Why is this employee late with this assignment? Why is he so grumpy? Why can’t she understand something so simple? Why does this person put in their 40 hours and go home while that person has their cell phone strapped to their side? Why can’t they be more, well, like me?
There are myriad reasons, starting with the fact that only a few of us can be perfect. If everyone thought like me then the world might be a better place, but then what would a pushy, hypercritical broad like me have to do all day? I was just staring out my window contemplating what to write about when I began to get a bit more than mildly irritated by the untended monstrosities they call rhododendrons in the median strip, but I digress. I do that a lot, too.
In fact I do a lot a lot. I’m not bragging—I find it insufferable. And I’m not whining—I really hate that. I’m not special. I don’t do anything different than the rest of us self-absorbed, neurotics seeking the approval of God knows who. Darn it, that’s whom, Sarah; get it right.
Perfect personality for a profession where nearly everything we do is very public and open for worldwide consumption. Heck, we even invite feedback on our website and via letters to the editor, which is of course yours truly. Please tell me what you really think (read: what I’m doing wrong), and then I’ll publish it! How masochistic can one really get? (And did I really have to consult Mr. Webster to make sure I was using the right word?)
It’s a classic paradox of narcissism combined with low self-esteem. It can make for a real Molotov cocktail when the witch I really am overcompensates for the (relatively) decent human being I pretend to be.
So is there something more to this than an impromptu therapy session you ask? I hope so. You see this wise, old leadership, er, leader, Matt Monge of Mazuma CU, often writes that leaders are humanly imperfect and need to show they are “vulnerable.” I honestly hate even the word. Probably because information passes through your limbic system, responsible for the emotional junk, before it arrives at the cortex, the part that performs logical analysis, producing a purely visceral reaction in me that I in turn deny profusely. Sound familiar?
I don’t know how to be imperfect and accept it. At the same time I definitely don’t think that I am perfect, but the self-flagellation occasionally misses its intended target. I can’t even claim to be perfect at that.
Not that I’m ever wrong mind you, but occasionally I can see where maybe I could handle a situation differently. But after Dr. Jekyll has allowed enough issues to build up, Ms. Hyde can boil up to the surface.
I work at 90 mph in five different directions at once. It’s not the "best" way but it’s mine. Most of the time I accept that madness is not for everyone or that people learn certain things at a different pace. And sometimes I get on a jag and things run through my head so quickly that I don’t realize that they didn’t actually come out of my mouth (or email) or just in bits and pieces. To quote Bill Engvall's hastily spoken line, “That ever happen to you? It happened to me once.”
Working like this is unhealthy and manifests itself in many ways. Most important to the job is that a tightly wound, irritable leader puts employees on edge. I don’t want to deal with a bunch of nervous Nellies.
So how to fix perfection? First, take a chill. Everyone already knows you’re not perfect. No, I don’t accept this yet but it sounds logical, and that’s me, right? Logical. Second, after a good mental chilling out, a physical one can be a good idea. I haven’t played volleyball in probably six months; I’ve got the DTs. Third, as it pertains to the workplace, identify the objectives in your credit union or your department. This may be tougher than you think. Fourth, be clear about the objective and assign tasks to team members that move the organization toward that objective. You may find the credit union or other organization was better than you thought, or worse, but you haven’t taken a breather to notice. Take time to ensure the objectives are being met, and finally, start over again at step one.
Now the $64,000 question of any schmuck doling out commentary is whether or not they adhere to it.