Saturday, November 8, 2008

Allergic Reaction

This is partly inspired by JC's tongue-in-cheek comment that he's allergic to books and that he doesn't like spending time in bookstores because he get's this weird reaction from the smell of books. Now, I have a huge respect for JC despite the usual banters and often garapal na pang-aasar namin ni Badette sa kanya. But I think I never really believed what he said to be even remotely possible. I just thought of it as one of his barber's tales.

Two days ago, though, I seriously began to think about the statement. Not that I'm beginning to believe that he's actually telling the truth, but just the possibility that outrageous and unbelievable reactions can be true.

What triggered this weird thought was that unfortunate meeting last Thursday where I literally felt I was suffocating and choking (while fervently wishing that I wasn't showing it) when the discussion zeroed in on methods.

Don't get me wrong here, I have absolute faith in methods and for someone who delivers results (or tries to anyway), I'd say I'm not really lacking in focus or organization skills. But, and that's a big but there, I'm not a fan of plan everything in detail and make sure you do it as you said you'd do it.

I haven't paid much attention to my reactions before but now that I look back, I remember feeling extremely uncomfortable when I'm asked to do it. Worse, I feel that I waste so much time agonizing on how to do the planning that I actually end up spending more time on it than doing what I'm planning to do.

It's not that I don't believe in it but I don't think I'm good at it. And there lies the constant challenge. I seriously think I need help here. I'm contemplating buying a software to help me manage all these project management plans and stuff. I'm not just equipped with the right skills and knowledge on what's the best way to produce plans that look professional enough to merit some measure of trust.

I won't shy away from this challenge, honestly, I won't. I just wish to admit it to myself that this is something that really bothers me. I'm not good at this, at the moment. I'm sure I'll be good at it when I set my mind to it. For now, I'll just have to bite the bullet and get on with it. But that's just for the nice-looking plans I need to make.

On another note, I learned this morning that I'm not a gofer. Stephen R. Covey defined Gofer Delegation as "Go for this, go for that, do this, do that, and tell me when it's done". And that is exactly the kind of paradigm which, unfortunately, tends to trigger all these weird reactions from me (*thinks allergy*).

According to Stephen Covey, there's another approach which is Stewardship Delegation. He posits that in stewardship delegation, the focus is on results instead of methods. He adds that it "involves clear, up-front mutual understanding and commitment regarding expectations on desired results, guidlines, resources, accountability, and consequences".

This stewardship idea looks infinitely attractive from where I'm standing. The expectations seem straightforward and I don't think that would prove to be much of a challenge to a committed person like me. But then again, I could only wish so much in a day. Everything in due time and everything happens for a reason.

In the meantime, I'll have to work double-time to equip myself with the right skills and tech-savviness to produce kick-ass project management plans.

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