Blue and Lonesome
Does it sometimes seem like you are surrounded by incompetence?
Maybe you’re in a project meeting and people are under-prepared.
Perhaps you’re meeting with a salesperson and they are asking questions that show they haven’t done the least bit of preparation for the meeting.
Or it could be that you are dealing with a boss that can’t make a decision, an apathetic colleague, or someone who just doesn’t have their act together.
You might be frustrated. At the wasted time. At the crappy level of work. At the feeling of being alone and seeming to maybe be the only one who cares about trying to do a good job.
You are blue and lonesome.
Here’s what to do about it.
Sing the Blues and Move On
Acknowledging your frustration is the first step.
This doesn’t have to be a public display. And it’s certainly nothing to go around the office whining about.
But it is good to recognize the situation. So that you can figure out what you want to do about it.
Your diagnosis will point the way to the cure.
You see, once you realize that a colleague maybe lacks some project management skills, you can jump in to help.
Once you realize that the salesperson needs some direct and honest feedback, you can jump in and help.
Once you realize that your boss is avoiding the decision, you can start to investigate why that may be.
Apathy is a tricky one, but there’s usually a reason that someone has given up in a certain area (or altogether).
You may be able to figure out a way to give this person some hope. Or to at least help them to get a little more engaged.
Whatever it is, you can be a helper.
Helping is More Fun
Being frustrated is not a lot of fun.
Being a helper is rewarding. Making things better, even by just a little, is satisfying. And doing satisfying work is fun.
That’s what you can do when you’re blue and lonesome. When you feel like common sense might be the rarest thing in the world. When you feel like competency is nowhere in sight.
You can help.
Because you wouldn’t feel so frustrated if you didn’t think that there was a better way.
That means you see a problem and you have a sense of how things could be better.
So make them better.
This may be a little difficult, but it’s an interesting problem to solve. To find a way to help, to support, to go beyond what is expected of you and to help the whole team.
That’s a little thing called leadership. And it doesn’t always come from the leader.
Leadership is a State of Mind
Working with a focus on making things better for all involved is leadership. And you definitely don’t need to be the official leader to do it.
Leadership is something everyone should do. Especially you.
You read stuff like this because you are always trying to figure out ways you that you can improve yourself. That’s what makes you the kind of person other people need.
They need your help. They need your guidance. They need your support.
And when you think along those lines, along the lines of helping, you will see more opportunities to help. You will see more ways that you can reach out and lend a hand. You will find ways to encourage, to assist, and to pitch in for the team.
Your leadership state of mind will lead to leadership actions. And people will appreciate it.
Or maybe they won’t. But that doesn’t matter so much because you are developing your leadership skills. And you are figuring out how to help the team.
In some people you won’t see much difference in how they evolve over time. But in others, you will.
You will see that they have started to step up to the plate in a new way. That they have started to develop new skills. That they are starting to show a glimpse of leadership potential.
And you will enjoy seeing that leadership virus spread, knowing you played a role.
You won’t feel so blue and lonesome anymore.
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