Friday, June 24, 2005

Should I quit?

I'm sure we all go through stages of saying, "Am I really happy in this job?" and consider quitting. Mostly, people look for something else, get the new job and then quit. Not me...

I recently formed part of an effort to buyout the other shareholders of the business I worked for. After eight months of unsuccesful negotation, the three of us on the leadership team decided to resign and seek new fortune.

This was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Leaving business at a time when it wasn't doing that well is hard. When the entire leadership team goes it is very hard. Getting the employees together and telling them of our decision was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

Luckily, I believed in what we had done - we believed the change in ownership was critical to solve fundamental issues in the business. Further, we had new partners willing to enter the business and bring new sales with them. Also, I had given this business everything for eight years of my life. Finally, we anticipated one of the shareholders would enter the business to take over leadership.

So now I have worked through my notice period. I worked hard at helping bring in sales during this period and did not do much to solicit new employment (thus preserving, in my mind, every shred of integrity).

I am now unemployed by choice as I consider what to do with my life. This is both liberating and frightening: insurance, medical aid and levies quickly add up to a frightening deduction against zero income...

It is funny how conservative I have become given the change in income. I'm switching off lgihts around the house and am too scared to make some technology purchases I need.

A big thing I need to do is just become OK with taking this time out. Knowing I can do this will be empowering for the rest of my life - knowing I do not ever need to work in a particular job.

Ideally, I'll figure out what I'm going to do, sign up - but take a three month break beforehand...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Who has the Wisdom of Solomon?

(Background: the astonishing debate on the MWeb blogs -

And interestingly, more pronouncements Here)

I'm a management consultant with about ten years experience. Mostly I deal with business problems that exist because people are people and not because the rational part of the problem is intellectually challenging. Mostly, people just can't agree.

I only mention this to give background to my experience - which is an experience and not therefore the only truth. But it is the truth to me. Or at least it is my current truth.

But I'm getting wrapped up in myself. Which is my point. Wow. We project. We project our experience into others' lives. And based on either a little or a lot of information. Even if we had all the information, we project our context onto their situation.

We can try and empathise - good word, empathy (and not sympathy) recognises prejudice. But inherently we are all prejudiced (show me someone with a truly open mind and I'll show the hole in their head). We have a baseline opinion. The best of us are aware of that opinion and question it when questioning others.

Maturity? Frankly the wisdom of Solomon is what's needed when pronouncing on who is right or wrong.

Ever hear that saying, "The law is an ass?" But to misquote Churchill, "It's the best we've got."

That's the best thing really. Rather than absolutes ("The law is the law"), recognise the shades of grey (an example, a policeman gave a doctor who stopped to help an accident victim a ticket for stopping in a yellow line. The shades of grey are quite violently colourful there.) It makes maintaining the thin line between liberty and anarchy quite difficult..