Thursday, January 17, 2013

Awareness: Navigating Systemic Failures in Corporate America

In an ordinary workday we are responsible for many tasks throughout the day. If we become stymied by issues, and procedural inconsistencies it can become extremely frustrating. It is a terrible feeling when our follow-ups fall into black holes and we begin to worry that the lack of movement on these items will eventually be blamed on us for not being resolved.

Another obstacle I've encountered is a shoddy manager who continually monkey-wrenched the works of every item she touched. After confronting her and other manager’s within the company about the issues I realized nobody was ready to make the changes needed to get things on track. My emotions ran high and soon I got labeled a hothead. This is when I changed my approach to avoid getting thrown out of the company.

I stopped bringing issues to the fore as in the past and instead began logging down what was taking place. This allowed me to feel covered from being blindsided as my boss's inability to fix the systemic failures spiraled out of control. In the process my new passive approach enabled me to develop the perception in of a model employee, thus shedding the hothead label. I developed piece of mind that I lacked when constantly raising concerns and following the so-called right practices set forth by the chain of command. In essence I had come up with a personal strategy to prevent being swallowed up by the machinery that stopped functioning properly.

Then as the volume of my job continued churning along, I ignored the piles of papers and began concentrating on doing everything I touched accurately and with awareness, also keeping a log of the daily events. Previously, I noticed a lot of work making us so busy which at its core was not too much volume but that sloppy handling created the need for two to three passes to get something done.

I crystallized my approach into the idea that with awareness, doing my daily tasks accurately, and not stressing over the quantity my frustration would dissolve. Eventually the company caught up to the nightmares caused by the inept manager and she got her pink slip. Interestingly enough many of the problems remained only this time with a different person steering the ship.

Flash forward to my present situation where my workload is much less, and the issues are not as blaring. The funny thing is that awareness, and accuracy still is the hallmark of my experience. A few minutes before I began writing this the insight rushed into my mind and I said I have to write this down. Whether busy, and busting through the seams with unresolved issues and piles of work, or suspended in open space with little to do the approach remains the same.

My initial fear once I realized I didn’t have enough work to keep me busy all day long was that somebody would come by desk looking to find out what I did all day. Even when I took the position I was told that the previous occupant of my chair only worked about 50% of the time. Now from my present perspective I’d be surprised if they had enough to do to keep them busy 35% of the time.

I took the awareness approach to heart, and created a manual of the tasks needed to do my job. I ran the numbers as far back as the system would allow me to so I knew how much volume and thus revenue we’ve been spitting out over the last five years. I cleaned up the cabinets and made sure everything was organized. I took all of the redundant papers and chucked them in the recycling bin. When all of my projects were completed I felt good about what I did. Now I sit here and wait for the powers to be to come and acknowledge what is happening with my department.

The point though is not them, it is me. I feel good about the work I’ve done and all of my effort. I know more about this area of the company than probably anyone except my direct report who has been doing her thing for about two decades. I feel indispensable even as I am phased into an inactive role within the matrix. Everyday my confidence builds and I look forward to the day that may never come when they sit me down, and attempt to evaluate me. I am ready. I don’t need to share my knowledge or expertise with anyone else. I know what I have accomplished and that is all that matters.

I’m not in a rat race trying to get ahead. I am in a search for wholeness and prepared to find it wherever it may lurk. As I see myself outgrow some of these structures I take solace in the joy of coming into my own with full awareness and happiness. Nobody externally is my problem or enemy, I am my own friend. I look forward to the next step and envision being able to help companies and people become more efficient, and at the same time more aware. I have come to a place where I am grateful for my world, its opportunities, and possibilities, even when so much of the external situations seem so far away from what I ultimately dreamed of. I realize more than ever that my good attitude is going to take me to some really wonderful places and help other people. I am available to everyone and ready to help but only those people that want to be helped, and take the time out to listen. I am no longer going to shove my ideas down anyone’s throat. I will save my speech for those that listen.

I wrote this back in 2010 and decided to share it as I continue to go back and look at my previous writing


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Dο you mіnd if I quotе а couplе of уour artiсlеs
as long as I ρrovide creԁit anԁ souгcеѕ baсk to уοuг blog?
My webѕite is in thе veгy sаme aгеa of
intеrest aѕ уοurs anԁ my vіsitоrѕ woulԁ really bеnеfit frοm a lot of the infoгmation you pгеsеnt here.
Please lеt me κnоω if this
аlright wіth you. Аppreсiаte

Аlso visit mу web pagе: reputation management