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Clinging To Your Job Title?

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Tom was so excited about his promotion to vice president of the company he worked for and kept bragging about it to his wife for weeks on end. Finally, she could not take it any longer, and told him, “Listen, it means nothing, they even have a vice president of peas at the grocery store!”

“Really?” he said. Not sure if this was true or not, Tom decided to call the grocery store.

A clerk answers and Tom says, “Can I please talk to the vice president of peas?”

The clerk replies, “Canned or frozen?”

Positions? Job titles? Does it mean much these days? To some people they sure do.

Someone approached me during break time in our two-day leadership workshop training and told me that she plans to leave her company because she was not given the post she was promised.

I looked at her and told her, “Listen, it could be that changes have taken place in your business organization, such that the job promised you may not be in sync with what is expected from you in terms of deliverables, so wouldn’t you put lesser emphasis on the job description and concentrate more on your function?’

I look at the mirror and I have to ask myself this question. Am I an entrepreneur? A public speaker? Am I a writer? A broadcaster? Or am I a columnist for a national daily? Let me go further.

Am I a corporate trainer? A resource person? A professor or a marketer? I could go on and on. On any given day, I probably have fifteen or twenty “occupations.” Not to mention that at home, I am a researcher, a father, and a husband to only one wife. Notice the emphasis on the numerical value? ONE?

The world is no longer the same. The days of “milkmen” and “soldiers” are pretty much gone. Most of the people I know and work with would have had just as much trouble as I had with the occupation question (although I don’t think that any of them would have had a panic attack).

What are you?

Does clinging to an occupation make you better at it? Does it make it easier for you to name the folks you’d like to work with, the people who can help you do your job—or does it just obfuscate things and drag you into meetings that you shouldn’t be in?

While we’re at it, what is your job description? Is it a hopeful, optimistic, powerful document that gives you permission to explore new opportunities and to get something done? Or is it a defensive shield that makes it easy for you to find what’s not your responsibility? Companies that do not have any employees who have the phrase “increase our international presence” in their job description rarely take the time and risks necessary to develop an international presence.

Organizations that offer their employees with carefully worded job descriptions are giving them permission to ignore excellent business opportunities, and, in doing so, are losing out every day.

This is the reason Tom Peters says, “Burn your job descriptions...innovate or evaporate!”

I don’t know about you but I do not intend to be limited by my job descriptions. I want to explore new things and I want to try new things. This way I learn more and this way I keep myself young. You and I are created for greatness as long as we do not limit ourselves.

Many people are lazy but they are busy. Lazy to try new things and thus they live their lives never ever coming to grasp with their full potential the way God has intended them to do.

Attempt great things for God and give Him Glory. This should be your motto and mine and— before I forget—forget that job description.


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