Sunday, June 1, 2014

At work I've been running into people who say "Gee, you are still here? I thought you'd leave a long time ago."

TJ was the last person who asked me that.  I asked him "What do you mean by that?"

He said, "Well, I didn't think you'd last in this frustrating bureaucracy working in the bowels of an organization with no visibility.  After working with such high-powered consulting clients."

Interesting perspective.  It has gotten me thinking. About staying, leaving, or just being two places at the same time.  The dilemma of an insider / outside consulting orientation.

You see, I work with a government bureaucracy - but not really in the bureaucracy.  I'm "Not A Fed" - which means I'm not quite a second-class citizen but close.  Arms length away enough to help them realize their aspirations, close enough to make a difference.

I've had opportunities to move into more visible positions in other parts of the bureaucracy - but I'd have to move away from what I love and am gifted at.  Covert operations. Working the system so the system can work. Helping people learn what they need to know. Helping people who are caught in a never ending swirl of political winds keep an orientation towards long term goals. Helping structure long-range milestones that might lead towards the realization of impossible dreams. Staying the course towards completion of this cathedral-like effort that will span multiple generations of efforts.

I've been enjoying being 'inside' and playing the edges of influence as an insider.

But I've been missing the opportunity to teach, to set up learning experiences for leaders, teams, and individuals who are wanting to gain new perspectives, attain new vantage points, climb out of the same-old box to experience and live real out-of-the-box thinking and acting.

I think I'm ready.  Now, the question is whether the world is interested.  Or ready for me.