Woke Up This Morning…
…and put on my cranky pants. The extra heavy-duty pants of crank.
Whoooo doggies am I cranky. And what’s worse, I know I’m cranky and can’t seem to step out of it.
I just blasted a coworker who sent a really inane request over to my team. To be fair, it is a REALLY inane request and something needed to be said. However, saying “this request needs additional definition and will be challenging to deliver in the time frame requested” is different from turning on both fire hoses to full blast.
Yeah. I did that. The full blast thing.
I apologized. Yes, I did. I said “I don’t believe this is an appropriate request but I was wrong to blast you for that.”
Being humble makes me feel bad about myself and my actions. It was the right thing to do, but also makes me a bit more cranky. Over the course of my now twenty year career I have been blasted right and left, and usually without remorse.
Leadership up to the CEOs of large companies have had some harsh words that landed on me. This includes one senior level executive who said to me and a peer as we presented a project we had worked on that needed approval: “You two are f—ed, your analysis is f—ed, now get the f— out of my office!”
Not one of my best days at work.
One might say, well, if you have been blasted by successful leaders who did so without remorse, then why do you feel bad about it?
Because I hated being blasted. I hated being treated like something lower than a piece of crud. I thought it was wrong every time it was done to me. It was inappropriate, and it was demoralizing, so why would I perpetuate this behavior?
Some might say that apologizing is a sign of weakness. Maybe. Or maybe it’s a sign of strength to not act like a temper tantrum throwing toddler, or at least owning it and apologizing when one does. Who knows?
But, some might say, some of the great leaders of our modern times including Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison (among many others) are known for their profound temper tantrums. Sure. You don’t hear the stories of the great leaders who acted with grace. That doesn’t sell newspapers.
At this point I should admit that I don’t know the right answer. I only have to live with myself today, tomorrow, years ahead. I have to lie down at night and decide if the way I treated people was the way I wanted to be treated. I have to own who I am and how I act.
I can’t reconcile venting my cranky pants on someone and not owning that and apologizing. There is a difference in being firm and a bit demanding and being a jerk.
May I always work hard so I know where that line lands.
Image found here.