Thursday, 28 May 2020

On: The Office Life

another one of my #thismightnotwork posts (inspired by Seth Godin)

Deep down...
We know that nobody owes us anything.
We know that we are just cogs in a machine, replaceable.
We know that company loyalty does not really exist, no really, it IS about the bottom-line!
We know that we are only as good as our last project, even though ten projects earlier, we shot the lights out.
We know that no matter what we like to believe, most relationships in the office are simply transactional, although we would like it to be deeper.
We know that it does not matter how much we try, we can't (neither should we care to), change people's perceptions or deeply entrenched biases.
We know that mediocrity can be contagious if we stick around for too long, and unable to really influence change in performance and behaviour.
We know that tribes, cliques and clubs exist, it's natural (especially in Africa when it comes to racial divides), but we either feign ignorance or hope it gets better.
When a company value is "give benefit of the doubt" and we don't see it in action, what taste this leave us with?
We know that we are so much bigger than just our jobs...or do we really now (hint: count the number of times per day you find yourself immersed in thoughts about the office, even during your personal time)?

It's all about the bottom line....
It's business they say, you must develop a thick skin.
New age leadership is all bullshit they's capitalism and darwinism all the way man...power, politics and Machiavelli are role models of the day.
Empathy is so overrated, they say.
Empowerment? Let the team decide? What's all that fuss about? 
Humility, Modesty, Authentic, Integrity, Fairness...that's not leadership they say...but great for selling lots of books & makes for a booming consulting/coaching industry...but, kid, they won't get you through the real in the game is what you need, and be damn sure to fight to the death to protect it...
Attitude...attitude is good as long its conforms to groupthink aligned to culture (not the culture deck written down, but the real culture, yep they're different!).

...Yet knowing all of this, there are some people who still stick it out...
Wow, there walks about a man with grit & resilience they say... immediate assumption is: this guy must keep a cool head, he needs the money/income, responsibilities he has to his family, etc. comes first...just see it through, it will all be okay...

Dig a little deeper, and we often realise it's usually much more than just's quite personal actually, positively personal...sometimes deeply inspiring, confusing & at times bewildering...

Such people have a cause, they're fully in tune with their why, their self-worth and are completely aware of  not only themselves but of those around them. They know they stick out, are nonconformist, often mistaken as a threat to the status quo & risk being played out of the system...yet they still remain behind, firmly footed, digging their heels in - why, mostly because they take commitment seriously & sincerely. Such are those people, who believe in their craft, make their art, do things differently because they truly care deeply, and will not leave until they say "my work here is done, I've come as far as I'm willing"...they don't leave through external forces or pressure, instead they leave on their own terms, when they're ready to leave it all behind and never look back. And often to their surprise, they've built up a tribe, left a following behind...even though they didn't intentionally start out that way.

If you'd like to find out more about these people, check out Seth Godin & Simon Sinek's work...
Highly recommend getting your hands on:

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