Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Letting Go

Sometimes moving on means being strong enough to let go.
At this moment in time, those words couldn't be any truer for me because I feel like I am the only one left holding on to a sinking ship while everyone else plans their escape route.  Is this really a sinking ship....No.  Is anyone planning their escape route...debatable.  The point is that words and emotions and perception are swirling in my head and I am caught in the current of what I feel and what I can logically explain to myself.

For months I have been buckled into the rollercoaster of change, quietly reminding myself that it was "safe" with every dip, loop and sudden sharp turn because I had the safety bar pulled snugly across my lap.  Everytime fear would creep into my thoughts I would tell myself that if I just held on a little longer, the ride would come to a complete stop and I would exit carefully to my right, look back and smile because I did it....survived what felt like a death defying act, but would look more like a kiddie ride when I was firmly planted on the ground.

Instead, here I am fighting the urge to throw in the towel, to say "I give up...." and prepare for my next move while feeling like quiting is cowards way out and "just a little further...." will turn everything around.  No, I don't want to give up, but when is enough finally enough?  I sat aggrevated today over training.  The thing that got me to reconsider was a friend who said "Why are you mad, you have every opportunity...What do you want to do?"

Ok, truth is that made my blood boil more, but sometimes the truth does that to a person.  Sometimes we need a reality slap in the face to help us open our eyes and look around.  For me...that was it.  My friend was right, the opportunities were there, every rebuttal I tried to come up with all pointed to the same thing...the opportunity was there, I just did not take it.  It was my choice, not to take them because I believed what I was doing was what I was supposed to be doing.  I thought I needed to be there, to hold on when everyone else was giving up, to keep it together, to somehow keep everything going when it all felt like it was coming apart.  The thing is ... no one asked me to hold anything together, I just believed it needed to be done and was putting in all the effort I had to make it work.

I never did reply beyond a few written and erased lines of text because in that moment I knew what I wanted...I didn't want to let go of what had been before all the changes had started taking place.  The question I couldn't answer, however, was would it really be so bad if it all came crashing down?  Sometimes in life we have to rip out the entire page instead of erase, or tear it all down to start over.  Sometimes what matters more to the structure is the foundation it is all built on and as long as that is solid, whatever is built on it  will withstand whatever comes its way.

Today, I considered letting go because I believe there is hope for what is yet to be built.

Friday, January 27, 2012


A four letter word that means the simplest of things:
A number of person associated in some joint action.
However simple its meaning might be, its impact is temendously more complicated.  In the business world, 'team' has become the word of choice when referring to any group of people, a buzzword if you will, that conjures up images of cohesiveness and productivity.  Before recently, I had never paid much attention to its use, sure I'd noticed everyone using it and even casually referred to myself as part of a "team," but honestly, I found it all a bit patronizing.  Seriously, does someone really believe that if you put me in a room with a group of people for 8hrs a day, for a few weeks until we accomplish whatever task was set out before us that we are a 'team?'  I certainly  didn't.

I believed rather than being a part of a 'team' I was part of a group.  We were all likeminded individuals with the same goal...and since we all liked receiving our paychecks on a regular basis we would work to be successful at what we were tasked to do.  Work is easy, its a lot like algebra to me.  We have a boss (the teacher) and they would give us a task (the equation) and our job would be to provide the answer (solve for "x").  Sometimes, there were other variables (y & z) or formulas we had to solve before we could continue with the original problem, but each time we would complete the task, another would be waiting.

The thing that management classes and books can't really train you for is how to truely cultivate a team.  A team is about so much more than just a group of people working on some joint task, but rather understanding each member, identifying strengths and weaknesses, trusting one another, pride in the work and knowing that a reflection of one is a reflection of all that are apart of the final result.  The funny thing about 'teams' is that often the process is a seamless transition from a group to a team.  You can't force it, you can't will it, but you can help foster its growth as a manager who understands the difference between a 'group' and a 'team.'

Projects come and projects will go, deadlines are met, money ebbs and flows, careers continue in different directions, but our job leaders is to learn and lead by example.  To teach the ones around us and pass along the desire to leave behind something better, than when we found it.  For now, we are here to build a team.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Have you ever felt like you are going in circles?  Walking around in a "loop" with no way out and yet, somehow not quite aware that you need to find your way out...almost like the point in time just before you wake up where you're not really dreaming, but you're not really awake either.

I feel like I'm there.  That point where I have gone and come back full circle, but was blissfully unaware of the path until I reached the starting point again where it suddenly looked very familiar.  I struggle with this perception because I want to feel like I am moving forward and yet, I feel as if I am doing anything but that.  How many posts can I count back to where I 'want' something that feels so far away....too many.  Truth is however, I am here today and I know there has been progression, and still, it all feels so familiar.

I don't know where to begin, I don't know where to go, I don't know which direction is which ... I am simply maintaining the status quo.  Day by day, moment by moment, issue by issue....good god, it feels awful to feel so very 'reactive' instead of 'proactive.'  I can't quite get a handle on it all in order to get ahead of the power curve.  Everything has changed - nothing feels the same and yet it is still wrapped in the same outer covering.

I knew things would change, I knew it would have to be different.  I knew I would find my limits and yet, I am here still pushing, pushing, fighting to keep from letting it all fall apart. In my heart I know, it will not fall apart...it will fall - yes, but it will hold enough together to manage...I just can't seem to let go because I still have hope that somehow we can keep it all together, as is and yet different than it was before.

8 people began a journey and then there were 7 who felt the strain.
One by one it was reduced and with it the knowledge, the expertise, the skill was removed until there were 4.
Four hold the ropes while we learn to include new ones and slowly it grows again.
1, 2, 3 the help appears all knowing that 4 original are moving on...passing the torch.
How do we keep it together when the threads seem to be unraveling..............