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Covenant: Certainty Is The Problem

The only unsolvable problem anyone ever encounters: The Certainty Problem.

Perhaps we are hard-wired with a blind spot when we look at what's so obviously there. It's always mere illusion, transformed into absolute delusion when certainty stares inside. Slip over here for more ...


Covenant: It Has Always Been Thus

Skeptically embrace any innovator's claim to have resolved any of the fundamental difficulties of work, whether claiming to eliminate drudgery or ensure success. There have always been touts claiming mastery over gravity or the seasons, and none have ever delivered on their promises.

Focus, instead, upon honing your ability to cope with the normal, easily anticipated, eternal complications of your work. Calluses defend what no glove could protect.

It Has Always Been Thus. We yearn for liberation, expecting the good guys to ride in on foaming horses or the eleventh hour benefactor to magically appear. Fortunate synchronicity when it occurs. No evidence of bad luck when it does not.

The game of Three Card Monty is not a game of skill for anyone but the one inviting you to play. They've learned to tickle your switches. Can you recognize when someone is tickling yours?


Covenant: Carry Your Own Water, Cook Your Own Food

Continuing with the long-interrupted series considering the fundamental understandings behind effective work, the personal covenants forged between the worker and his work that seem to enable effective contribution. ... Where do these originate? Some are personal discoveries. Others get whispered from father to son, mother to child, mentor to aspirant, and stick. Those unfortunate enough to not carry their covenants, whatever they are (and these I present in this series represent no universal exemplary set), find themselves luffing in the wind. Their work does not sustain them because they do not sustain themselves.

Carry Your Own Water, Cook Your Own Food refers to more than toting and frying. It relates to a self-sufficiency, responsible for its own sustenance, not dependent upon servants, slaves, or supplicants to tend to basic needs. Slip over here for more ...


Covenant: Keep An Eye On The Big Mean Guys

Continuing with the investigation of the covenants of work, I introduce another universal understanding in the form of a caution. Keep an eye on the BIG mean guys.

One of my first survival jobs found me working day shift in what I called The Asparagus Factory. I suppose this was a perfectly normal industrial venue, but aside from experience watching Industry On Parade, a TV program that showed conveyor belts and assembly lines in action, I'd never actually set foot inside a factory.

The first context marker I noticed? NOISE! I was issued a pair of ear plugs along with my hair net and green hard hat, but even so, stepping into that machinery-filled warehouse blew the breath out of me. Conveyor belts whining, lift truck motors mumbling, a hundred poorly synchronized electric motors squealing, the place was simply deafening. Slip over here for more ...


Covenant: Tell Compelling Stories

I started this series a few weeks ago, inspired to write down a few of the stickier lessons I've learned about how to engage in work. Showing up involves more than proper attire, skill training, and a go-get-'em attitude. There's some subtle stuff going on underneath. For most, the subtlety goes unnoticed until someone, some kind mentor, points out what was certainly always lurking there.

So far, I've noted that One Does Not Drive Results, gotten myself into some trouble claiming that The Gods Are Always In Charge (controversy surrounding my use of the divine capital Gods), reminded myself that There Are No Marginal Players, reflected that No One Is Apathetic Except When Pursuing Someone Else's Goals, and finally, that Relationships Trump Everything.

Today's installment is about Telling Compelling Stories. Slip over here for more ...


Covenent- Relationships Trump Everything

We live in a world filled with illusions. The illusion of isolation. The illusion of self, independent of others, and also independent of the context within which we find our selves. Me, I'm quite a different person in church than I am in a bar. I am discernibly different when I'm chatting with you than when I'm chatting with pretty much anyone else.

This happens not because I'm a wind sock or because you have an overwhelming personality, but because I am human. We each have a subtle ability to synch with those around us. Most of this is preconscious, but nonetheless useful. We can depend upon this feature to guide, inform, adapt, and sustain us. Slip over here for more ...


Covenant- No One Is Apathetic ...

No One Is Apathetic, Except When Pursuing Someone Else's Goals

Apathy. Easily diagnosed. Not always so easily treated.

One very popular way to prevent resolving apathy involves for-your-own-good lectures exhorting another to "get with THE program." THE program? And which program IS that program, anyway? Usually, it's someone else's. Nothing wrong or unseemly about inviting anyone to get with someone else's program, but as an antidote to apathy, it usually sucks. Slip over here for more ...


Covenant- There Are No Marginal Players

There are no marginal players.

The nature of work demands that some carry more than their counterparts. Some necessarily hold more than others. Some necessarily assume more responsibility. But there are no marginal players. The marginalized enjoy every good reason for their dissatisfaction. They cannot be dependable. Slip over here for more ...


Covenant- The Gods Are Always In Charge

One covenant well-known in ancient times might seem to embody acquiescence. The notion that The Gods Are Always In Charge seems to explain away any human culpability, any human capability. I think not.

Claiming that the best laid plans, oft gang aglee says nothing about plans or planners, but speaks to something else. That no battle plan survives contact with the enemy speaks to what no plan can speak to. Slip over here for more ...


Covenant-One Does Not "Drive" Results

Where did you learn to work?

Our current economic crisis demonstrates that the covenant between people and work has been broken. Investors abandoned their ethical responsibilities to become mere speculators. The pursuit of short-term profits subsumed long-term sustainability. Tactical advantage undermined strategic focus. Metrics clouded meaning. Growth overshadowed purpose. Personal position justified undermining collective well-being. Slip over here for more ...


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