Robert was so excited about his promotion to Vice President of the company he worked for and kept bragging about it to his wife for weeks on end. Finally she couldn’t take it any longer, and told him, “Listen, it means nothing, they even have a vice-president of peas at the grocery store!””Really?” he said. Not sure if this was true or not, Tom decided to call the grocery store. A clerk answers and Tom says, “Can I please talk to the Vice President of peas?” The clerk replies, “Canned or frozen?”
Positions? Job titles?Does it mean much these days? To some people they sure do.
Someone approached me during break time in our 2 day leadership workshop training and told me she plans to leave her company because she was not given the position she was promised. I looked at her and told her, “Listen. It could be that changes have taken place in your business organization such that the position promised you may not be in sync with what is expected from you in terms of deliverables so wouldn’t you put lesser emphasis on the position and concentrate more on your function?’
Are positions and job titles important these days? I’m sure they are but not in the way it used to. Consider this. I look at the mirror and I have to ask myself this question. Am I an entrepreneur? A public speaker? Am I a writer? A broadcaster or am I a columnist for this prestigious national daily? Let me go farther. Am I a corporate trainer? A Resource person? A professor or a marketer? Maybe I’m a salesman or I am a combination of everything and I could go on and on. On any given day, I probably have fifteen or twenty “occupations.” Not to mention the fact that at home, I am a researcher, a father and a husband to only one wife. Notice the emphasis on the numerical value? ONE?
The world is no longer the same. The days of “milkman” and “soldier” are pretty much gone. Most of the people I know and work with would have had just as much trouble as I had with the occupation question (although I don’t think that any of them would have had a panic attack).
What are you?
Does clinging to an occupation make you better at it? Does it make it easier for you to identify the folks you’d like to work with, the people who can help you do your job-or does it just obfuscate things and drag you into meetings that you shouldn’t be in? While we’re at it, what is your job description? Is it a hopeful, optimistic, powerful document that gives you permission to explore new opportunities and to get something done? Or is it a defensive shield that makes it easy for you to identify what’s not your responsibility? Companies that don’t have any employees who have the phrase “increase our international presence” in their job description rarely take the time and risks necessary to develop an international presence.
Organizations that provide their employees with carefully worded job descriptions are giving them permission to ignore excellent business opportunities, and, in doing so, are losing out every day.
This is the reason why Tom Peters says. “Burn your job descriptions…innovate or evaporate!”
I don’t know about you but I do not intend to be limited by my job descriptions. I want to explore new things and I want to try out new things. This way I learn more and this way I keep myself young. You and I are created for greatness as long as we do not limit ourselves.
Many people are lazy but they are busy. Lazy to try out new things and explore new ways to improve what they are doing and add to their repertoire of talents and skills; but they are too busy doing the same thing they have been doing for the past 200 years. And they never discover their full potential and use it for fullness living.
Famous former NBA superstar Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics has turned philosopher when he said: “A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.” And you know what? He is right!