I stumbled upon a TEDx talk by Mike Rowe where he told a story of how he had to castrate lambs as part of his Dirty Jobs television series. While he makes no preparation for the jobs he agrees to take on, in this instance, he said he had to do a bit of research to determine how this would work. He learned that castration is done (typically and according to the Humane Society) using a rubber band. It apparently takes about a week for them to drop off. What they didn’t tell him is that it is an excruciating process for the lamb and that it is a week of pain. I recommend watching his talk to learn what he had to do instead…
At any rate, the point of his talk turned into a discussion of anagnorisis and peripeteia. Anagnorisis is the transition from ignorance to knowledge and peripeteia is a sudden turn of events where you often realize that everything you thought was right is suddenly reversed. It was about learning what you’ve gotten wrong in your perception about work, how to recognize this and then change.
Food For Thought
What are the misconceptions of work that we all have that we continue to perpetuate based on our own ignorance? Is it the idea that following our passion is the only way to go? We all think we want that. What if our passion doesn’t pay? What if we are so ignorant in our current state of following the herd or even a bad leader that we are completely missing out on anagnorisis? What if ALL the constructs of business and HR and technology are getting it wrong and we’re all just following along?
It’s a lot to think about and I don’t claim to have all the right answers. What I DO know for sure is that if we stop questioning the status quo, we deserve what we get. The only way to make progress~ real progress~ is to question what other people believe as truth.
- We have to do what is necessary in order not to become complacent
- We have to stop relying on organization or bosses to take care of us
- We have to step up and be accountable and operate on principle
- We have to keep questioning and changing processes
- We have to examine and re-examine our technology choices so that we have the right solutions in place
- We have to push the gas instead of continuing to coast
In closing, I share a quote that Mike Rowe said. “The jobs we hope to make and the jobs we hope to create aren’t going to stick unless they are jobs people want.” Think about that as you examine your own work and as you think about the positions you create in your organization.
I welcome your comments.