Macro Management 101

Posted: February 5th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Career Confusion, Misc Neuroses, Miss Kate | No Comments »

It’s so damn boring to bemoan the plight of the working mother. Despite its triteness, I can’t help but feel a bit of the “not doing either job well enough” thing.

Though, when I really think about it, I am doing right by Kate. It’s just my job seems to be able to fill up whatever space it is given, like some B-movie blob invasion. And the fact is, I’m allowing it to take up more space than I probably should.

Which brings me back to the other age-old question: “Is there really such thing as a part-time job?” Or, as I prefer to ponder: “Is there really such thing as a part-time job that doesn’t require a hairnet?” Sure, there are plenty of part-time jobs out there, I just don’t want to be on my feet all day wearing a name tag and earning minimum wage to fill one of them.

The thing is, I’m pretty lucky to have this job. It’s a great company, great position, and given my level of responsibility, pretty cool that I’m able to do it (allegedly) part-time. I just need to exercise a bit more restraint around not working when I’m not supposed to not be working. But the Email Temptress is just to strong a siren for a communication junky like myself. And add to that my control freakishness, and God help those poor employees if I don’t have a hawkish eye on them at all times.

So, the alternative is to let go a bit. But when I consider that option, I tend to envision letting go altogether–just stepping aside while briskly slapping my hands together, and watching from the sidelines what happens when I don’t interject myself into all the scenarios I’m certain will result in angry clients and confused aimless employees without my guidance.

Maybe Letting Go won’t be half as bad as I think it will be. Or maybe it will be catastrophic, but fun to watch. Maybe my boss won’t even mind, and will say, “That sure was a good show, Kristen! I can see why you wanted to test the laws of entropy!” Or maybe—most likely—the results will be uneven and I’ll realize there are places where I can ease off and others where I need to wrestle with the details like some leather-faced Floridian alligator wrangler.

For some reason I’m struggling with figuring out how to let go a bit–even though I know that I need to in order to make this job a marathon, and not collapse in three more months after a sprint. (It seems so cool to try to use sports analogies. How’d I do?) There’s got to be some workable middle ground between Madame Micro Manager and All Hell Breaking Loose. And for starters I think part of that middle ground should include me not working on my days off.

What’s funny is, I wonder whether all that it is that I think I’m doing to get things on the right path are even the right things to do. I’m not sure why I’m so convinced much of the time that my ideas are better. Today for instance, I had this moment while walking into the bathroom (my two minutes of reflection all day until now) in which I wondered whether the client will even be happy with the proposal we are pulling together, or if I am on crack.

But that was weird. Mostly I’m convinced that I’m at least making a smart decision based on some past experience. Have I been raised to embrace an unhealthy and unrealistic self esteem? Am I not a team player? Or maybe have I just been around the block at this point in my career and I do know a thing or two? Whatever it is, I just hope I’m not obnoxious.

Maybe I need to make a concerted effort to go with another person’s idea at work even when I’m fearful it’s not the best approach. Maybe I need to let go of the “how will this reflect on me” stress and just let some of the chips fall where they proverbially may.

All this said, I need to go print out some documents and outline how I think we need to handle a proposal we’re putting together tomorrow. Of course, I’ll be wide open to hearing how the other folks I’m working with want to tackle it, but I want to have my ideas on paper just in case…

Okay, so I need to work more on letting others fly (or flop). But I do intend to take both Thursday and Friday off this week while my Dad is in town, and only check email once those days.

I will control the blob, some day. I know I will!

No Comments »

Leave a Reply