You know the one who comes late to every meeting and expects other people to go back and catch them up? The one who is missing from scheduled conference calls? The one who doesn't read to the end of the email and therefore misses critical information - or worse - an assignment and deadline given to them to complete.
I'm also that person that puts work in her bag and promises "to review it tonight, in the morning, before our meeting", etc. and doesn't. I'm the person who generates noise, but not necessarily product. I'm the person who is simply too busy and yet not accomplishing anything in her busy-ness.
While lunching with a friend last week and bemoaning my existence in the MERGER company, we talked about value and self-perceived value. I trust this woman's judgment totally, but I still stared at her in disbelief when she indicated how valuable I am to the company and to my colleagues. Further discussion yielded a bit of an AHA moment.
You see, I am that person because I am betwixt and between, so to speak.
I still have the expectations of myself as a Do-er. Someone responsible for tasks and deliverables of all types - from newsletters, to brochures, to web content, to press releases, to tracking spreadsheets, to metrics and meeting notes, and many many more. I'm also an Advisor, called to numerous meetings on a daily basis, asked to weigh in on lots of activities on other desks, and supervisor of a staff of professionals. Back to the Do-er side, I am still the go-to person for many higher ranking executives...who don't really care if I do the work, or just make sure it gets done...but they don't truly understand what resources I have available to me. Then again, neither do I in the new MERGER world.
So, this has caused a dent in my "Be Positive" year and mental outlook. I'm feeling a little crushed between the two roles, and unsure if this is a temporary situation that final integration activities will fix, or if this is the new normal.
I don't like being THAT person. The one everyone rolls their eyes at and thinks - "What is she really contributing these days?" Would I be missed if I were gone? How soon will the black hole I might leave behind, become a pinprick or a distant memory?
My friend assures me people pay hundreds of dollars an hour to consultants who do what I do...advising, but not delivering a tangible product. The product is their words, their smarts, their insights. But I keep flashing back to an old television ad (for god knows what) where a client sits behind a desk with two consultants across from him. They have obviously just finished presenting their ideas to the client. The client, thrilled with the ideas, pounds his fist on the desk and says, "I love it, let's DO it!". At which point the consultants look at one another and then sheepishly back at the client and say, "But we're consultants....we don't actually DO anything."