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Friday, November 19, 2010
Some Recent Feedback
It was kind of amazing for me really. I've been somewhat "not myself" over the past few weeks and months, and while things have vastly improved, I had experience to get some rather raw feedback from a colleague on Monday who basically kicked me in my behind. The message was something along the lines of (my words, not theirs) "people rely on you to make decisions and make things happen, and over the past few weeks you haven't been doing that too well". Now I'm probably exaggerating the extent of some of my failings, but the message was clear: I wasn't myself and it was harming more than just my own innards. Probably the more revealing part for me was the fact that people actually do rely on me. I never really thought of myself that way. Sure, I know that, for example, my daughters rely on me to some extent, but people at work? Anyway, pretty much from the moment I receive that rather candid assessment I decided that the exile to my own private Elba had to end.
Along those same lines, a very senior leader in the office with whom I've had to work with on an issue recently sent me the following in an email: "...take care of yourself. There are a lot of people who need you to do that all around you.... ". Again, I guess I never really thought of myself as being someone who people actually relied on and needed, at least not professionally. The person who wrote that to me didn't have to...they have tons of responsibility and little time for encouraging me...but never the less it must have been pretty apparent that I needed the lift.
The moral in all of this? I guess in part it's the fact that you never really do understand how people perceive you until you stop being that person, even if it's for a short period of time. Who you are...who I am...somehow matters in some strange sort cosmic of way. I'm sure that this spate of life's challenges will throw more monkey wrenches my way, but at least now I have the benefit of some outside perspective.
Lessons learned indeed.
PS...As you can tell I am a very big Ralph Steadman fan, which is something of a requirement for just about anyone who has ever seriously read Hunter S. Thompson. One of these days I have to get something of his framed. I do have lots of wall space to decorate.