A couple of weeks ago, after I lamented the loss of Mr. Rogers, a friend took me to task. He said, “Um you know there JB, you aren’t always, um. Nevermind. Gentle.”
It’s true. I can be a pushy, bossy, know-it-all. I was, and probably always will be a Hermione. Years of consulting didn’t help. In the consulting biz, unwavering certainty that one’s opinion is fact, is a highly marketable skill. A wise mentor once advised me that I could be hard on issues without being so hard on people. It was a pivotal moment in my life. Everyone thought I was a b%*$#, and I justified it by accomplishing things. It was more than expedient, it was necessary. Or was it?
Leaving the business world brought out my better side. Without the pressure to perform, I don’t have to push so hard. These days, most people think I’m fairly personable. Perky, even. But that other side of me–my evil twin–is still there. I’m the product of a Chihuahua and a Malamute, lots of yap and endless determination. And if it’s required I will bite the crap out of your ankle, even if you’re twice my size. Seriously.
I can be a b%*$#. I freely admit it. Lately, my evil twin has made several guest appearances. I’m not an indiscriminate b%*$#, however. The hulk only emerges when provoked. Here is what is triggers the green meanie in me:
- Expecting great things to happen just because you show up. Having a product for sale is not the same thing as selling a product. Nothing is automatic. If you throw a party, but don’t send out invitations, you’ll have a lot of leftover cake and balloons.
- Using protocol as a hammer. If you want me to get committee approval every time I save your ass, it might take a while, especially if you don’t answer emails.
- Doing the same thing that failed last time, while assuming it will work this time because you are in charge. Failure is usually due to process, not people. They didn’t fail, as much as they didn’t succeed at what mattered. They didn’t know at the time. You do.
- Doing any of the above and being a b%*$# at the same time.
- B%*$#ing about things not getting done, dumping the problem on me, and then complaining I’m not being nice enough while I’m cleaning up the mess.
I’m not being nice? Tough patootie. Here’s my philosophy, If you’re going to be a b%*$#, you better bring it. Deliver the goods. It’s not a justification, but it’s a start.
What do I do that’s so bad? I ask for what I need. I ask what is possible, and I expect people to follow through on their agreements.
I also give. I give lots of credit and appreciation when people come through. I give them the benefit of the doubt when they don’t. I give them the right to say, “I can’t do x”, when they follow it up with “but I can do y.”
If that’s a b%*$#, then I’ll wear the tiara. Because when the chips are down, I know who they’re going to call. And when they do I will bring it.
Words by J. B. Everett