Friday, June 24, 2005

Administering a Spanking

Now, I am a boss. I find it kind of uncomfortable, I never really wanted to be one. I have no attraction to whatever status or affirmation being a boss carries; mostly I find it somewhat frightening, to be carrying such a load of unearned and undeliverable expectations, frustrations, resentments, and applause.

I only got here because I wanted to get things done, could see things that could and should be done, and as part of that was willing to think of people as tools, as objects, to get the things I wanted to happen. That sounds bad, but here's some news: most people rather enjoy being thought of as tools, they enjoy being used, if they are being used for their talents, in the service of a higher cause. I certainly do, myself.

But the downside of being a boss, is that once in a while you have to redirect some thinking. You have to somehow get people to think differently about what they are doing. Thats sorta the nice way of putting it. Truthfully, once in a while you have to correct people. Not punish them really, but jar or shake them out ways of thinking that won't get the job done. Inflicting some fear is part of it. In the right context, Fear can be a Good Thing.

I had to do that today. I was both subtle and harsh, to the best of my ability. At a staff meeting, where I was telling the front line folks some good stuff, I administered a fairly hard subtext spanking to a manager. I was very pleased to see the one concerned smiling, whilst getting body blows that she could see but those around her couldn't. I hope she learnt something.

But with her I never know, she is strong, passionate, and hard working, but always a little off kilter and seeing things rather too soloplistically.

You know, I just want to make things happen, I really do not enjoy having to do things like this. I never wanted to be a boss, I never wanted all the responsibility, I just wanted stuff to go the right way.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Maybe I'm Martin Borman

When I started to think about this blog thing, I was thinking in terms of my own voice. But I am so much more comfortable commenting on other blogs and boards. I am getting less and less sure that I have my own voice, only my response to everyone else's.

Which shouldn't surprise me. Professionally, I've largely been a backroom boy, doing stuff for people, reinventing people, making people's ideas work. And yes, mostly figuring out ways to get my ideas into their vocabulary in return. I've never been able to perform the same services for myself. Whenever I sense its getting closer to me, I get very scared.

I so don't want to be out front, I just want to make the things I can get my hands on to work. And, truth be told, get my hands on as much as possible. Because I am much better at getting things to work than most people, I think.

But I really don't want to get in front of the curtain.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Figuring this out

I dunno, I'm finding this very hard. Doing it was a good exercise, but its making something clear to me: I am a very good communicator, but that depends a great deal on seeing & assessing my audience. I make great speeches, but much less effective essays. I am far better at one to one than one to many. I learnt to be good at communicating by understanding, studying, and learning how to see the feedback from my audience.

Consequently, I am beginning to think that broadcasting really isn't gonna be my strong suit.