Waiting for my turn

When I was in kindergarten, we had play time when you get to “drive” around a little plastic car. And there were limited number of those toys so I had to wait for my turn. You don’t actually drive them around, it was basically a chair on wheels with a box around it and a steering wheel that directed the wheels on the chair and you had to move it with your legs. You get to ‘drive’ around the little yard in school for a while before you let someone else do it.

Limited number of ‘cars’, limited yard space, lots of kids, so we got to ration, wait for our turn to play. As we grow up, we are told companies have limited resources, there’s limited manpower and attention, so you get your turn to drive some projects, when it comes. And you wait, to be chosen to drive, to steer the things towards a direction you believe in (or maybe not), forgetting that it was going to be you powering the whole thing to begin with.

Seth Godin have written and spoke extensively about how everyone in the industrial system has been conditioned to be waiting to be picked, to be chosen, rather than to take action. Because we want to fit in, we don’t want to disrupt the system.

Most of us in corporate jobs are doing that basically, waiting for our chance to make a difference rather than just making a living, to be called to take the lead in changing the culture, to be given a title so we could influence others. All the while, we forget that when we do get there, it’ll be our own energies powering it after all. So why don’t we start now?