Disintegrated Parts

Recently I started doing a new thing; I started taking space. Well, not before it was given to me, but now that people step aside and give me space, I am sure as hell taking it!

From a professional perspective this is interesting. We can all stay in a position where we are more than comfortable, where people expect this thing from us, but that gets way too boring over time. What we can do as well is to redefine our own roles, and work towards solving a problem, and that is where I shine.

Not being limited by a perceived expectation of performance in a job feels freeing. It broadens your horizons, for no longer you are expected to perform the same daily rhythm, but instead you can start working towards a larger goal, whatever that may be. And while I realize that might not be ideal for everyone, to me that makes work easier. No longer do I have to think about all the details people expect from me, but instead I can think about the goal, my present position, and how to get there. Even though there isn’t always a plan, I can take small steps, and small steps together over a long time result in leaps.

Did you know people over-estimate the things they can do in the short term, and significantly under-estimate what they can achieve over longer time-scales?

Now that I am in a position where this space is given to me, I am taking it up. Not only with my core competency, but also in leadership, in communication, in so much more than just my job, and that feels freeing. Finally it starts to feel I can bring my whole self to work, however complex that being is, however complicated it might make my job look like, but I’m loving it.

But none of this had happened before this space was given me.

Because before I had been working under a micromanaging boss, insistent on reducing the scope of my work to the point where even a fish would be able to finish a single task. Thinking, or perhaps hoping that would make me perform better. It was said that if I wanted more complex work, that if I wanted to pursue larger goals instead of task based work, I first would have to prove I could finish all these numerous small tasks at adequate speed, and quality.

But this is not how you achieve speed and quality. This is how you set people up to fail.

And now when sharing my achievements with colleagues, customers and partners, I am still thinking in the back of my head whether I should be the one to make the announcement. Do I deserve this level of recognition? Do I deserve the perceived power this gives me?

But again, I am still very much used to people taking my achievements and presenting this as their own. Stealing me of my leverage, appropriating it as their own. It’s robbery, do not let that happen.

And so I hope that whenever (whatever) position of power or leadership I am in, I will still remember this lesson. That giving people space makes them flourish. Not just me, but everyone in their own way. This power and leverage of the work of other people cannot be hoarded, for everyone would be worse off, and those being robbed suffer most.

It is often during work that I think about the book Maverick, by Ricardo Semler whom had spent his career democratizing the workspace. Not only democratizing, but giving people space to do their work. A workspace like that is an aspirational goal for me, and so far I feel really privileged for getting to experience this radically different approach to work myself. And so I am hoping that whenever the time comes, I can step back and make space for others as well.

No webmentions were found.