One of the best parts of my MBA was a module called Creative Management.
There was a nice introspective self-indulgent section that looked at your personal style, your management style, your role within teams, and where you fit in the Kirton Adaptor Innovator Theory (which I highly recommend).
But one of the simplest things that has always stayed with me was a section on problem solving.
I would listen to the cassette (this was some years ago) in the car, with the soothing voice telling me there were four ways to deal with a situation:
Accept the situation
Change the situation
Leave the situation
I thought this was a neat way to look at lots of situations – not just work.
In essence though, choices invariably boiled down to the first one and the last one. Take it or leave it really.
One of my former internet friends used to say if he left a forum he would just go without any fanfare. We laughed at the number of people we saw who gave a valedictory speech, citing their grievances – never to come back – yet who returned a couple of weeks later. I’ve left a fair few forums – or rather, I’ve stopped reading/commenting when there is no longer any added value from visiting them.
I’ve always found it – relatively – easy to leave a situation. And for me, it’s really been my only choice. I’m not very good at accepting something I’m not happy with.
To be able to change a situation, we need to be in a position of some power and influence, which in a lot of cases simply doesn’t apply. And as for changing ourselves? Not easy.
Last year however, as part of the admin team on an internet site, some of us actually did try and change the way it was working. Or rather, it didn’t seem to be following the aims and principles that had been set out initially.
For our pains we were all sacked by the site owner.
Today I wrote a carefully worded letter of resignation to another internet site where I am part of the team.
I’ve enjoyed my time on the site, there’s been no grief, and I’ve always been thanked for my time and my effort. But when you don’t agree with the way things are going – whether at work, in your personal life, or on the internet – it’s time to get out.
I guess I’ve always been lucky enough to have the option of walking. Either literally or virtually. And maybe I’ve been determined to leave. Time to move on. I like to think there’s no going back.