Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than everyone else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself and be lenient to everybody else.
I don’t know about you, but I work for the most unrealistic, non-understanding, and perhaps least compassionate boss that I’ve ever encountered.
Every day more work gets heaped onto my plate. Every day, he dreams up 5 more things for me to do tomorrow (as if he doesn’t know that I have still so many things on my list from days prior as to fill a lifetime!)
The honest truth is he does not care.
I try to explain. I try to reason. I ask for him to understand. To accept that I have limitations and to just give me a break, already.
All it takes for him to assign me another project is one conversation he has with a friend or colleague. Or if he happens to watch a movie (like he watched Bladerunner 2049 again a couple nights ago) and, like clockwork, suddenly my to do list grows even longer. He is incessant, unyielding, and sadly, I do not see him ever changing.
The funniest part about him is that he will never change, he refuses to see what I show him, if I express limits to my ability to handle things, he finds another aphorism and sends it to me so that I will quiet down. It goes on and on.
The point is that he is selfish. So I broke out the word for him, so he could stare at it straight in the face.
SELF – FISH – Brian…. You are fishing for yourself. You are constantly trying to catch what you already have. When will enough be enough?
His response…. Never.
The truth is that if we are self-determined and myopic on variables that are most important to us, we are most able to go far beyond boundaries. The proverbial glass ceiling is a metaphor. When the only person who determines if there is a ceiling at all, is yourself, then there is no longer a metaphor to hide within.
When your internal being (boss/ruler/tyrant) demands more of you, who are you going to complain to? Even as I write my complaints to you in this musing, he is behind the keys typing and laughing at me. (His unspoken internal dialogue is… Good, let out your frustration with me on this musing, then by 9A, you should be ready to tackle your daily list of to dos… oh, and I had a great idea at 1A when talking to Doug on a call before bed that I want you to implement before tackling that list, and Emmett has 10 more emails that he wants sent before 10, so hurry up with the musing and get on with it!)
Driving yourself at a very rapid rate is compelling on so many levels. It teaches you so much about who you are, what you are really made of, what your potential really will be and focuses your energy on things that matter to you.
All kidding aside…. I enjoy continuously raising the bar on myself. It is a determination that powers me on levels that are clearly inexplicable. It catapults me perpetually into dangers of my own choosing, facing fears that I really do not want to face, and finding myself able to rise to ever greater heights that I presumed I could hit, but had no way of knowing how that might happen other than I started with a belief that it is totally possible and… if anyone can make it happen, it will be me.
The last sentence that Beecher shares… Be a hard master to yourself, and be lenient to everyone else. That’s the important one. You can never ever expect anyone to live up to the same expectations you have of yourself. It is not only totally unfair to them, it will ruin your relationships, destroy their confidence and cause resistance and conflict. As management, you lead by example. A strong leader rejoices in the success of their team more than the success of themselves. They set the standard by walking the walk. Not talking the talk. They demonstrate that every day is a new day to exemplify the morals and values they espouse and to prove to themselves and others that none of what they share is lip service, but is steeped in real world behavior, attitudes and core executions of those values.
My boss walked in and reminded me that I have 19 minutes to finish this and send it out so I can get to his new list of distractions. I know he is never going to change. He will be barking at me for as long as he can bark.
And the truth is…. I love him for that. I never want him to stop.
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