Think about the people who drive you crazy...not the TYPE of people who drive you crazy, but the ACTUAL people who drive you crazy. Go ahead and name them out loud for a moment (or not, depending on where you are reading this...it could get you in trouble). But for a moment, consider a few thoughts on the people who drive you crazy:
- WHY do these people drive me crazy?
- Are they REALLY so different from me - or maybe too much alike?
- Does their BEHAVIOR push me out of my comfort zone?
- Is it a VALUE issue...or is it a PERSONALITY issue?
- What can I LEARN from these people?
- What are the PATTERNS among the different people who drive me crazy - both today and in the past?
As I consider the different people who drive me crazy, several things become apparent very quickly:
- their strengths are very different from mine
- they tend to not back away from conflict
- they seem to spend more time at their desks than walking around and talking with people
- they would rather talk about operational approaches rather than strategic approaches
- they tend to see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full
- they would rather blame others than take on the responsibility for change
- they make more statements than they ask questions
The difficult part of making this list is that I have to come to the realization that each of the above behaviors can be a great advantage to an organization:
- different strengths allow for different ways of looking at the same issue
- ideas need to be challenged in a strong manner
- data needs to be collected and shared, which takes time to put together
- things need to get done - vision without action is only a dream
- the realities of the organization need to be named and talked about
- people who mess up need to take responsibility for their bad work
- decisions need to be made after asking the right questions
OK, I get the point. I understand that it's good if there are people in the organization who drive me crazy. I may not understand how they think...I may not like how they act...I can disagree with their behaviors and attitudes...but I need to embrace them as important to the organization and try my hardest to work with them. Here's to those who drive me - and you - crazy!