Friday, January 17, 2014

49: Being Open

The Project
A minor disaster happened last Saturday. I suddenly had a brilliant idea about how to re-work chapter 1, which I wasn’t happy with and went at it hammer and tongs. As always when I’m making substantial changes without any notes, I saved the file regularly. I had almost finished when my latest save produced an unrecoverable error in InDesign and the file was corrupted too. I had to open the corrupted file in a text editor and eventually found the bits of text but in a totally jumbled sequence with lots of control characters (a bit like HTML but without any structure). It took me all of Sunday to get it back together. It didn’t help that I took Saturday afternoon off to watch rugby only for Topsham (my local team) to get thrashed by South Moulton. Unfortunately when you’re working for yourself, you’ve no one to take it out on.

One of my old bosses once told me I should be tougher with people when they failed to deliver but it’s not my way.  Some project managers seem to think that being a leader means they have to impose their own value system on their team, but this only leads to resentment.  The wise project manager demonstrates leadership by being the servant of the team.  Being open and attentive to the needs of others is more effective than being judgmental.  

The Way  
The wise project manager expects the best of people and they live up to it.  The wise project manager may seem to be naive and childlike in this uncritical openness to whatever emerges.  But openness is more potent than any system of judgment ever devised.  

The sage has no fixed agenda.  
He is aware of the needs of others.  

I am good to people who are honest.  
I am also good to people who are dishonest.  
This is true goodness.  

I keep faith with people who are sincere.  
I also keep faith with people who are insincere.  
This is true faithfulness.  

The sage dwells in harmony,  
His agenda seems confused.  
To the sage all are as children.  

The term ‘children’ refers to children of the mother (Tao) meaning everyone.  To the sage the goodness of any of the children is the same as his own goodness.  

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