Confronting the Complexity

Hunting trophies in Úsov Château, the Czech Re...

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I am, by nature, given to the melodramatic and portentous proclamations. Not for the sense of importance (though that is a bonus), but for the idea that even the small things, if discussed in epic terms, grow to fit the language.

These days, I’ve found myself describing every project in the words of great diplomatic acts or in the language of warfare. Some of this is for sure influenced by the fact that my current reading is Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. Jack Weatherford reads as a bit of a fanboy, and I’m currently resisting the urge to go hunting through the bibliography, which would disrupt my actually reading the book. Even so, Weatherford’s book, along with The Checklist Manifesto, have influenced how I’m thinking about logistics vs. communication right now. Logistics is all about communication, which I think I had noticed before, but a targeted sort of communication: the kind that allows the people involved to know each other before they have to entirely depend on each others’ expertise. This is in addition to putting together a team that consists of expertise.

I’ve also been thinking in terms of putting time into my work with AAUW and my work at Work. I get to be creative as well as technical wit the website editor duties for the Branch (you all have gone to see the site right?), while I am getting deeper into analytical work, as I transition from my former position to my new one. The worries are that I am not creative enough to do publicity and a web-presence justice, or that I am not sufficiently laying the foundation for the new job, while shortchanging the transition period for both myself and my successor in the previous one. Between that, and the political calendar (AAUW has a public policy branch, which does a good job of getting the word out) there is no shortage of new things to learn, put together, and connect. I just have to sort signal from noise (a phrase I’ve been using a lot lately, in the context of my job), and to decide where I stand on the various moral continuums. No sweat, right?

Yet, at this time I feel the full weight of a beginning of the story, which is my favorite place to be. As I learned from one of my new team today: you have to earn what you ask for. And currently? I’m asking for a lot.


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