These last few weeks, people have shared with me their frustrations with the organization they volunteer or work in. From a family business, to a veteran’s gathering place, to a school, a small professional organization and also inter-family relationships, the stories while different were much the same. Things just weren’t right.
It didn’t matter what the situation or the size. Things just weren’t right.
The only common denominator in all of these situations were that all of them involved humans. Much like you and I. Filled with opinions, beliefs, fears, and uncertainties. With different skils and proficiencies.
And that got me to think about my behavior in group or structured situations. Do I listen well? Am I compassionate or insistent? Do I only care about myself or the greater good? Have I given all I can or am I more comfortable being a spectator? Am I the cause or the answer? Do I have the courage to say I was wrong in order to get moving past the obstacle we now face?
Do I feel sorry for myself? Am I having a good or bad day? What is really on my mind when you are talking? How many fingers will I point? Does it really matter who to blame? How many times do we insist that it be our way? Do we describe ourselves as religious but do not have any interest to forgive?
The craziness of life is that humans, you and I, are so different, complex and very uneven. Life is more fluid than we understand with each us being, at times, the most variable.
Sometimes we are present. Other times we are aloof. Tired or energetic. Focused or apathetic. Angry or apathetic. The list is endless.
While the popular press writes volumes about leadershp, I strongly believe we also need to take a look at who we are and how we act in various situations throughout our day when we are simply participants. Understanding that many times, things can’t be perfect because each of us are not.
My hope is that we learn from our many days. Always trying to assess whether we are part of the problem or the solution while we struggle to understand the difference.