Sunday, March 30, 2014

What are you really doing when you're doing what you're doing?

I was re-reading Falling Upward by Richard Rohr and got to this quote:
We all try to do what seems like the task that life first hands us: establishing an identity, a home, relationships, friends, community, security, and building a proper platform for our only life. But it takes us much longer to discover “the task within the task,” as I like to call it: what we are really doing when we are doing what we are doing. Two people can have the same job description, and one is holding a subtle or not-so-subtle life energy (eros) in doing his or her job, while another is holding a subtle or not-so-subtle negative energy (thanatos) while doing the exact same job. ...
... In any situation, your taking or giving of energy is what you are actually doing. Everybody can feel, suffer, or enjoy the difference, but few can exactly say what it is that is happening. Why do I feel drawn or repelled? What we all desire and need from one another, of course, is that life energy called eros! It always draws, creates, and connects things. 
It got me to thinking about my current focus on leading teams at work and the, ah hem, "difficulties" I have had with both myself and others in this space. Thinking for a marketing guy inevitably ends up with a quad chart being produced... so here it is...

Have you met these people?
  • The depressive energy vampire who manages to get nothing done because of all the "impossible" problems? Though he never takes the team down, he isn't particularly inspiring to be around.
  • The depressives' opposite, the zealot, who is unshakable and, for better or for worse, is unstoppable? Though he may scout out and create amazing bright spots he can't bring the team along with him.
  • The saboteur who manages to poison the well with action blocking negativity? This guy is the most dangerous because he does not stop with himself. He's especially dangerous if he is in a position of significant organizational power.
  • The leader who infuses the right people with the right bits of encouragement when and where they are needed to let the team find its own way to success?