Circuits and paths. – By @alfsuit
By Alfie Souter
Circuits and paths.
When Alex first said to me, “Sometimes you need to make the decision of when to implement your values”, I immediately saw this as a compromise. It was simply a choice whether to direct my energy between two different wires. Except for so long I’ve programmed my brain to only go down one route. My own route. I didn’t realise how ridiculously selfish this was until Alex pointed it out. She simply said, “That route was all about me.” And the other route. The other path was for other people.
And for so long I’ve been unwilling to tread that path. It is a path with interlocking roads and sections and sometimes the path is not always clear, but it’s always there. The world is not like film. It is not black-and-white. It’s all the subtleties in between. Even when you get caught up in the good you can go wrong. I realised this last week when a friend of mine, Matt, had to leave the school. Alex said that I chose to be the hero. She said the hero’s story is the same as the villain’s. This is true. Even in the most basic films, the villain doesn’t think that they are doing wrong. The villain always has a purpose and a reason. I let myself become so blinded by ‘helping’ Matt that I failed to see I left everyone else who wanted to help him behind. It wasn’t until Marc pointed out I need to bring people with me, that I realised the importance of the mistake I had made.
I realised if I want to be successful and be a leader of people in an agency, or indeed any workplace, or in life, I need to have people. A leader without people is just a loser. A loser too caught up in their own ideals to see that they are lost. I want to win. I realised I want this more than I want to uphold my own values. This doesn’t mean I will leave them behind. It simply means, as Alex put it, there is a choice. Sometimes you can do what is beneficial for you and sometimes you can do what is beneficial for others. And so often it is the case that what is beneficial for others is beneficial for you anyway. My inner narcissist could not argue with this reasoning. So I have decided from now on, for my own sake as well as everyone else’s, I will try to bring people with me when I can.
We also discussed having a partner at SCA, arguably one of the most important features of the school. We discussed who I might work with. I brought up my relationship with Chris. Alex said it was not sustainable at the moment. Instead of filtering myself, I allowed Chris to become my filter. Even though I am capable of doing this myself, I allowed Chris to become the external voice that I can argue with and usually ignore. This is not a position Chris asked for or deserves. And if I truly intend on working with him, this is something I need to change. Alex asked me what I would do to change. I simply said “I would make it seem like I am more collaborative.” Alex immediately stopped me and said “‘Seem’? You need to be more collaborative. People see through you”. I thought this was very interesting. Without meaning to, I had allowed myself wiggle room. This led me to wonder how often I do this every day. It’s probably much more often than I would like to admit.
Hopefully with this knowledge I can strive to improve, and improve I must if I want to become what I want to be.