Tag Archives: Ownership

I Can’t Make Me

That moment when you realize that you are really an adult might just have something to do with motivating yourself to do an unpleasant task.  We think of being an adult as finally getting to do all of the things that we were prevented from doing as kids.  If I thought at all about all of the things that require prompting to do, I assumed that adults didn’t need that external push.  I found out soon enough that I was wrong.

 

This topic is coming to mind because I’m trying to get up the energy to do my taxes.  Bleh.  There are some chores that I don’t like I have come to a neutral place on – I just do them and as long as things go smoothly, I don’t think too much about it.  But taxes never seem to go smoothly.  Just the act of gathering all the right paperwork is so tedious that it brings out the obstinate little pouty kid who shouts ‘you can’t make me’ over and over.

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My sister used to have a friend who went to the trouble to run the vacuum throughout the house without turning it on in an act of defiant compliance.  Even as a kid I thought that defied logic – if you are going to go to the trouble to run it over the carpet, how hard is it to turn it on?  But I also get the defiance, the dig your heels in contrariness of the act.

 

Sometimes even as adults we need to have someone else make us do something – hence the need for many laws – things that will give us great benefit like eating healthy, saving for retirement, getting our teeth cleaned.

 

There must be a solid evolutionary reason why we are so obstreperous at times.  I have found myself splitting into two minds – one is being terribly unruly and the other is consternated not only by the childish stand but also by the choice of the fit.  Why-ever have I chosen to cling to this particular cliff?

 

How about you, what was the oddest situation where you dug your heels in?

 

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

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That Little Push

The sun rises, and even on a cloudy day, the world around us starts to wake up – circadian rhythm kicks in.  External and internal prompts work together to give us a little push to start our day.  Routine, or the schedule for that particular day take over to encourage our next moves.  Is the pull of that day’s activities enough for me to push myself forward into it?

Probably very few of us found our internal drive worked consistently in our growing years.  Little and big pushes to do this or that had to come from external sources – mom, dad, teacher, coach.  The object was to teach us to develop our own internal drive, to push ourselves to do the things we needed to do so that we could achieve the things that we wanted to achieve.  Oh, we needed no push on certain days, for something exciting – up, fed, dressed and maybe even got a few things ready for mom and dad.

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Once we launch into our ‘real’ lives, our adult post-school experiences, that’s when we find out how well we internalized the push – our ability to create and implement a daily schedule.  Some people do it so well, they can plow through even the most onerous chores without having to cajole themselves in any way.  Some of us become leaders and push ourselves and our team through the good, bad, and the tedious.  Many of us become parents and suddenly want to apologize to our own parents on a regular basis if it will help our children to find that internal push sooner and more strongly.

I don’t like to leave things hanging, but there are tasks that I dread or dislike doing.  And then there are the ones that I’m not entirely certain how to move forward.  I can usually figure out some means to push myself to do these things.  Although sometimes I have to give myself a bye, and sometimes I just channel my younger self and wonder why I have to do this stuff at all.  And sometimes I dream that I can hire an assistant who will take care of all these things.

Imagine what we can each do today, with a little push.

© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

Whose Job is it Anyway?

The result of the problem (incident, challenge, situation, happening, occurrence, negative event, etc.) lands splat in the middle of the team.  Does everyone stare at it?  Or perhaps everyone immediately finds busy work somewhere else?  Maybe a couple of people circle in closer for a look at least until a supervisor moves in at which point everyone fades back?

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The supervisor picks it up and starts to ask questions – what is this?  Who knows something?  Do the hands start to form into pointers, poking this way or that?  If you get caught too close to the problem when the supervisor moves in, you become ‘it’ and that isn’t a desired position.

 

But why not?  Turn things on their ear, at review time, and almost everyone on the team is likely to put that they are a ‘go-to’ person for the department on their review somewhere.  When I read that as a manager, I immediately start to sift through my memory to see where they stood for those unclaimed problems.  At what point did they jump in?  How proactive were they with follow up and resolution?  Did they know the point at which it should be escalated?  Did they bring in the appropriate people from other departments to address it thoroughly?  Did they solve the underlying problem to prevent a repeat incident?

 

I think some people might be more willing to get in there and claim a problem to solve if they realized that it is like being a mini project manager.  You don’t have to do all the work, you must move the project from problem to resolution.  This doesn’t mean all by your lonesome.  You can bounce ideas off of co-workers, your manager.  You can enlist the aid of the appropriate people in other departments.  This becomes a chance to grow.

 

What happens to unclaimed problems at your office?

 

© 2013 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved

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