One to Try at Home

Well, another postless week. I could blame lots of things, but I know what is at the bottom of it — stress. We’re going through yet another reorganisation and even though I do a good job and that my new boss does too, amid all the uncertainty there is the nagging doubt that there won’t be any chairs left when the music stops. Not a good thought when I’ve still two kids to (hopefully) fund through university.

The thing is, when this has happened in the past (several times) I think I am carrying on as normal and it’s only when things are resolved that I realise how stressed I’ve been and how I’ve totally ignored the things that usually interest me, like this little bloglet. So I hereby resolve to get my arse back into gear and get writing again.

As part of said reorganisation, I had to travel to London for a business meeting today. I won’t bore you with the details other than one small part of it that you might want to try at home. We were doing the values bit, how we want to behave in the (latest) new world and we were split into three groups of four.

We were asked to take three post-its and to scribble on them the three values most important to us. For the record, mine were, in order, honesty, loyalty and clarity. I’m not sure the last can be considered a value, but hey, my choice. Bears of little brain like to keep things simple.

Then we were asked to imagine that we were on a boat in a seriously scary storm, so scary that we had to take to the lifeboats with the others in our group, but it was a small craft and we could only fit in two of those three values. One had to be left behind. In my case, it was ‘clarity’.

The storm got worse and the lifeboat was launched into a rough sea, and as the waves crashed, staying afloat meant ditching one of the two remaining values. For me, that was ‘loyalty’.

Next the clincher. Four people in the boat, four values, except we were being swamped. Three values had to go ‘man overboard’ if we were to survive. What would the one remaining value be?

I’m afraid my ‘honesty’ did the decent thing and deep-sixed leaving us with ‘results’. How many of us go home after a day’s work and think, “I was really honest today,” or even, “How clearly I made that sound,”? No, getting a result, the job done, that — if we’re truthful — is the result.

But the disturbing bit is in ditching the values you thought were important. It isn’t that they’re gone, it’s just that they can be the motherhood and apple pie bits that can get in the way of doing what you’re paid to do.

Not saying it’s right and it was disturbing to despatch the MAAP as jetsam — difficult in everyday life, easy when your life depends on it. As I said, something to try in life, work and personal relationships. Enjoy.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

1 comment… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 26th July 2006

    Well I for one hope you keep your job. The games in London sound like fun. Me? two days into the summer holiday as a teacher and what have I done so far? Spent fourteen hours in school working. Oh teachers’ holidays! What a perk they are. Must go now – bedtime – another seven hours tomorrow with no stormy boat game fun.


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