Saturday, August 21, 2010

Drive: A Lost Quality

Have you ever experienced a work week that made you feel like you had to be Houdini to get out of the never ending obstacles? Have you ever been so frustrated with work that you wanted to simply walk away from the job and everything that reminded you of it? Well, I recently had one of those difficult weeks. Let me share with you some of the events that I faced during that dreadful week and point out a few key lessons I learned about drive.

The Situation

At the end of last school year, my district decided to close down a two schools to consolidate resources, to relocate the 5th grade from 6 campuses to a new mega 5th grade campus, and to change an elementary campus to a middle school & a middle school to an elementary campus. This is typical school district behavior, especially during a down economy. I had the responsibility to coordinate the inventorying, packing, and shipping of all of the math material for these schools. While preparing for this task, several district administrators made the decision to send all material to one warehouse location for future redistribution to the consolidated campuses. No harm no foul, right?

The Results

Imagine an old, cramped, metal framed warehouse the size of a full length basketball court filled with moving boxes and crates from one corner to the next. It looked like someone was trying to build a cardboard model of the Rocky Mountains. If all I had to deal with was the sheer volume of boxes it would have tough, but I also had to deal with the fact that everything was mixed up. There was no way of telling what came from what or what subject was where. Another way to describe the scene was like a hurricane disaster zone. You could only image what thoughts were going through my head at that time. After pouting, panting, and pacing, I realize nothing changed. So I literal had to work hard to have the right attitude.

The Lesson Learned

There were several things about this experience that stood out, but I narrowed it down to the following points.

· Drive is something we can take for granted in the moment. I had to ask for it. After all, we live in an instant gratification world, and it is easy to lose sight of the concept.

· Implementing Drive impacts your energy level. It is like a locomotive starting from rest; once it gains momentum it is hard to stop it.

· Drive changes your reality. If you are anything like me, your reality is impacted by how you perceive you are able to handle it. So, if you can handle a tough situation with ease, your perception of that situation changes.

The next time you find yourself in a tough situation at work, and you better believe it is coming, don’t waste time like me dealing with frustration. Immediately focus on drive and watch your energy build. Most importantly notice how your view of reality changes to when you employ drive.

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