I find myself increasingly trying find balance between seemingly conflicting forces in my work life.
I have a fundamental need to be involved and to feel like I’m making an impact. This is driven by my need to contribute (which is a positive feeling), but increasingly it is also driven out of fear that we will be trapped in another downturn and I don’t to be the only one left without a chair when the music stops (which is clearly a negative feeling). This force drives me to bring people together to collaborate across groups and to find things that are common and create scale and efficiency. It also drives me to the edge sometimes looking for new ways to do things, that some of my peers think are a bit off the wall.
…This “need to contribute” force is balanced by a completely seperate drive to do what I want to, think is cool, or am interested in. This force drives me to say “screw it” to bringing people together and trying new things and just focus on what I can do in my own small corner of the company to make things better and hope that everyone else does the same.
Which is right? I can tell you one thing (other than I don’t know), I understand how this can drive you to start your own business. When you run it all, you can do both: focus on what you think is cool/interesting/exciting and contribute. To get that balance anywhere else is really hard.