In the eight year of my ten-year stint at the oil servicing company where I’d worked as a field engineer, a new Quality Control manager was hired. He was Spanish.
When I saw Jorge, something struck me that he was a man who wasn’t cut out for the statusquo. It was a perception that oozed out of him and hung on me like a second skin. I knew I had seen a disruptor.
Two months after settling in to do his job, he found out that there was something missing – a disjointed collaboration between the people in the various department. He saw that there was a synergy that was missing. Such synergy could engender a symbiosis of some sort.
He designed a system and set in motion the processes to achieve this aim. The first step of the process was to help us redefine our paradigms concerning the concept of quality. Many of us saw quality as just strict compliance to the rules in the contracts signed during each project. To him, quality was a lifestyle, an acceptance that each step of the way mattered in the overall achievement of our corporate goals.
To do so, he allocated times that members of different departments would attend an hour of lectures. His teaching style was so informal that it helped busy people like us to learn. It was pretty surprising for me to see him teach with such a skill that wasn’t common amongst technical people. He was very conversational, utilising copious example of real life stories to drill knowledge into us. It was pretty exciting to attend his classes.
Sadly, the Italian bosses saw it as a disruption of the template for employee engagement. To them, being employed is defined by a single line : You were paid to do your work and that’s what you’re going to do!
Jorge’s system was out of the matrix. He was employed as the QC manager to manage – supervise an office of individuals who did the usual. His ‘adventure’ was outside his job description. His innovative agenda was a disruption, a risk that they couldn’t afford to embrace.
The mistake they did was that they didn’t see Jorge as one who believed in the organisation’s ability to be better by setting up the system he designed.
Jorge couldn’t bear it. He fired himself!
When I began to discover that my mission in life was bigger than the cubicle space I sat in on daily basis as an engineer, I began to see Jorge in me. I fired myself too!
The most painful thing as an employee is doing the work that is boring, routinous, and above all, unexciting.
[shareable]Happiness comes from doing work that one loves. It’s doing work that counts and is remarkable. [/shareable]
The corporate world is in a state of continuous change.
A vast array of options will be available and leaders who disrupt the usual patterns will have the opportunity to raise their heads and lead without fear.
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