Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Decision Continues

Just over two months ago I wrote the first of several posts regarding the leadership of my department at work. The majority in the department had not been pleased with our director and did not elect her for a third three-year term. Because of many reasons, no one stepped forward to take the helm. As much as we asked the administrator over the whole area to assist with starting some discussions to clear the air, it appears that little was done for almost two months. Her solution was to call in a consultant (cha-ching!), which led to a miserable meeting Wednesday morning.

It appears that the solution for now is to get an interim director for a period of one year while some resolution is made regarding the future leadership of the department. Frankly, it looks like we are back where we were several weeks ago. Unless I am reading the tea leaves incorrectly, it is pretty much up to me to decide to do it or not. If I do not do it, who knows what will happen. The part of me that is intrigued by the challenge and wants to give back to my colleagues seems to be winning the battle over the part of me that would rather pass this by since several important aspects are not exactly what I would want.

I know this probably does not make a whole lot of sense since I am hesitant to put too much detail on a public blog post dealing with work. However, suffice it to say that what I decide in the next few days will largely determine what my life will be like for at least the next year.

It is kind of funny that I rarely spend much time debating moves in poker -- maybe to my detriment sometimes. When it comes to major life issues, it seems like I always need to have the clock called on me.

Thanks for the listen. If nothing else, writing about this seems to be helpful to me.


Blogger bastinptc said...

Bigger than poker, silly! If I may: I think I'd take into consideration how long until retirement, meaning can you hack it for a year and if things have no hope of getting better otherwise, how many more years do you have to endure the shit?

1:55 AM  
Anonymous KenP said...

The local administrator pawned off decision making responsibility on a hired gun? If you are concerned about your results, I wouldn't be. You'll be a reasonable person trying to accomplish reasonable tasks and occasionally making a difficult decision without the help of a consultant. One, I might add, that left things unresolved.

You can always claim health issues if it should get too onerous. Guessing how state departments works, the resolution would more likely be a raise than a reprimand for their inconveniencing you.

The real problem is your current situation is just too comfortable and why be inconvenienced. That's great and I applaud you success. If you feel you don't owe anybody there anything, take a pass. Use the health issue up front instead of back loading it.

8:08 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

Ahhhh ... always helpful to get the guys with lots of life experience to chime in here!

There is really little risk involved, except to my mental health. Ken P has mentioned some things I already thought about, including the degree of comfort with my current position.

For years I have sought out leadership opportunities, which have included being director of my department, being president of my work's version of an employee senate, being president of a state-wide organization of community college counselors, being a member of my union's contract bargaining team ... I always delighted in running things, but that desire seems to have decreased over the past few years. However, the sabbatical I had two years ago really did recharge me. I see a real need for my help, and the sabbatical does make me feel like I owe a bit to my employer.

I guess the challenge of fixing something that is now screwed up appeals to me. It is just dealing with the nasty stuff like personnel issues, boring meeting after meeting, and jerks who want to speak with the person in charge just seems less than appealing ... ; o )

9:08 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Good luck in whatever you decide.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

What does Mrs. Lightning think? You might let her advice be the deciding factor.

11:57 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

This latest twist came up suddenly and we have not had a chance to talk about it. Previously she said she would support whatever I decided, going on the assumption that I have learned from some of my mistakes the last time I was in charge. Little things like forgetting about my family ...

With a one-year time frame, it hardly seems like it could be that bad. I still would not be getting what I consider to be equitable compensation, but I would just have to live with that aspect.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous KenP said...

And you aren't the baseball player you once at least thought you were either. :)- In other words, time changes priorities. Challenge moves in unexpected directions. What you sought as a nineteen year old aren't (thankfully so for health and well-being) the same.

Throw away the old ideas and review your present desires. What does the current Sparky desire from life? Is that why you're conflicted here?

12:24 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

Sounds like more work, but so what. Is it more money? It may not be now, but I believe things that are done for the right reasons are seldom forgotten down the line.


12:45 PM  
Blogger crafty said...

And FWIW you're right to let discretion rule the day as regards using details here. One hears tale after tale of business plans gone awry due to mentioning them on the 'Tubes. A recent employer of mine terminated someone on medical leave after this person bragged about having gone skiing on the Facey-Spacey.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Carmel said...

I'm one of those tards that got scolded.
To be fair I was venting and meant every word I said. One the brightside my boss wasn't mad he was just disappointed that I didn't come to him with my concerns. He was surprised that I had such disgruntled feelings because I had never been in trouble and really I have always met my career goals there.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Cranky said...

light - if you take this role, which is where you are leaning, what happens at the end of the year? I sense that management has no plans to address this problem effectively and is just waiting you out until you cave. So, when the year is up and the problem is no more rectified than it is now, what will you do? Step down and the whole rigamarole starts over, only with more pressure for you to just stay in place? I suspect the 1 year limit is just a fake ploy to make it easier for you to decide to step up to the plate.

Sorry to be so cynical, it's just the way I'm wired. Good luck no matter how you proceed.

10:07 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

@ Cranky: I am actually Professor lightning, tenured faculty member with the most seniority in my department, so I do not worry too much about pressure. At any time I can slink back in my regular role as Joe Counselor.

My guess is that the consultant will help to shape things for the future. I am not so worried about the future right now. My concern is more with healing the wounded in my department and getting things heading back in the right direction, while at the same time keeping the management of my department (at least for now) in the department.

I would say so much more, but as I mentioned previously, I do not want to put too much work stuff out in a public forum.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Cranky said...

Professor Lightning - ah, the life of a tenured professor -- good point, that, since my experience is entirely within consulting firms where pressure is a constant.

Sounds like you're definitely heading back to the top position and in the second paragraph your reasons sound excellent.

I appreciate your discretion, but it's also been very interesting getting a glimpse into the situation.

10:50 AM  
Blogger lightning36 said...

We had a meeting this morning among ourselves to discuss the situation. I told my colleagues that I was about 80% toward saying okay to this. Needless to say, I am a pretty popular guy today. lol

Actually Cranky, I really appreciate your input on this post and the previous one. You and a few others gave me lots of things to think about in trying to make a good decision for myself, my colleagues, and my department. : o )

11:56 AM  
Blogger Carmel said...

May I call you Professor Lightning? It's kinda sexy :p

2:49 PM  

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