Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sleepless night = A Plan

So work has been very stressful lately for a number of reasons. They involve staff issues, community partner issues, auditors, and funders. That would be pretty much everyone, does it not?

However -- I have a plan! After a sleepless night where issues and possible solutions ran around my head, I finally got up at 5am to write down my to-do list of solutions. Ah, feel so much better now.

I will have to 'fess up to Major Funder about my mistake, no way to avoid it, but I feel like it's no longer the end of the world because I have a solution that will get us back on track and still allow us to reach our client goals. Because client outcomes is really what matters, right? Right? Right.

Plus, I have come up with a way to get on track with Complaining Employee. It's clear that what she thinks of as leadership and what I think of as leadership are different. As part of our leadership program, we have an exercise that discusses the 8 kinds of leadership. I will ask her to pick the one that fits her definition of leadership and what kind of leadership she thinks I am using and see if we can't come to some kind of understanding.

As part of our board's strategic planning, they decided to really ramp up our leadership program, which Complaining Employee is responsible for, using my definition of leadership. This is sending her the signal that hey, this is the direction this whole organization (not just me) is going and she better get with the program or this unhappy situation will just continue.

The only flaw with my solution? It relies heavily on a Knowledgable Community Partner who is pulling out of the program because she has a new job that takes her out of town often, and is also scheduled for surgery.

However -- I have options for that too! Knowledgable Community Partner is not the only one in our city of 5 million people who have this knowledge. And I have contacts to at least 5 other sources of such knowledge. So, we're moving ahead, we still have ways of reaching those client outcomes.

As I lay in bed, listening to my heart pounding in my ears, and feeling the throbbing in my wrists from the knitting (danger, danger -- also possibly psychosomatic like the nausea and headache?), I thought about my pottery. Of the pieces that I have yet to carve with surface decoration. Of my favorite new glaze, dark transparent green, that really highlights carved decorations. Of the bonsai pot I'm making of Husband. Of the method I will use to remoisten a bone dry vase in order to patch the hole I poked in the bottom (see -- things are fixable!). Of the peace I feel when concentrating on centering and pulling clay on the wheel. And I felt myself relax.

As much as I'd like to dodge responsibility for this mess, I thought about Janet Reno saying the buck stops with her, as she took responsibility for the Waco disaster. My situation is nowhere near as bad as Waco. No one died, the worst thing will be having to return some money. Actually the absolute worst thing will be having the funding pulled, but I have a solution! That has to count for something!

Fortunately, I know I have my board's support. Plus on Friday, I was honored at another organization's luncheon for all that I've done for women's rights. No one said this would be easy, all the time, and this is just one of those times.

And I have solutions! Moving on!

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