Do you ever have those days, where you wake up thinking, “I got this.” And then the heavens or fate or some other thing proves you utterly, incredibly, completely wrong? Think Stephanie Plum on any day that ends in why. Yeah.
I’m having that day.
Which is why this blog is late–apparently I don’t know the difference between 7/31 and 8/31 (really, is there a difference?!?). But there’s good news!
Before I share the good news, I’m going to share a little bit more about the team of folks I’m fortunate enough to manage. These folks are smart, committed, funny, and diverse. What we do is complex, and not universally loved or admired, but it is important work. One of the challenges for me as a leader is how to keep supporting, encouraging, lifting in a meaningful way; how do I let these folks know just how much I value what they do, and the way in which they do it? What I’ve realized over the years, is that almost every situation brings with it both challenge and opportunity. It’s easy to see the challenge. The opportunity? That can be tougher to identify or acknowledge. Part of my role, then, has become helping my team see opportunities, instead of just problems.
It’s not easy. Sometimes I have to hunt for those opportunities. Rarely, the only opportunity to be found is one that is such a stretch, I would lose all credibility. But, that’s rare. I’ve found that finding opportunity is skill, and like any skill, it has to be exercised to be strengthened; I have to stretch in order to grow.
Where’s today’s opportunity? Where’s the good news? I have a fantastic scene written in my head, based on today’s real-life events. This will likely be something I write for Rachel, the protag in the novel I’m drafting. She would totally have a day like today, and if I capture this experience right now, I should be able to make the scene vibrant, detailed, an d dreadfully, uncomfortably, completely real. And that’s always my core question when I write–how can I make what I write feel as real to readers as possible? Today, the answer is to experience it.