I've been profiled. Many times. As is the wont of many corporate organizations as they team-build, develop talent, and sometimes just want to peek into the brains of their middle managers, I've been through several of those psychological evaluation exercises. One thing that has consistently emerged is my "need to believe". Our MERGER has, at times, shaken that belief to its core. But eventually I came out of the dark places and have been trying to emerge back into that sweet space of believing again.
I seem to have one foot still stuck back in the dark places though. Not by my own choice, but by the fact that gripped around my ankle are all the negative whispering (sometimes screaming) voices of my pre-MERGER colleagues. Between this horrible economy creating a dearth of opportunities and the MERGER identifying and acting upon redundancies, we are slicing and dicing ourselves to a shadow of our former glory.
I'm actually not averse to this. Or more accurately, I understand the need for this. But as always, the human side is heartbreaking, and the desire of our organization to treat these earth shattering changes (in a 100 year old company where nothing ever used to change!) as business as usual is undermining my shaky faith.
A meeting was recently held here. A meeting that used to be the LEADERS of the organization coming together to share info. With the new regime, I quickly recognized this was going to be a meeting of the desperate, uninformed, and marginalized. When all eyes turned to me with questions about how was the new organization thinking, I found myself on the hot seat. Struggling to keep my new upbeat believing attitude in the face of such evident disdain for the current administration and such obvious dissatisfaction with the direction (or lack of) for our business.
Is it no wonder I'm welcoming travel more than I thought I would? Getting out of the FORMER headquarters and going to the CURRENT headquarters is like a breath of fresh air. Going to meetings with divisions that are operating in the black and away from my former business line which is stuck in the red. Meeting with people with hopeful attitudes, happy to work for a good solid company with a future and skipping meetings with people who are filled with the need to continually rail against the "machine".
Where is the truth? Is it in the promise of the future, or the lost of the past? Is it in the hard nosed business culture or the warm and fuzzy family environment? I'm still hoping for a spot in the middle - a balance between business, growth and prosperity, and an enjoyable, inspiring place to work. But how to make it happen?
Damned if I know.
So right now, my focus is on my little corner of the world and releasing my foot from the death grip and out of the dark hole. Then I'm trying to keep my team buoyant and upbeat and delivering success. Once our boat is done rocking, hopefully we can reach to the drowning in the pool and hope they don't swamp our little life raft and pull us all under again.