Preserving our sanity is an important part of being a leader. Part of any good ‘Sanity Preservation Program involves understanding and properly embracing the ‘Power of Indifference’. Let me start out by telling you what this is NOT. The Power of Indifference does NOT mean being indifferent to the quality of our work, our team’s work, or our business partner’s and BT partner’s work. Nor does it mean indifference to the consequences of our decisions, our partner’s decisions, our actions, the actions of others…hey, I could go on (and often do) but not now.
There is power, liberation and sanity in being able to “let go” and not let things bother you. It’s only a job – it’s not life. Just because work is part of your life (the part that provides the funding, anyway), doesn’t mean that work IS your life. It’s not. So don’t treat it as such. You owe it to yourself to keep things in perspective and to preserve, protect and defend your sanity.
For most of us, almost nothing we do at work really matters. Our work doesn’t end
war, doesn’t cure cancer and doesn’t make a better world for our children. Some day in fact, all of our work will be thrown away and mocked by people who never even met us and life will go on. Ultimately, there are only two things that matter at work:
- The relationships we build; and
- The deals we broker
Both of these help us grow as people and increase the value we can bring to our teams, each other and our partners. So in the end, work is but the stage upon which we play out the drama of our careers – the value lies in your ability to keep things in perspective and to control events, rather than letting events control you. When you are on the cusp of frustration, anger, or fury of the Russel Crowe or Mel Gibson variety, ask yourself this
question (and you have to ask it exactly like this):
“What difference does it REALLY make?”
Keep this in mind: Always be passionate about work; NEVER be emotional about work.
© 2011, Mark E. Calabrese