Sunday 19 January 2014

Don't Brood

If I have rules that I live by, then one of them is "Don't brood on the might-have-beens".  I have never seen the point of constantly re-hashing events in your mind, wishing the outcome was different to reality, while just reopening old wounds in the process.  After the first or second time - when you might possibly identify any mistakes made and figure out how to correct them in future - it seems to me that brooding becomes more about reinflicting pain upon oneself than a learning process.  Ultimately, it gets to the point where you think so little of yourself that you consider yourself such a loser, such a failure, that reinflicting old pain is deemed appropriate. (Or so it seems to me.)

So what has triggered my rant?  One of my team is starting maternity leave shortly and two weeks ago, I conducted interviews for her maternity cover.  Three interviews in, I found the perfect project accountant - absolutely wonderful, would hire her in a heartbeat.  Then my line-management pulls the plug.  Can't be done - we have spare capacity in Glasgow that has to be utilised first, etc, etc... 

I argue.  I lose.  I speak to the boss's boss.  I still lose.  I wander around furious for a few hours.  The implications to me are clear:  ever since we moved regions there has been a looming power struggle over my project accounting team, because we aren't based in Glasgow and not part of their project accounting hierarchy.  I know this.  I have always known this.  (I also know that regardless of what happens to my project accounting team, my job is safe because my business will still need a Finance Manager and that role is outside the power struggle.)

Reluctantly, I break the news to my team and deal with the fallout.  Suddenly, I have three people worried about their jobs and a battle of attrition as work drifts north.  If I have any say in the matter, that won't happen, but I know it is a battle I won't be able to win if the bosses decide it is to happen.

Firmly, I remind myself that there is no point brooding.  Brooding over whether I will eventually lose the team is just counterproductive - it won't help me stop it.  I can't control what will happen; I can only ensure that I do my best to demonstrate why it is important to keep my team together, by providing the best support for our business.  With that in mind, I consciously turned my thoughts firmly to how to best maintain business as usual.  The job goes on...

You can't always control what happens to you, but you can control how you think about it and how you deal with it.

- Pam