Ego wins, project loses

Ever have one of those days where you’re feeling blue because something really worthwhile is going to come to an end because the person in charge says they want help but really don’t?

That’s me today.

A leader asked several individuals, myself included, for our help in getting a project off the cliff’s edge of financial collapse. The calibre of the individuals providing advice is impressive; what they have to say moves me. Their intelligence and passion are formidable. They care.

Those asked to help respect the knowledge and stature of the project lead. Every suggestion is offered gently, thoughtfully, tactfully yet truthfully.

It’s sad to see excellent ideas and suggestions turned away. That won’t work. We’ve already tried that. You don’t understand how we work. That’s impossible. My staff doesn’t have time to do that. That may work somewhere else but not here. You can’t be serious in asking me to do that. I thought of that earlier and rejected the notion.

Not a single recommendation has been met with open arms, or even half-way open ones. Not one suggestion has been given a nod of possibility or acknowledged as something worth exploring.

What’s muttered by the leader in hallways is that the wrong people were picked for help; that surely there’s someone out there who agrees that what we’re doing is right…we just have to find them.

One-on-one counsel and assurances have been repeatedly offered that no recommendation is a personal attack or criticism. None of the helpers are interested in the slightest in placing blame or finding fault. All they want to do is save the project so future generations can benefit from it, too.

The asker was self-aware enough to see that financial issues loomed large yet not self-aware enough to transcend ego and accept the proffered help and advice.

Sometimes it’s easier to turn away from the truth, thinking others aren’t capable of understanding, than it is to look in one’s personal mirror and accept culpability for the way things are.





3 Responses to Ego wins, project loses

  1. It is beyond frustrating when someone allows their ego to shut down their listening and squelch possibility. At least you can look yourself in the mirror knowing that you expressed your truth in service.

  2. It’s amazing to me how those in charge spout the value of “thinking outside the box”, yet when coming in direct contact with it, immediately shoot it down. I have felt for a long time the most innovative people in organizations are not the ones promoted.

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