Saturday, April 21, 2007

Confessions of a Company Man

I have to admit something; I am a "Company Man"; not only that, I am a Career Company Man.

What does that mean?

It means that I believe in what my Company does, the essence of which is saving lives. It means I am happy working within my Company's framework of opportunities and responsibilities to include promotions, transfers, salary, personal commitments, training requirements, etc...

In short, it means that I have found a way to align my definition of success with the success of the Company as a whole, the units I support, the departments I run, and the people that work with and for me.

Now, this doesn't mean that I'm a "Yes Man" who thinks my Company is flawless, or always makes the right decision; heads in the right direction; follows the right measures; implements the right procedures, take cares of our people, or meets our Customers needs. In fact, I have a bit of a reputation for telling anyone who will listen, regardless of their position, when I disagree. As a Company Man, it is my responsibility to speak up.

So far, the Company has kept me around and they keep promoting me. Let's hope things stay the same. Because at the end of the day, I have to admit, I love what I do and the continued opportunities and challenges I have as a Company Man.

If you wonder what I do or whom I work for, feel free to check out my profile on LinkedIn.

So, why the confession?

Well, three reasons:

First, because we are surrounded by media: Blogs, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, etc... that perpetuate the conventional wisdom that says if you're not out entrepreneuring, betting the farm, your kid's college fund and important personal relationships on getting rich and famous then you're not doing anything noteworthy; that you're missing the good life. [It's just not true.]

Second, because I suspect that like me, most of you are Company Men/Women who have managed to tie your definition of success to what you do; working within the framework of an imperfect organization. I believe this is true whether you work for yourself or for a large, multi-national organization.

Third, because if my first two reasons apply to you, your career, like mine, has been a succession of both small and large steps taking you from an undereducated, untrained and unskilled person with some potential to your current position. Along the way, you probably started with a technical role where you demonstrated an unusual level of expertise that transitioned into a managerial role where you demonstrated a good deal of competence that has since transitioned into a leadership role, i.e. you have become a value-adding, Career Company Man.

Now, like me, sometimes, maybe even a lot of the time, your expertise and competence are getting in the way. If you're not seeing it, either you're the exception or you are blind. A dolooar says it's the latter.

Next time, I'll talk about some of the difficulties I've experienced during my transition from technician to organization leader.

Until then, what are your thoughts? Let me know...

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Take care and enjoy...

John

1 comment:

Cornelia said...

Good post.