ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

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Change and making things happen

I've had four bosses in the last 6 months. December 2014 was my last month reporting to the CTO, who hired me into my current place of employ in the first place. In January, he moved into a new role, and I briefly reported to his successor. This was always intended to be a temporary setup, a placeholder while administrative gears turned in the background,; though I was reporting to him, I wasn't working for him, as I was using the time to wrap up and hand off my old job while I started to lay the groundwork for the new one, so I kind of don't count him. In early March, I officially started my new job, reporting to boss3, an executive who had been with the company since basically the beginning (17 years). In mid-May, she and the company abruptly parted ways, and I suddenly found myself reporting to the CFO.

So, it's been a chaotic time. But that whole story is just a little contextual backstory for the actual story of my first meeting with my new new boss. As my previous boss had left the company in a fashion that might lead one to think there were substantial disagreements in important decisions, I decided to use my first 1:1 to run her through my nascent program and make sure we were on the same page. I did, and none of it was a surprise to her, and she was in full support of it. Hooray!

And then she said, "I trust you as a professional leading this project, so don't wait for permission, just do what you think is best. I'll be comfortable reining you in if I need to."

So, that was a surprisingly explicit blank check! I wasn't surprised that that's how she felt -- upon reflection, I think all three of my prior bosses felt this way -- but this is the first time anyone has said that to me so broadly and concretely. In the 2 weeks since this conversation, it has slowly been dawning on me the depth and breadth of what this means, and how I can enact it.

And it's interesting, too, to realize that -- even though all of my bosses at my current company have probably held the same opinion -- I have been operating under the Seeking Permission paradigm. What does it even mean for me to simply do what I think is best? It means not just doing the job that's on the paper, but pursuing other tasks and projects that are interesting to me. It means just making things happen that I want to happen. It means ... I don't even know. I'm simultaneously gobsmacked at the mandate and annoyed with myself that it feels like such a profound change.
Tags: good, introspection, work

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