Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat; But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth, When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth!
Thus begins Rudyard Kipling’s "The Ballad of East and West".
Recently, I have seen first hand what happens when you have two purposes trying to co-exist under the one banner.
If you’re a single developer, moving your own projects from Go to Woe … then perhaps Purpose Clarity is more appropriate. I know this for fact, from my own experience. It’s about a congealed mass of muddy half-thoughts that might have some direction. It’s about clearing those away, forging them into steel.
However, when you work as a team … then Rudyard comes into play.
I was at a presentation the other day, where two visions were shared. How did I know? I’m not sure … but I knew it as soon as the second was spoken. I’m not sure the person speaking understood that they were presenting a different vision from the first. A lot of people in the room might not have understood either. But it was there, hanging in the air.
And this then turns my mind to how people approach the nebulous concept that is "work". In fact, more than that. How people approach problem-solving in general. In life itself. And it’s more than problem-solving. It involves the Ego/Self-Awareness talked about previously. It involves the above ability to approach problems. It involves management. Leadership. Submission. Purpose.
Most probably will come across as a pleasant individual, capable, in command. Doesn’t think a great deal about what is being said by others, because what’s important is their own purpose. When they do listen, it’s because there’s a definite move in a direction opposed to their vision.
The problem is that often The Candidate’s vision/purpose is muddy and confused. They have ideas, but they are misshapen and unformed.
The bigger problem is when The Candidate is at the top of the Management heap. This tends to obscure things further, given that they would take a fair amount of offence to being told that they were wrong.
By the way, just as an aside, we are assuming in this discussion that Purpose No. 1 is the correct one, as in highschool physics where you assume that friction doesn’t exist when working out momentum and other lovely measurements. So for this experiment, it’s absolute.
So you have the Candidate. I’m not sure how you would approach this. There would be a number of ways.
- You could pull them into line straight away.
- You could tolerate them (dependant on their Management Level).
- You could get rid of them.
- You could promote them.
I’ve got three young kids, and I can tell you now that Number 1 is usually the best course of action, especially because as the Purpose/Vision of how we are going to raise our kids is a lot clearer in my mind than in my kids. They might want to boss their sibling around, and they do, but they know that it’s not in line with Dad and Mum’s purpose for them. How? Mainly through discipline. I’m not sure how much this analogy can be brought across … it’s almost not an analogy but a case-study. Same objects (People), same situation (Power Struggles/ Diverse Purposes).
Let me just say. I’ve been the Candidate. And it’s far better to stop and take a look. Break open the vial of Honesty Potion and swig it down. Start listening to what other people say, especially when you don’t understand. Make yourself understand, and think about where they are coming from. Think through their arguments. You still might not agree, but that’s okay. Becuase now, as they say, you understand your enemy. Although enemy might be a bit strong. Same idea. Understand what you don’t agree with, because then your own arguments come from a far stronger grounding. You will be validated, because you’re not stuttering over why you don’t agree.
I’ve rambled on enough for the moment. Sleep is calling.
Suffice to say, this is another step towards better development. Make sure you have a single purpose. Because if it gets before the Judgement Seat of the Almighty, then it’s far too late. Read up (plenty of articles, google around) on failed Development. There’s plenty of cases. Most of it happened, or began with, opposing purposes. Team ‘A’ and Team ‘1’ … that kind of thing.