Sunday, December 13, 2015

Beyond Archy

I have always had a chip on my shoulder when it comes to people being in charge of me. I bristle when given instructions. Particularly when it feels like I am being treated as a machine. A thing that can do a thing. Go. Some of the biggest mistakes I have made in team situations have been when I have forgotten that most people feel like that too. I am not a unique snowflake. As soon as time pressure increases, there is often a thingification of people as corners create a task focus. Consensus, listening, encouragement and all the warm, fuzzy things that make us like each other get tossed aside. There is a job to be done.

Inner Darth rises when in a corner

We are not machines. As things get really busy, emotions like anger, frustration, and excitement bubble to the point of boiling over. Some people like this. They like the edge that jumping from corner to corner creates. It helps motivate them. A lack of time to breathe means you are always doing. Always being productive. The pressure outsources the need for an incentive to be motivated, because there is never a pause. 

I simply don't like myself in corners. There are few people I have met who manage the art of being in a corner while maintaining their appeal. I don't think it is worth it. I also think there is seldom a reason to rush. We can get addicted to the cocktail of emotion from pressure. It can be our fix that makes us feel we are 'doing something'. Adding space is the first thing you should do when you are really busy. The more important the stuff you are doing, the more important the breathing room.

Gandhi was once told he had so much to do in the day, could he cut out his meditation? His response was that if you are twice as busy, you should meditate twice as long

What this does is open the possibility of getting rid of the Archy that gets so annoying. If there is time, there is time to work together on problems. The need for Archy comes when the information is closely held. The plan is closely held. The various moving parts need central co-ordination for the grand plan to work. The addition of a little pressure helps with the cooking. Thinking gets upsourced but the person at the top is too busy too think.

I believe most of the thinking and decision making should be done on the front lines. The further from the action, the more real information gets lost in translation. Leadership should be a platform for action. It should remove obstacles. We shouldn't wait for some amazing, inspirational, insightful Philosopher Queen to arrive on her dragons and lead us from our woes.

We don't need instruction or permission, we need community. Communities need time and make more from it than busyiness. Beyond Archy is space.

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