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Friday, July 13, 2012

Positively engaged

I learned almost nothing from my last boss.

But this is not an indictment of him.  Indeed it has nothing to do with him.  It is a charge I lay to myself.

Fortunately, during the period there were many other people around me from whom I did learn.  So the time was far from fallow.  But compared to my working environment now or before, it is quite remarkable that I stayed there for so long. Why did I work for him for seven years if my allegation is true?

A recent conversation with a co worker (whom I shall not embarrass by naming) sparked off this reflection.  She said, "The thing I love about working with the Elliot Foundation is that it is such an affirming and positive organisation.  I feel you value me and my work."

She went on, "But I know there will come a time in the future when I do something that is not quite up to scratch and I want you to know that I am happy for you to tell me that it is not good enough.  I am affirmed enough to hear it"

I was initially taken aback.  But then we joked about how wonderful it would be to work in an organisation where this feeling permeated.  Effectively a place where juniors would say to their seniors, "It's OK. I know you love me.  I trust you have my best interests at heart... Go on criticise me.  I know you're dying to."

"The fault, dear Brutus is not in our stars but in ourselves".  It is not the boss's fault.  They cannot see that you are not learning from them. They are too wrapped up in themselves (which incidentally is why you don't learn from them).  If you are not learning, move on to pastures new.

Because if you are not learning... you are not really living.

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