I had no choice but to overhear a guy on his phone on a late night train in Sydney at the end of 2018. You know the kind who doesn’t care that they’re on public transport. It sounded like he was a project manager at an IT company and by the way that he was issuing instructions, sharing insights, strategising about what’s next, he was clearly engaged. I thought that this guy was one of the lucky few to be in his dream job.
He was so animated about how good this project was going to be for the company and how his direct report (whom I assume he was talking to) would have to step up into this amazing opportunity that we (everyone in a 3 m radius) all bought into his vision. I personally wanted to clap…he had passion, drive and enthusiasm. This was like a Wolf of Wall Street speech.
It got me thinking, he was in his element, bringing his best work to this organisation and I would have to put him in the actively engaged category.
Then, he ended the call, dropped his head slightly, let out a sigh and called home.
Another installment into this mans life was imminent and I couldn’t wait! Pity about the “No Eating on NSW trains” because popcorn would have been great at this point. I had three stops to go, so I was hoping to catch the rest of the conversation…this was epic.
I’m glad I never had any popcorn because the 180o turn he did was so sudden I would have spat it out onto the lady in front of me.
Part two of the saga was so radically different from part one it was hard to believe it was the same guy. I only managed to get these nuggets before my stop.
“I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up” (huh?)
“I need to do the right thing by the company” (uh oh! )
“I can’t drop them now” (blind loyalty?)
“What do you want me to say?“ (late again?)
“I’ll make it up to them …I promise” (missed the kids bedtime?)
“it’s just for a few more months” (BS?)
“I can’t wait for our trip” (Escape your life?)
And there it was…I know this story well.
“If you don’t have a plan for your life… someone else does”
His story is not unique. Here is guy who on the surface has got it all together in his professional life, but it is coming at a cost. If you had to guess, how would you score him out of 10 in each of the areas below?
And now, since you are here…how would you rate yourself?
If you aren’t where you want to be, change it. The alternative, is to smile and wave!
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