Becoming Our Best


Each of us has been stuck in what appears to be a meaningless job or circumstance along the way. Or maybe what we have been asked to do seems pointless. The result is the same: an empty feeling that I am wasting my time and effort, and getting nowhere.

One time I was asked to take on a "worthless job". The word was out among the people in the organization that this job was not only hard, but had high visibility, was thankless and led to nowhere. Unfortunately, by the time I heard this it was too late. I'd already agreed to take the job. My spirits fell as I thought about the miserable days, months and years ahead...

Fortunately, I'd been taught by my parents that one must always do his best, whatever the assignment. So it seemed as if I needed to just to get on with this "worthless job" and make something of it. And my colleagues were right - it was a hard job, the bosses were watching like hawks and there were plenty of opportunities for me to make high-visibility mistakes.

The good news is that, two years later, when I was transferred to another position, the old one had become the premier place to work for up-and-coming junior executives. Wow! How did that happen? These points seem clear:

* Don't live by hearsay; check things out for yourself

* Give your best efforts to whatever you are doing

* Be confident that you can make things better

* Don't give up

The last point may be the most important. When you are involved in something which has important consequences for yourself and others, it's necessary to stay the course. This is not only a serious matter for you; but there are others watching to see how you will perform. Many times, these thankless, worthless jobs or circumstances are places where you have the "leverage" to change things in the organization for the better.

Look carefully at the job or circumstance you have been offered to get the clearest picture possible; talk with a trusted friend, relative or mentor about the situation; reflect on the possibilities; and if it seems like a place where you can make a difference, go for it!

Author: Bruce Johnsen Management Consultant:
824 Munras Ave Suite G
Monterey, CA 93940

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