It’s not just me. It’s happened to you, too.
Here’s a little opinion quiz. We’ll talk about it in a bit.
- Have you ever had someone encourage you to start a project and say they had your back…and then, they didn’t?
- Have you ever waited for someone to come through, giving them – to your mind – an almost risky amount of time to deliver…and then, they didn’t deliver?
- Have you ever had someone change the trajectory of a shared project…without telling you?
- Have you, in a group or shared project/event, had someone alter the time frame to suit their needs…without seeing if it suited yours?
- And, as a result, do you hesitate to get involved in group settings, because you’ve been burned in the past?
Let’s say, for easy grading, that each question is worth 20 points and a “perfect” score is 100%. What’s your score? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess it’s higher than you want it to be.
Why does it seem that, these days, everyone’s talking the big talk, but very few are walking the walk? Oh, they love meaningless sayings, like “Thanks for all you do.” Or, “You’re awesome.” But they’re not standing with us at the finish line, because they lost interest, got distracted, or decided it was too much effort to be there.
There’s a lot of blame being thrown around: we rewarded a generation of people for doing nothing and now, they don’t do anything without a reward; we’re a group of wiki experts with no real expertise; we’re maniacally busy; we lack leaders who promise and deliver, so we have modeled ourselves accordingly.
There’s a lot of excuses being delivered. Some of the ones I resent the most?
- My memory.
- My internet.
- My phone.
- My schedule.
- My life.
Why so resentful, you ask? Because, on most things, we decide.
- We take the job. We had the job description. Can we deliver? We’d better…and to the best of our ability.
- We are assigned group work. Whether everyone is equally yoked or not, we pull hard and we finish. When we try to avoid hard work, we all fail.
- We offer support. That means we’re going to be there.
- We sign up. Did you do it out of guilt? Do everyone a favor. Don’t.
Do you have a poor memory? Write yourself a list. Bad internet connection? Tons of places have free wifi. Phone funking out? Tell people to email you and, then, read your emails. Schedule too busy? Drop something. It’s not a race and no one appreciates volunteering or working with someone who’s over-committed. Life got you by the cojones? Tell somebody. Tell the team. Let us know. We don’t need the dirty details (if there are dirty details), but we need to know who’s unavailable.
Did you let someone down? Genuinely apologize.
I want to work with people who stop saying, “I don’t know how you do it,” and help me get it done. I don’t need a hollow “Thanks for all you do,” which sounds somehow resentful, as if I’ve done too much and now, the speaker wishes I hadn’t done so much.
I know quiet a few people who were raised with the phrase: “Everyone has the same number of hours in a day.” Fact.
My mom used to say, “Jeri Lynn, everybody finds the time to do the things they want to do.” True.
It’s going to take a concerted effort to move our families, our communities, and our country forward. We need everyone walking the walk together. Let’s get in step.
The photo and the gif are from the TV show and band
The Monkees (www.monkees.com).
If you don’t know their music, you should YouTube them.
I liked the show as a kid.