Being Flexible & Balance in your Employment

By: Ernie Fitzpatrick

"When a man doesn't have a good reason for doing a thing, he has one good reason for leaving it alone." Sir Walter Scott

The two words may not seem to fit as hand in glove but look at it from this angle. All those who walk the high wires have to be able to sway, weave, and maneuver with the vibrations of the wire. If he is not flexible, he will surely fall. We too will fall, lose our jobs, or not get a promotion if we're not able to "roll with the proverbial punches." Work changes, life changes, and if we do not change, we will become fossilized and buried, to be found somewhere down the road in time.

"The more it changes, the more it is the same." French Proverb

Being flexible does not mean that you are a reed in the wind being blown about by every "yell of your supervisor" or command by the owner. There must be some foundational principles upon which every business is founded. You may call it or them the mission statement, core values, or non-negotiatables, but the principles are those things that must never be deviated from. Flexibility does not compromise the core business decisions. Flexibility is more about methods.

"The difficulty with principles is knowing the difference between conscience and self interest." W. D. Howells

Having encouraged the call to flexibility, one must realize that we all have to operate within the limits of what I call the "reasonable man" theory or in other words, we have to be balanced. We must do those things that are considered unique and bold but they have to all fit within the framework of the personality of the person and the corporate culture. Thus being flexible and yet balanced requires a mindset that is not common in the work place today. There is an embracing of the Hebrew mindset that says you hold two opposing ideas in toe with no apparent conflict in action.

So much of our intolerance or "kicking against the pricks" comes from "personal preferences" or positions that we have grabbed hold of; placing our names on them, and then committing to the death to defend them. Emotion places a major role in staying balanced. We get off balanced or blindsided (most often by ourselves) when we subconsciously place an ownership patent on the positions we defend. If we were not "emotionally vested" in many of the decisions that management makes, we could more easily tolerate them. On the other hand, we need to be emotionally involved or apathy can easily derail us. So, it all comes down to our regulating our emotions.

"It is easier to manufacture seven facts out of whole cloth than one emotion." Mark Twain

So, the next time you find yourself getting upset with management or your supervisor, ask yourself just how critical this is to your life five years down the road. We need to take long term looks at events as much as possible. Short term lifestyles will cause burn out and unhappy employee morale. So what we see (our vision) is important to how we live.

"Vision is the art of seeing things invisible." Jonathan Swift

Your employer will always be pleased with the person who can work another hour. Who can change days off with another employee? Who can move appointments and who can change vacation days? Who can on the other hand not back down from a fundamental truth that the business is based on?

Are you such a person? If you are, promotions are in your future!

Human Resources
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