Friday, July 07, 2006
I used to think that the desireable location in any organizational structure was on top. I figured that if you were on top, you made the rules and everyone below you pretty much did what you said and you could just comfortably sail through life.
I was very young and naive.
Look at nature. Flowers grow at the top of the plant, are cut and put in a vase to die. The rest of the plant lives on. Trees are topped but the trunk keeps growing. The lead goose flying south for the winter is the one hunters usually target. And it's the first prairie dog to stick his head out of the hole that gets it shot off.
In the military, officers are primary targets (to their own troops as well). In most cases, it is the CEO of a company who takes the blame for scandal of his or her subordinates and resigns in disgrace. A successful actor or actress soon finds themselves the target of the paparazzi and see their popularity spiral down the toilet. Bottomline is that anyone rising to the top only seems to enjoy the view for a few moments before they are looking at the shoe in their face from the next person climbing up to take their place.
I am comfortable in my mediority. I am one of the repulsive middle managers of life that THE Michael wrote about a few weeks ago. I am sustained in my life and career by the mild distain of my subordinates and the smug attitude of my "superiors" who are positive that I am no threat to them. Because I am comfortable being stuck in the middle. Everyone else either rises or falls. I simply move forward.