Ever feel like you are asked to do the work of three people? Ever feel that most of your day is spent reading emails and sitting in meaningless meetings?
I am not sure I have answers for these questions, but it got me thinking about a couple articles I have read. One explores the shrinking size of the original content creators — i.e. newsrooms. The other touches on the devaluation of work hours.
Years ago, I worked for a news organization. After a meeting, the publisher told me that opinions are cheap to publish because it does not require the writer to do anything but write. But a good story is hard work and costs the company a lot of money to put boots on the ground, staff to interview and research a subject, photograph and edit lead stories. The quality of the content that goes into a lead story suffers when an organization is understaffed. Further, the consumers of the content receive sub-quality work. Is the fault with the consumer that wants free online content? Or the content creator that is unable to provide high-quality work on a limited budget that consumers will actually purchase?
“The ancient Celts… distinguished the poet, who was originally a priest and judge as well and whose person was sacrosanct, from the mere gleeman. He was in Irish called fili, a seer, which is Welsh derwydd, or oak-seer, which is the probable derivation of Druid. Even kings came under his moral tutelage.”
Being a leader does not always mean your job title is CEO or office manager or creative director. Leading from within is as affective if not more than leading from the top of the corporate structure. Based on William Deresiewicz’s essay/lecture (which I quoted portions of back in April, but for a refresher, read the article here: Solitude and Leadership), how would you apply some of the principles he suggests in “Solitude and Leadership”?
Maybe your work life is something like this. You have a full, eight-hour day work load of project management tasks (that you are trying to squeeze into ten hours), production items and internal and external clients to assist. Shortly after you sit down at your desk and take a sip of coffee, your email inbox audibly notifies you of an email from your supervisor. You do not respond to the email immediately because you are processing files from yesterday for today’s activities. These are files the supervisor needs by 10 a.m. That allows you one hour to complete the task. Within a few minutes you receive a Skype message from the supervisor asking if you saw the email. When you do not reply to the Skype message immediately, you receive a text message on my personal mobile device asking if you saw the Skype message about the email. Does this sound familiar? How do you handle such distraction and meet your supervisors requests and requirements?
This may be a mundane example, but it is more accessible to most readers than that of a Wall Street broker. So, how would you apply some of the principles Deresiewicz suggests in “Solitude and Leadership”?
“. . . most people believe that technology is a staunch friend. There are two reasons for this. First, technology is a friend. It makes life easier, cleaner, and longer. Can anyone ask more of a friend? Second, because of its lengthy, intimate, and inevitable relationship with culture, technology does not invite a close examination of its own consequences. It is the kind of friend that asks for trust and obedience, which most people are inclined to give because its gifts are truly bountiful. But, of course, there is a dark side to this friend. Its gifts are not without a heavy cost.”