January 29, 2007
Liz published this at 4:32 am
They Had made Up My Mind
I once worked in a highly political culture. It took a while to know that politica played a huge role there. I had moved to a new city and a new job. I had to sort what was the company and what was the culture in part of the country.
As any new employee, I got to know the folks in my department. They showed me the “ropes” of the company, how things worked, and who was who. I took what I was told on face value.
Time went by. I found feet and my way around. I got to know what worked for me. I got to know what didn’t work too. I figured out that some of those folks who showed me around in the early days had political reasons for telling me things they told me.
I didn’t take into account how my beliefs about the company had been affected by conversations with those political people. It was a while before I woke to realize something about me I didn’t like.
I had opinions about people — people I didn’t know. I had become part of a culture that put people in little boxes.
My mind had people organized by one or two traits and their political clout within the company. It was part of the cultural organizational chart, the oral history handed down to me when I arrived there. I had bought it, as fishers say, “hook, line and sinker.”
That morning I started over. I started talking to all of the folks at work with clear intent of getting to know them. The more I talked, the more I enjoyed the folks that I was getting to know. I found that I’d been missing out on some pretty cool, intelligent people.
The world changed that day, when I let the people out of the boxes.
We can change the world — just like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
If you’re ready to change the world, send me your thoughts in a guest post. Feel free to take the gorgeous Change the World image up there that Sandy designed back to your blog. Or help yourself to this one.
Email me about what you’re doing or what we might do. Let’s change the world one bit at a time together. Together it can’t take forever.