”and so he will probably be too tired to vote.
We were able to meet in person for his weekly coaching call, and chose the end of the day since a Friday afternoon worked best for us both this past week. Over the phone he had said, “You’ll give me a great excuse to get away and stay away, at least until the next morning.”
His coaching program with me is once every two weeks. One part MWA value-alignment workshop (designed for his team’s values), one part responsiveness coaching (RC) with whatever he feels he needs to work on (we use these 9 areas as his categories) alternating between the two each time we have a session. He writes the agenda for the RC session, and that’s what we were meeting for this time.
His list was short and we made quick work of it, ending with his action plan for the two weeks to come, and I said to him, “You have something else on your mind, don’t you.”
He looked at me like a kid just caught napping at his desk at school, and sheepishly said, “You know how it is right now Rosa, same old thing.”
I let that pass and chose to change the subject briefly, knowing that he would volunteer what was still bugging him when he felt ready. I asked, “Were you able to catch any of this week’s coverage of the Democratic National Convention? As someone who presents so often, it was like getting free sessions in a Speaking Mastery Class, delivered direct to my living room.”
His response was, “No, I missed it all. Honestly Rosa, I am too tired to work on having an informed opinion about it, and I’m just too tired to care. Not sure I’ll even bother voting come November.”
My heart sank, but I bit my tongue and let the quiet sit between us for a moment, and sure enough, he launched into what had really been on his mind. I’ll call him Ace as I explain.
An Ace in Hand
Ace is one of those who are the ‘fortunate’ to still have their jobs.
Since this past April, shortly after the news that Aloha Airlines was calling it quits, Ace has said goodbye to almost a fourth of his peers, managers and staff alike, as his company’s business plan was reengineered into survival mode and labor was trimmed. The ensuing months have not brought them improvements, just an ever-shrinking cash flow to make more adjustments for. [Victims of the Hawai‘i Downturn.]
Click here for larger image and commentary.
They were already running a tight ship, and so Ace went from playing a strategic hand of poker to thumbing through more than twice as many cards in what seems to be an endless game of war.
Ace’s hours have increased dramatically, and most of our coaching sessions in previous months to improve his productivity now seem like they never happened; he is bringing work home again. Essentially, Ace has gone from handling a manager’s job to filling in for the staff he lost, and doing any “management stuff” on his own time. There have been some allowances and shifts made in his company’s business plan, but they still fall far short of what is humanly reasonable on the labor front.
So Ace and I sat for another hour, throwing out that action plan we’d initially done and collaborating on a new one that would be more realistic for him.
Accepting apathy is NEVER a good solution
As far as I’m concerned, no one should be too tired to have an opinion, and too tired to care. Life is just too short for complacency or apathy and feelings of helplessness.
If you are in a situation like Ace, do NOT accept it. If you have to work extra hard anyway, work to change it.
I know it is more easily said than done, but damn it, you have to create your own destiny.
In this case ~ ~ ~
What Ace and I did was explore the depth of his circle of influence with the company business plan. As a manager, Ace needs to get back to playing offense, not defense, and get control of his hand back from the dealer.
If you have to think ‘bigger than the job’ or ‘outside the box’ as one of the remaining ‘fortunate few,’ push the edges of that box upwards too, not just down.
Voice your insider’s viewpoint. Work ON your company and not just trapped withIN it.
Flickr image: Aces by Auntie P.
On voting: Enjoyed reading this on CK’s Blog today:
Left, right or center: Can we all agree how REMARKABLE this election truly is?