Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Middle Always Costs More

I am such a hypocrite.

On the one hand, I strive for consistency and transparency in my walk. On the other hand, I flake out and take the lazy lane with remarkable alacrity.

It just seems to me that you shouldn't be able to hold up standards and faith and then so willingly succumb to numbness when you cease to strive. Sometimes all it takes is a random conversation you bring on to pass the time that leaves you muddled, unmanned, unmade.
They believe in nothing,
We believe in One Thing.
-- Fire by The Supertones
It isn't that I don't know that I should be striving, it is more than I find ways to talk myself out of it without even realizing it. My fear of being judged by some men causes me to let down others. I back down from situations where backbone is required. My callow cowardice comes to light every time I choose form over function, appearances over outcome.

At one time I would have held my ground and been thought difficult, uncouth, unkempt, or even rude. But I would have said the needful, averted the disaster, and ultimately delivered. Not today though. Now I hold my tongue and watch the ships slowly sink. Now I play the negligent Nero as the flames rise and my desire to remain polite and politick binds me to inactivity.

More and more I act like those I once proclaimed as wrong. They "Don't Get It." was common in my vocabulary. The proverbial They were always selling out success for short-term gain, and I snickered at them. Today I find myself on the brink of that same shortcoming. Fear freezing my insides, I smile instead of speak. Astride the fence, I see both pastures and realize the grass grows green on either ground. The only difference is that one you rent at exorbitant rates and other you own free and clear. Why do I even consider leaving the land of free? Perhaps I find that price too high?

You can deliver messages with care and kindness but if you cannot make the hard decisions, hold fast to accountability, and push forward one and only one agenda, you will fail. There is more to being a Leader than Management. Sometimes to deliver you will not be well-liked, this I've known from much time past. Now I am learning that being well-liked generally means you compromised if you delivered at all.

They always told me come to Middle. Find that spot between Productive and Polite and it will be Perfect. To which I now say Pppfftttpppttt. The Middle costs more. If you are going to be Polite, recognize your irrelevance. If you are going to be Productive, accept you will be outcast. It is better to be tolerated out of respect, than desired out of shallowness that disappears in stress.

No more Middle for me.

No comments: