Monday, February 28, 2005

Practical Philosophy

At first, I didn't have any organized way to think about my new perspective nor any words to describe it. I would just see somebody acting like I had -- being headstrong about their opinions, not seeing anything from the other person's point of view, considering all opposition to be due to some character flaw or bad intentions on the other person's part -- and shake my head and think, that's not going to work. And it was easier to see, too, looking at other people, that it not only wasn't going to work but it shouldn't work, it wasn't right. But I didn't think about it in words. It was more like an aversion to some actions due to prior bad experiences and an attraction to other actions due to recent better experiences. Then one day I met a man who could talk about the things that I was only feeling. There were words! Words to describe what doesn't work and why. Words to describe what does work and why. Words gave shape and form to it. It was a whole philosophy. A practical philosophy.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Office Politics

Things started going better for me. I was still strong and opinionated but now I could keep my mouth shut long enough to figure out what I could say or do to make a situation that was going bad come out better, the way I wanted it to come out. Because what I said and did was my choice. I didn't have to say or do something destructive just because I got hot under the collar or inpatient with someone. To understand a situation and change it, I learned to listen and pay attention. I saw that most people seemed to think they had to fight to get what they wanted. And a lot of them did it behind the scenes. Talking about each other, recruiting allies, and taking pot shots at their enemies. Office politics. It had been going on around me the whole time, I had just never recognized it before. I had just let myself be goaded and manipulated by people playing office politics. I wasn't its victim anymore. But I noticed that the people who were doing it, who thought they had to do it, were hurt just as much as the people they set out to get. Everybody suffered. By this time, I had worked in over 30 offices. And it was happening in all of them.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Change! Me!

I could see that something needed to change. I tried changing jobs. In fact, I have never worked anywhere for more than three years, usually much less. I have a diverse work history. I've never been bored. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend it. I learned that people and offices are pretty much the same wherever you go. I tried getting other people to change. That didn't work. I thought about trying to change myself. But I didn't want to change. I wanted to be who I am. What were my options then? I didn't know. As luck would have it, I got a job where I only worked with people for short periods of time on specific things. I came in to help, then I left. That worked pretty well! I got to practice focusing on a goal and how to reach that goal. I didn't worry about what people were thinking or what their intentions were. They were there to learn. I didn't worry about what my position was or getting something from them. I was there to teach. My attitude changed because my situation was different. But I found that my attitude was something I had control over, it was a choice! And what I said and what I did in response to other people were choices! I didn't have to change. I just had to make different choices. I could do that!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


It was strange about management though. It grew on me. I got to do cool things. I got to look into the future. And sometimes, even then, I got to see a group of people work together well and amaze themselves and everybody around them. Really, I did want to be a manager. I started reading management books. Some of them were: In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr., The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey, The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, and The Wisdom of Teams by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith. These are good books. I learned a lot, especially what a really good workplace and good working relationships look like. But my office wasn't like that. The people I worked with didn't act like that. And I couldn't change them.

And then I found something that I could change.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Achieving All Your Goals

Achieving all my goals was not a problem for me. Achieving ANY of my goals was a problem for me. I could do all right working on my own. I was smart. I worked hard. But what kind of work can be done by just one person working alone? Not very exciting or important work. Anything worthwhile requires the combined effort of many people. I wasn't any good at that. Other people didn't listen, they didn't understand, and they didn't want to do what needed to be done. I'd rather do it myself. I do my job, they do their job, or not, whatever they please. Of course, because I was pretty good at my work, my boss made me a manager. So I could teach the other people to be just like me. Ha! I tried that. That didn't work. I decided I'd rather be poked in the eye with a stick than be a manager. I'd rather have a root canal. I'd rather be covered in honey and have ants crawling all over me, pinching me and taking little bites out of me. Oh, wait, that is just like being a manager.

Figuring this part out took a little longer.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Doing the Right Thing

I always knew I had to do the right thing. I always knew that I had to have right on my side to be strong enough to survive in the world, to be worthy of being helped by other people, or at least to die with honor. But I know now that what I thought was right was not always right. What I thought was good was not always good. What I thought was evil was not always evil. And I know now exactly how to tell good from evil and how to know I'm doing the right thing. Here it is:

Friday, February 18, 2005


To blog with me, click on the word Comments below this paragraph (or any paragraph on this page) and type your comment in the box. You can sign your comments with your Blogger name, any other name, or anonymously. If you are reading this, please post a comment back, even if it is only Hello!


Brilliant! That's what I am. And you. You are brilliant!