Saturday, August 31, 2013

To Those I Supervise: Overthrow me.

Act #243:  This is bigger than any one person.

Today I'm making a request to those I supervise - past, present, and future:  over throw me.

Let me start with a confession.  I don't have all the answers.  And sometimes late at night, I sit straight up in my bed gripped with panic, that I might have somehow made the wrong decision that day, or worse yet - stifled someone's dream.  While my life experiences and a few pieces of paper are somehow supposed to convince you that I am qualified to set a course, a vision, a fool-proof plan of action, you should know that I just can't do that.  At least not without you. 

You see, I stepped into these shoes a bit reluctantly.  Like you, I started out merely believing in the same cause that you believe in.  Then a couple years passed by and I managed to figure out a few ways to work smarter and multiply the impact of my work.  A few more years went by and people began asking me for advice on how to also work smarter and multiply the impact of their work.  Then committees and organizations began tapping me to help figure out ways to work smarter and multiply impact in entire communities.  Then I began seeing possibilities and potential, and clear paths to get to them.

And over time, here I stand - all eyes and expectations on me - to lead.  When in all reality, I'm still just the same girl who merely believes in the same cause that you believe in.  I need you to remind me of this every once in a while.  When I'm on the phone with bank presidents, setting board agendas, preparing for auditors, like I was all last week, I need you to pull me aside and thank me for my role in eradicating sexual violence (insert your own cause here). When I get beat down and rejected, and start suggesting ways for our organization to remain safe, I need you to remind me that our clients, our customers don't need us to be "safe", they need us to stand up for them - and sometimes that's not safe. 

I need you to speak up and have a voice on things that really matter.  And resist the temptation to breath life into things that deplete our energy and distract our focus.   I need you to stand right there beside me holding our organization's vision at the helm of everything we do.  To see me not only as the fixer of problems or the provider of resources, but as a true partner you are willing to engage with authentically, and commit your time and talents to fully, while at work.

I need you to continually challenge both of us - our evolving roles, and how together, we might have the most impact.   And if at any point in time, you feel you can no longer find your voice, or you can no longer see a clear path to our mission....overthrow me.  This organization, any organization is bigger than one person.  Any cause, any movement is only possible because of the collective efforts of all of us, and because of the magnitude of our strength to believe we can indeed impact change. 

So go on, give this movement all you've got.  Work hard.  Speak up.  Believe.  Challenge both of us.  Focus.  Reject negativity.  Respect the contributions of others.  Remember why you chose to work here.  Remember our purpose.  I promise to do the same.  And if I don't, overthrow me.  Because at the end of the day, I'm just a girl who believes in the same cause that you do.

No comments:

Post a Comment