Blog #91 If Not You, Then Who? If Not Now, Then When?

Posted on : 21-06-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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During my morning jog it occurred to me that everyone is some kind of a leader, even if the kind of leader you are is a follower. If you’re a really good follower, you’re showing others how to follow well so in that case, you’re a good leader about following. From the beginning of my “real” career experience, you know, the kind of work that is other than life guarding, teaching swimming or waiting on tables, I have worked for and around groups of highly intelligent and well-educated people. These groups included Pathologists, Doctors, Nurses and Medical Technologists in Forensic Pathology Labs to Post-docs, Graduate Students, Researchers and Writers for a world renowned Electroanalytical Chemist. From those jobs I leapt to working under the wings of a madcap brilliant Publisher of a well-respected magazine to companies that provided high-level technical talent to the outside (and inner) world of technology.

What I realized in each of these scenarios is really people are just making it up as they go. Some better than others, but really we are all the little man behind the curtain. Leaders are just people who either have the courage to step up and say how they think things should be done and motivate people to follow them OR they’re really ego-maniacal narcissists and sometimes they’re a bit of both!

Today I realize that when I get the most frustrated about work is when I think I can see where things should go and how they should be done but I’m unable (or unwilling) to step up and out front. In the case of many of my career positions, I lacked the education or certifications to have the authority to lead others. But I still complained and I still gritted my teeth. It’s just so much easier to find fault with someone else or with “the system” rather than to look at where my choices have led me and either accept them or make different choices.

It takes courage to acknowledge what you really want to do in your life when it comes to a career or a job. If you’re a recovering perfectionist like me, then it is doubly painful to take the risk of stepping towards something that could be a spectacular failure. Go for it anyway. As many of you know, I’m finishing up a degree that should have been completed a long, long time ago. Many of my fellow students are the age of children who could have come from my womb if I had, had children. So what? Time passes anyway, why not be learning something new in the process? What if it turns out that all of us baby boomers are healthier and have more energy than any other group of people our age have ever had? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be fully engaged in life then waiting for it to pass me by.

If not you (or me) than who? If not now, then when? Let’s experiment. For one week, what if we agreed not to complain or throw out wrenches about solutions. If we come up with an idea, then we have to carry it forward into some kind of action whether it be contacting another person, delegating, signing up for something…just some little action towards a solution.

Why not you? Why not me? Why not now?!

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