Monday, April 28, 2008

Doing and Being

It is hardly profound to observe that what you do on a regular basis will determine what sort of person you are and yet so many of us discount the effects of our daily activities.

Amid all of the doing rests the serious question of being. To what extent are our actions facilitating the maintenance and growth of a good person? I once asked an executive to explain the difference between two types of professionals in his organization. He replied, "We recruit from the same pool and there is no initial difference but come back in five years and you'll find a big gap in their personalities. They are transformed by their jobs."

Some of the saddest examples are those individuals who, like the fictional character Sammy Glick, are so busy running that they forget why and where. They lose themselves in the doing and forget about the being. They forget who they are.

Survey many of the routine management techniques and you may reasonably conclude that we are embracing daily routines that are designed to turn us into more efficient machines.[Indeed, the metaphor of machinery is frequently applied to people in the workplace. According to one department, you are not a person, you are a resource.]

Apply those techniques long enough and there may be little mystery as to what you will become.

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