I believe I have consistently had passion for my work my whole career, but I haven’t always had passion for my job. In my last job (now realize this was 20 years ago), I loved my work, but I felt pigeonholed into certain things and I wanted to grow. I came across this opportunity to really learn a great deal more about group dynamics, dialogue, and OD (Organization Development) from someone much more experienced than I was. So, here’s how I handled it…I hid it from my bosses—ignore them, work around them. I was afraid they wouldn’t let me continue and they would give these projects to another facilitator—my excuse. I actually had my client contact help me hide it from them (not that I was working but the content of what I was doing) --generating a commiserator. He wanted to work with me, so he happily came along with the omission. Are we seeing downward spiral here? Definitely. I fought the guilt of my lack of integrity with my excitement to learn from a great OD professional--excuse. Statements such as, “since they don’t want me to grow, I am going to have to do things like this.” “They would never give me (or trust me with) a project like this.”—blaming and complaining.
I never did come clean and about 6 months later I was laid off. At first, I wanted that act to just justify why I had not been truthful with them. The reflection after that was about my lack of integrity. That bothered me, a lot! As I analyzed what was really true for me (on a sailing trip in the Gulf of Mexico aptly named “You must be present to win”), I realized that I needed to take responsibility for my own growth, not expect a boss to do that for me. I am an adult and a professional after all. Synchronicity was born—my solution. There is a lot more to this story but another time.
Fast forward to the present…
So yesterday, I facilitated the staff retreat for The Nelson Mandela School. I love this place and these people and what they do. I love, love, love my job! It brings me incredible joy. I have found this feeling is most intense when I am most authentic in front of the group. I ask them to be vulnerable so I must be vulnerable, too. This is my place of integrity, when I am most true!