Beware the language of powerlessness
How often have you heard any of these phrases or perhaps used them yourself:
“Don’t rock the boat”
“Pick your battles”
“Keep your head down”
“That is how stuff works around here”
“These things take time”
Within and outside the organisations I work with, I hear over and over again the language of powerlessness – the language of C.Y.A – Cover Your Ass, the language of the status quo.
You joined to do great work, so go do it.
You, like most people I know – some in the biggest and richest companies in the world – joined to do amazing things.
They joined to pursue the passion of figuring problems out , helping people , being of use or simply for the joy of making.
Along the way they acquired things – family and responsibilities. All of which make demands on time and money.
Along the way, they settled for the status quo and adopted the language of powerlessness – allowing unfairness and injustice to be done in the name of career progression.
You only have this one life – spend it wisely, do the great work now – you might not get another go round the carousel.
Go take calculated risks.
Start a business – you might fail or you might succeed, either way it would probably be the best thing you could do.
Speak out against the things that piss you off – you might help change them.
Stand up for others at work even against the opinion of authority.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. You are human – show it.
Don’t tolerate your time being wasted – it is the only thing of real value you have and you have less of it every day.
Be the shoulders for others to reach further – that is leadership too.
Call things as you see them.
You might actually find you have a more enjoyable, impactful and inspirational career by not trying to have one.
Photo by Australian National Maritime Museum on The Commons