Last month, I had the opportunity to go hear Seth Godin
speak. He was actually out promoting his latest book, Linchpin
, and was in my neck of the woods. Someone I am connected with on facebook and LinkedIn worked very hard to get Mr. Godin to stop by, speak to about 600 of his closest friends and sign a few books. I am a big fan of Seth and have taken much of what he has written and said to heart. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet him. When I did meet him, he asked, "What frightens you?" I looked him square in the eye and said, "Nothing."
In a recent blog, Godin touched briefly on an Andrew Carnegie quote, "Take away my people, but leave my factories and soon grass will grow on my factory floors... Take away my factories, but leave my people and soon we will have a new and better factory." People are the heart of any organization; they are what makes it tick. I also adhere to a systems thinking
approach, that each of us represents a working cog, small or otherwise, in our families, our work, our industry, and the world.
A cog cannot work by itself. It must have other cogs to push and /or be pushed by. There must be a force or motivation sending each cog on its way. No one cog is more important than another, not in a true, working system. They all must work together or the machine stops and /or cogs get broken or jammed. But I believe (like Godin does) that each of us has the opportunity to prove our worth, to rise above others, become the best cog possible. Would your company/firm/organization survive without you? Are you vital to the success of your company/business?
Sometimes we become underappreciated or overshadowed. Perhaps you stumbled upon an injustice or lack of integrity that you could not tolerate. This has, unfortunately, happened to me and mostly likely to you, as well. My course of action was probably different than yours; each of us has to be true to our own core. Sadly, both of my instances led to me making the choice to leave what I considered really great jobs. The work I did that was important to me, was too important for me to allow it to be tainted or run through a proverbial gutter.
My work matters to me.
What I do matters to my organization. It matters to my supervisor and what he thinks matters to me. Whether or not your work matters depends upon you; you place the value and live up to that value. Where are you going to place it? There is a proverbial gutter with each of our names on it. I'm gonna keep sweeping so I stay out and not get stuck.
So, I guess "Nothing" wasn't a completely truthful answer to Godin's question. I am afraid of getting stuck and failing. My cog has to work. How about you, what frightens you?
© by rayannethorn