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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Manufactured Deadlines: Gog and Magog

If you've ever had a bully for a boss, you'll probably have encountered the phenomenon of the forced deadline.  And if you're familiar with forced deadlines - or real ones, for that matter - you'll be familiar with the concept of crunch time and pulling out the stops.
The more significant the deadline, the bigger the potential win or loss, the greater the pressure becomes. 
Good bosses empower teams to manage the pressure, plan out accomplishment and offer inspiration.  People want to be part of the team because of what people can build together.
Bad bosses go with the "no gain without pain" mantra - look to your left, look to you right, not everyone's going to make it so you damned sure be willing to work hard and pull out the stops to get there.  I'll be watching you, and pushing you - whatever it takes.
Good bosses build sustainable communities and empower.
Bad bosses destroy communities and consolidate power into an insider's club.  And man, do they love their manufactured deadlines.
The Apocalypse is a pretty intense deadline.  You really gotta have your ducks in a row if you want to survive it, don't you?
This is in no small part because you never really know when it's coming.  It could be soon, though - there are signs to look for, warnings that should be interpreted as cause for people to be prepared.
But people don't cause the Apocalypse, the day where the bad are separated from the good, nor can they hurry it.  That's a divine thing, out of the hands of man.
Particularly in Abrahamic religions, though, there's a recurring theme of a force not God, not man that comes forth to muck up the natural progression of things by suggesting only they have the keys to the door of paradise.
These doom-bringers tend to have a functionally fixed, cyclopean view of the world as being black and white, with those who are bad being in the way.  They are powerful.  And they lie.
As in, bend the truth, even to the point of using information out of context so as to deceive people into believing they're not the false messiah, but the real deal.
Those who are weak in faith will flock to these boss-like beings and fall for their spin and push towards bad behaviour as justified because, you know, the deadline's looming.  They won't realize it, but they'll have been duped into doing things strictly forbidden by the company policy (or religious text).
The faithful, however, aren't fooled - they know a manufactured deadline when they see one and won't be sucked into the "us vs the zombie hoard" mentality.  Because they are patient, the devout are hard to anger.
Their focus isn't on endings, but on what can be built in collaboration.  They don't look at the world through one strictly narrow lens - they connect the dots between all things and recognize the bigger picture - including temporal - of which we're all part.
Real leaders aren't about endings and control - they're about empowering and letting go.
It's the bad bosses you have to watch out for - faking deadlines, lying and spinning, using fear to get what they want in the shortest timeframe possible.
It's funny how our metaphors evolve, isn't it?

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