Friday, April 26, 2013

Hunger Games, the Corporate Version

So I've had sort of a weird start to 2013 and this week, just when I'm feeling better about Problem A, I realize that work is becoming Problem B.

Now that I'm the boss of a bunch of stuff, I'm privy to the hours and hours and hours of meetings were we rank everyone on the account. In a normal world, I'd confidently end up KICKING ASS AND TAKING NAMES, but in my fancy consulting firm world, I'm relatively average.

I happened to do really well last year and got a really good rating. This year, I'm not feeling so confident -- especially now that I'm participating in these conversations and I'm realizing that of the three categories of things that are supposed to count equally (Business Operator, Value Creator and People Developer), I am AWESOME at People Developer and I'm pretty great at Value Creator, but I'm still learning the Business Operator part...and in these discussions, the People Developer stuff is not as valued, so I slip further down the ladder.

I am not a part of the conversations that happen for my level of employee and I won't get my final rating until August, but I know what the numbers are and I know how it went in the sessions for all the people lower on the totem pole than I am, so I'm pretty sure I'm getting a "Consistent With" along with the required 40% of my peers. Now, in theory, being "consistent with" a bunch of REALLY, REALLY, REALLY smart people is still pretty great, but as high achievers, we all view being "consistent with" as failure.

But all is what it is. I can't do anything about the fact that there are very few people at my level and because of that, only MEGA SUPERSTARS will land in those very few, coveted spots.

BUT THEN I started to think about whether all the effort I've put in this past year, angling for one of those spots, was really worth it.

The cost/benefit analysis tells me that no, it's really not.

I think I might want to decline to do all the extra stuff I get asked to do and stop taking my bosses up on "opportunities" to learn more about Business Operator (read: do their work for them) because I can get a Consistent With WITH MY EYES CLOSED...and wouldn't I rather just take the time back and have really awesome work/life balance?

So these are things I've been thinking about the last few days...about whether I'm old enough and mature enough to take myself out of the Hunger Games and just enjoy the view.


One of the extra things I do is publish a monthly account-wide newsletter. It's a love/hate relationship. The letter from the editor section used to be pretty bland, but once I took it over it became 100,000 times more "Elizabeth" and the feedback I get is really, really flattering.

This month's edition went out today and one of the big fancy bosses sent me a reply telling me that I am "one of the sparks that makes [the account] a fun place to be."

That's more for the People Developer tally, but really, I'd rather get recognized for being a great human than for being really great at making sales and reducing costs.


And then with regard to Problem A, I'm waiting to see how that will play out. I don't know if my friends Carrie and Kari were specifically trying to help me keep my chin up or if the universe is just swirling in my favor, but I got two awesome pieces of mail this week.

The first came from Carrie:

She was staying at a hotel downtown last year and we planned to meet at the bar. Despite the hotel being SWARMING with people, the bar was oddly deserted...and then we Googled the acronym on the signs and realized that OH! We were at a Narc-Anon convention!!

So the bar, and the resulting giant glass fish full of blue booze, were ALL OURS.

And the second one came from Kari:

So I'm lucky lucky lucky to have such wonderful friends. I'm sure they'd vote for me to be "Significantly Above" if they could.

1 comment:

  1. Reading this latest glimpse into your world I can see why you told me, years ago, that if you were my boss you'd have to fire me. Comparing your world to mine (the real one) I can't disagree one little bit. Somehow I survived my "job", and now I'm proud to say, retirement has made me completely useless. Lucky me. I wish the same for my favorite daughter.


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