Tuesday, October 17, 2006

If I Were In Charge of the World . . .

I wouldn't be. If I Were in Charge of the World is the title of a children's book I often used in workshops and speeches. Amusing and telling, it placed the author in a position of power she dreamed of and yet soon discovered wasn't for her.

I don't want to be in charge. I started my professional career with quite a bit of responsibility and for ten years climbed the ladder, adding more people to supervise, more zeroes in my budget and my salary, and more reasons to work late at night and on the weekends.

With every job change since that first decade, I've taken on less. Today, I'm a consultant. I don't even supervise an adminstrative assistant! And the only things I'm usually responsible for are fairly easy to produce.

At the moment, though, I'm working on details related to hosting a weeklong meeting in November. I keep trying to hand off bits and pieces of the decision making but much of it is still left to me.

I don't want to be in charge.

And yet, because I want this meeting to go well, because I want to either birth this thing or bury it, because people I care about are part of it, I'm treating this like a weeklong visit from family. I'm trying to find the balance between fun and progress, between structure and freedom. I'm answering questions and taking polls.

And just like those days when I was in charge, I could use a back rub and someone to tell me to shut it off, to let it go, to save tomorrow's worries until then.

If I were in charge of the world, there'd be more backrubs.

1 comment:

brad said...

i love how you're viewing the november thang as family reunion where we get to meet long-lost cousins who are members of the tribe, and do some yarn-tellin' and such! (and of course, family bizniz.) everyone will bring their gifts, and so, as one of the fam who shall be there soon, i hereby authorize myself to offer some significant neck-and-shoulders rub to help people work the stress out. (strong hands - that's what 3 decades of typing everyone's everything will git yuh!) seriously, i appreciate who you are and what you're about, karen, and it'll be maximally cool to be seeing you soon! bRad