many benches placed along the sidewalk.  The little girl was 'hopping' around happily and ready to step onto a bench, not only to avoid a detour... but for the sheer joy of running up high and jumping off...
Her grandmother whisked her away by her arm. Bending over and 'whispering' audibly:  "Don't do that. Suppose everybody would start walking over these benches..."

? ?

Would you? I might enjoy walking over those benches a couple of times, but I can imagine that there are hordes of people who aren't interested in it at all. So why would this little girl have to imagine everybody doing that? And feel responsible for it as well?   -I hope she imagined it. And saw the fun of it :)  -
What I like is sitting snug on my bed, with three propped up pillows, reading a book. When I was twelve, that's how I read Jean Webster's "Daddy Long Legs" in a day. I enjoyed it so much, it stands out in my memory.
Now if I would run into my son reading a novel... my eyes would pop out of their sockets. Reading is absolutely joyless for him. He likes to swing in his hammock  -transversely- his head nearly hitting the ceiling. I see no fun in that, I feel sick even watching it.
We're just not all the same, we don't always like to do things the way others do them.
Gotcha, we're back at Mary, Jack and Davy.

Or rather.. at you and me. Because the junction where these children went separate ways, pops up very often in our own lives. And what do you do. Do you turn left or right? Do you stick to your talents or do you try to adapt to the wishes of the world around you?

An example....  how does your manager manage the people under his 'care'?  Or maybe you are a manager?
   A manager's jigsaw pieces are the people who work for him, the function descriptions and the actual job that needs to be done.  The functions are chosen to 'match' the job that needs to be done. Not to match the employees that are hired. People are hired if they seem to fit the description.
   Now how does the manager come up with a productive department?  Is he
A) analysing the shortcomings of each employee, to give them the proper training and tools to make them match the function description
    or is he
B) analysing the talents  of each employee, so he can divide the tasks over his team making use of the different qualities of its members. Getting the job done ...and probably more.

And how do you apply for a job? Do you try to prove you fit the function description? You know, the one that was put up to get the job done.  Or do you try to prove that you can get the job done. Without fitting the function description.
   It's risky. Can you sway your possibly, maybe, future employer and make him hire you, because he is confident you can get the job done? That you are worth risking his reputation as manager. Or are you going to invest in fitting the description, creating an image of yourself that you will have to keep up? So that you'll be walking on your toes for as long as you are hired? Working way out of your power circle instead of from within?

   The choice is up to you. Of course you can try to fit in and leave your power circle, but do it consciously, not subconsciously. So you can focus on your shortcoming(s) and make a success of trying to fit in.
I'm trying to learn to stay in my power circle. A tough battle, but deep inside... it's satisfying to be able to say that I made a stand for who I am. Even though I'm not always rewarded by getting the job, the assignment, the contract.


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