March 9, 2012

You Can Not Presume a Position of Authority

"You can not presume a position of authority. You must be placed there."

This is my running mantra. The most important professional lesson I could ever take to heart.

And I never do.

After a fleeting moment of clarity last year, I posted this, thinking I had finally learned my lesson.

And it didn't stick. I do this every time. I think people can see me the way I see me. That they are equally confident in my abilities. That they are equally dying for me to steer their ship.

Well, guess what? People don't like their gig getting stepped on. Especially by folks our age.

It doesn't matter if you know what you're talking about. You must be invited to the party. Even if you show up with a lovely bottle of wine, it's still really weird. Because you weren't invited.

You may be at your current job, confident of what you could do if you were just given the keys to the company car. But, you have got to stop asking for them.

If you're in a culture that recognizes talent, you're going to be fine. If you're in a culture that doesn't recognize talent, there's nothing you can do to fight it besides getting bloody. You're still not getting the keys.

So, do exactly what you're told. And do it surprisingly great.