Question 236 of 365: Who wins when others fail?

Question 236 of 365: Who wins when others fail?

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I don’t want to hear about other people not doing their jobs right.

It isn’t interesting, novel, or beneficial. It may make for cleverly underhanded conversation or ambitious posturing, but it doesn’t really do much good. I can complain about others not pulling their weight or not working the way I would, but I just end up feeling petty and unoriginal.

I don’t believe in basing my worth in an organization based upon the worth that I see in others. Everyone is judged on his or her own merits, and I am not responsible for the final word on quality. Even if you are evaluating work done by someone else, talking about it as an absolute failure is negating any contribution you may have made to the work. If you see yourself as so separate from the community of work that we are all engaged in, I don’t see how you have any ground to stand and judge what others have done. If, on the other hand, you are subject to the same environment, then you are responsible for making sure that mediocre work is not valued in the community. It is your responsible to set standards for yourself and others, but not to impose a sense of superiority about whether or not others have made the cut.

The fact is: you didn’t do the work. You could have, but you didn’t. And anyone can stand and tell you that they could have done a better job, but their lack of experience is disengenuine. You look at others work as a representation of the person who created it, and criticism of that work as criticizing the person. While I believe in being a critical friend sometimes, I cannot stomach the glossing over of hours of work in the hopes of summing up contributions into a soundbite.

You are either building capacity or you are burning bridges. There is hardly anything in-between. If things don’t look like the way you want, build relationships with those people who aren’t “doing it right.” If there needs to be a change in personnel, so be it. Don’t talk about it as if it were nothing. Don’t talk about work as not being worthy of your own prerequisites.  There is no line in the sand, across which is your sweet approval.

For our ears only is a hollow sentiment. Stating that something is not good enough to everyone but the person who could make it better is dishonest at best, and downright evil at worst. Nothing good comes from tearing down our future before we can even get there.

No one wins when the people around us fail. We are not better than those we work with, and we do not know better either. We just know different, and if our different is indeed better, then others will see that too. If our different is truly a success, there will be no denying it. Pointing out failures without providing a viable alternative is not winning. There is nothing learned from it because we haven’t done any of the work and we don’t know what lessons can be gathered from the failure itself.

I don’t need to hear it. It is one of the things that is holding us back from creating real change.

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