Excerpt from short story:
As usual, Katie and Joi had lunch in the office cafeteria, but today, Katie was not her normal jipper self. After a few minutes of silent eating, Katie put down her fork, looked at Joi and signaled towards the doorway on the other side of the cafeteria as Kimberly walked in to start her lunch.
“You are so lucky to not be in our department. Look at her. It gets on my last nerve. At five pm sharp, she will be the first to clock out….she only researched five accounts and I did fifteen in the same amount of time. While she was taking ten minute phone surfing breaks I was researching, but as always, at the end of the month, the whole team will get recognition when everyone on the team has not been pulling their weight. You know what? Tomorrow I’m going to go over each account three times and will still average eight by lunchtime. It may sound petty, but it just gets under my skin that our checks look the same every week, but I do so much more work than her. Am I overreacting Joi?”
Let’s unpack this situation and see how we can learn from it to enhance our Purpose Pillar grades. This is a situation that I think many of us can identify with, whether we were in the roles of the Kaities, Jois, or Kimberlys. To expedite this blog, let’s mainly focus on the protagonist in this short excerpt: Katie. I will briefly discuss Kimberly afterwards.
Unfortunately, Katie’s situation is extremely popular. Since the beginning of time, there have been “perceived slackers” in every type of job that existed. The reason I described them in that fashion, is because what one person considers as slacking is all based on their frame of reference. The “slacker” could also be on the verge of breaking down and doing their best to stay afloat; that doesn’t excuse their job responsibilities; however, as you just read, there are so many factors when determining if someone is slacking.
With that part of the issue discussed, let’s now focus on Katie and her mindset. Many of you may agree with her and yes, the fact that she gets paid the same may seem unfair based on how much she produces, but let’s explore this from an individual perspective. It is going to be very hard for Katie to excel in her field if other people’s performance determines how much she produces. From my perspective, it seems that Katie has fallen victim to a self imposed crab in the bucket syndrome. She has deliberately made a decision to adjust her pace in a corporate setting because of another employee. Imagine if their manager notices the decrease in performance. Isn’t it possible that her spiteful attitude could backfire and lead to professional consequences? What if she continued to master her position and even share best practices with other people on her team? Katie is looking at her situation from a perspective that has plagued so many employees from the beginning of time and the scary part is that most of them never even knew that by adjusting their capabilities to others, their infinite possibilities were also curtailed.
Now let’s briefly discuss Kimberly. Based on what we know about this story, she is simply minding her own business and doing her job. Whether or not she is slowly getting better, slacking on purpose or struggling to do the job, she is the only one that truly knows her intentions. Does she have a way to measure her performance on a weekly or monthly basis? Does she have plans of becoming a master within her position? Is she simply working a nine to five to pay bills without any care for how efficient she does her job? These are all questions she would have to answer. These unknowns are also reasons that make Katie’s perception very blurry. For her to only look at the results without having any knowledge of Kimberly’s true goals, there is no way that her assessment can be accurate enough for her to make a judgment.
In conclusion, if each of us would simply do our very best to get better in our positions, have empathy and compassion for everyone we work with and do what we can to help make others better, the process of organic personal growth is inevitable. The human manager or supervisor may not see it, but the Universal laws that govern gravity, cause and effect, and other absolute principles of life have no choice but to give back what you put forth. Monetary compensation cannot be the sole measurement that determines one’s value. Improvement, efficiency and understanding are a few personal statistics that cannot be given by anyone other than the person in the mirror. As those indicators increase, one’s personal value follows suit and outgrowing positions is usually not too far behind. Unfortunately, due to many people responding to their employment situation like Katie, they miss out on personal development and career advancement, without any knowledge of their missed opportunities. Peter Smith said it best in his 2009 book, “Wasted talent is putting our leadership in the world at risk.” Instead of ever adjusting to the speed of the people around us, we should all simply compete with the only person with our set of fingerprints; the person in the mirror.
Purpose Pillar Action Plan: Since you know about the 10,000 hour rule; 10,000 hours of consistent practice with the intention to get better each hour, creates mastery, measure your time as an employee of any kind or as an entrepreneur. Are you close to 10,000 hours? Are you better than you were last year with the intention to get better each hour? Are action plans set in place to continue your development? What can you do within tomorrow’s schedule to increase the skill in your position? Have you plateaued? Are you working to get to the weekend? Answer these questions and know that if you plan on being the absolute best version of yourself, certain answers are not in alignment with that plan. On the other hand, if you just want to be average, accept it and know that if you ever wanted to step it up, this exercise can assist with some initial steps to create positive change.
Kinja’s Current Reality: There are several daily processes that are happening every day since 2009. Reading and writing are a part of my daily commitments. This blog is not only a passion project; it is also an effective way to increase my research skills, scholarly article competency, storytelling ability and memory, to name a few. There are also many other processes happening offline that are all targeting my Four Pillar development. I don’t know what the future holds, but I will continue to work on the processes that are responsible for getting me to this moment. When it is all said and done, I will know that I did not leave any stone unturned and served others while in the process of self-discovery. To dive deeper into understanding the Four Pillar system, explore the 365 page manual at any time. Regardless, next week I will see you again in another episode of the Decade Series.
Smith, Peter. Harnessing America's Wasted Talent : A New Ecology of Learning, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central