The question of sacrifice regularly comes up in business. What would you give up on a project in order to get it in on time? How hard are you willing to work to ensure that goals are met within the allotted time? Even though I hear them, I find myself trying to ignore one that will not go away.
What values do I hold that I am willing to sacrifice to win?
I am struggling to hold a peer accountable to our organizational values. They are universal – easily embraced by traditional faiths. Questions come when one’s actions reflect a different set of values. What are reasonable ways to call this out? How does one draw another’s attention to the way that others see their actions?
For several months, I have look at one with cynicism. I could not imagine how he was unable to see the facts. I struggled to understand how anyone could act in that manner unknowingly.
Yesterday we were on a call about my operations. Initially, everything was collegial. The questions drew out information for understanding. As we moved to the present and future, the summary points took on different tones. I thought my explanations were clear, however I did not recognize the story when he echoed it back. Quickly the line was drawn. Despite mutual efforts, we were not able to move beyond that line.
As the call ended abruptly, I was sure that there was frustration sitting with most who had been on the call. As I debrief with a colleague who was also on the call, he drew my attention to an obvious point. “He does not understand.”
Knowingly or not, intentional or not, open or not, the fact remains, he does not understand.
The conversation continued, “He has also committed to outcomes that only you can deliver”.
I looked through another’s eyes. When one is under threat, one does the impossible. Sailors took drastic action trying to save the boat when they “cut the lines to the lifeboat and let it drift off”. (Acts 27.32)
Am I different?