Passion and Passing by

I met a new friend for dinner last Friday. She needed the gimmick time to relax because she’s been stressed with her job as lead to a multinational CBT provider (computer based trainings). In fact, she has work the next day, on a Saturday, because they have a launch on Monday and they are delayed.

Listening to her lament, I felt sad for her, that prompted me to suggest some of the strategies in project management in addressing delay risks. I asked her if they have set milestones along the way of the project to give them an indication of any delay and not be in a position where you are delayed so close to the delivery date/launch. She said that their Australian bosses are so trustworthy of the team that they don’t check up on the progress and just wait on the deliverable come deadline. The approach bewildered me because it’s tantamount to being careless. It’s one thing to trust on people, it’s another to be prepared. Ever heard of the quote, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed”?

The strength of the execution is in the strength of the plan and the monitoring and control mechanisms anticipated in the plan. I argued to my friend, that inefficiencies like that are costly. She said that the company has the funds to squander. Still wanting to help, I suggested that she conduct a post mortem so that they can come up with areas for improvement and avoid being in the same stressful situation they have now. She said, her bosses don’t listen. Not giving up, I supplemented with, “Maybe if you show them facts of the losses given this approach based on historical performance, then your process improvement ideas may be of more value.” She said she tried that and was still left unheard of. Her plan now is to just do her job, then do her passion elsewhere.

Did you feel what I felt? Such negativity. It’s repelling. I reasoned that being in a management position is a position of leadership and influence. No one can stop her from making things done better at least within her circle of influence like her team. At this point, she’s just tired. If I was sad for her earlier, I am sadder for her now. Because she’s given up.

I am lucky because I am empowered to make things better thru process improvement suggestions. And even if I am not empowered, it won’t stop me from sharing my ideas on how to do things more efficiently. I also consider myself blessed because I am in a work which I enjoy. Unlike her approach where job is work and passion is after work, I’d rather infuse my passion in work.

She countered that I am being idealistic. The funny things is, am far from being idealistic. I’m actually just being pragmatic. We have finite lives. And in that finite life, we spend 1/3 of our lifes or more to work. I don’t want to waste time and just let time pass by. I want meaningful work and I’d like to infuse my passion for positivity, orderly and collaboration in every opportunity I can. By doing that I have economized my time and the result I can produce instead of separating the two. 

To desire for things to be better and doing something about it and see them get implemented ties up in making things efficient ergo economical. So maybe there’s a lace of idealism in it too. True. But it is at the same time practical too.

This morning’s article by Rina JImenez-David on about the impeachment trial highlights how we should be at work or in everything we do. Admirable Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, COA (Commission on Audit) Chair Grace Pulido Tan and Commissioner Heidi Mendoza showed the way.  

I am impressed because the three women all have sterling records in public service, and brought their apparent skill and meticulousness to the task of revealing the full extent of Corona’s “hidden wealth,” revealing a passion for full disclosure and pursuit of transparency even—or especially—in the highest levels of public office.

It is not enough that one have the knowledge and skills needed to perform one’s job. To serve the public to the full extent of one’s vocation, one also needs a passion for public service, a heartfelt belief in the meaning of one’s employment in government, and zeal in performing the job to the full extent of one’s capabilities, and regardless of the status of those who stand to get hurt from the performance of one’s duties. – Rina JImenez-David. Full article here


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