How Many Different Ways to Say Get Off Your Ass and Do Something?

5,498,349 or there abouts.  

I’m in a rut. I’ve been in a rut. I’m trying to dig my way out of a rut.  I was laid off from a job I despised about a year and a half ago and it was the greatest thing to happen in quite some time.  It was a job which met the definition of everything I didn’t want in a job:  poor management, no strategy, reacting to whatever client was screaming the loudest, politics and backstabbing (this always comes with poor management and no strategy because someone has to be to blame if things don’t go well). Oh, and I worked all the time. Nights and weekends were not my own. I had to feed the beast of crazy. All so someone else higher up would get a larger bonus. Insanity.  

I was happy to be gone. Happy to have a package and some time to ‘figure it all out’.  I knew I had no interest in going back to that sort of environment.  A whole new career, using the skills I had was what I want. Something completely different. So I spent some time pondering. I read books, listened to podcasts, talked to everyone I know.  Follow your passions, don’t follow your passions, utilize the skills you have in a different way, take this quiz/webinar/seminar for some sum of money and all will be made clear.  So many stories that I’ll save for another day. 

One thing they all said, every one, was it was better to start than sit around with analysis paralysis. Try something, experiment, get feedback and change course if necessary. Do not, absolutely not, sit behind your computer and research, but do nothing. 

I can’t say I did nothing, but I did pretty close to nothing. I looked for a job full time, and didn’t focus so much on figuring it out (again). Responsibilities loomed, there were mortgages to pay, food to buy, a gym membership to keep up (after all, exercise keeps you sane).  I looked in different industries and found a job. But it’s not what I really want to do. I still want to figure out what this magical other path for me is. But I let the job take up my time, and I don’t prioritize any of this work. From time to time I pick up yet another book, attend yet another webinar.  But it’s all the same. I have to do the hard work of figuring it out and making it happen. Face any fears and go.  I’ve heard it so many times.  So if I know what I need to start doing, why is it so hard to do?  Even if I know it’s hard to do, this is my life, so why can’t I get on with it? 

They Like Us, They Really, Really Like Us

For a couple of months now there has been a situation at my office, a lack of clarity around how certain projects should proceed. The (all male) sewing circle of managers, Directors, Executive Directors, Senior Vice Presidents, have pussy footed around the issue. Discussing it here and there, the options, the choices and not agreeing, then adjourn with no decisions. This, of course, has no impact on their days, only on the days of the people who do the actual work. Did I mention months this has been discussed? Months.
Finally yesterday there was a meeting where one of these master minds finally asked the people who do the work what they think, then gave them an action item of writing up a proposal. Yes, he did it because he thought the proposal would be close to what he wanted and yes, he took advantage of the fact that one of the other management types with a different opinion had a conflict for this meeting, but he let the people speak. So the people (both women) agreed on a proposal, wrote it up in under an hour and sent it out. What happened? The management type who asked for the proposal responded, saying this is great. Then all the boy management types responded in kind, saying it was great and everyone agreed. Sunshine, rainbows and unicorns ensued.

And the two ladies thought: what the what? Oh, yeah.. management types.

Yes, it was all political theatre, yes only one male management type got what he wanted, yes the people who do the work got what they wanted, and yes, it was a monumental waste of time. What are the lessons? That it takes two ladies to get something done? That male management types have too much testosterone to stay out of their own way? I’d like to think the male management types saw the very clearly laid out proposal as the message it intended: stop fucking around and let’s get some shit done, but I’m not optimistic they will remember the incident for more than a day. On to the next battle.. insert war cry.