You ever hear a person recant a situation to you, then hear about that same situation from someone else? No matter how truthful people are, they usually end up giving you two slightly different versions of the same situation. Sometimes the situation is so grey that it’s hard to tell who’s right and who’s wrong. Sometimes you need a third person to come in and talk to you about it. Then again, is the third party unbiased? Were they even there?
I feel like God put me in the job that I’m in to better myself as a person and a manager.

Last year, I was constantly stuck between a rock and a hard place, forced to endure the fuckery (and I want you to know that it was definitely fuckery) that is “Cover Your Ass” mentality and the BCC function in your email. As trapped as I felt in the situation that I was in, I could not get down with it. This year, I am stuck between a new rock and a new hard place. I don’t feel trapped, but I’m constantly aware of what the situation looks like on both sides with no idea how to move forward.

Every time I find myself in these situations, I have this urgent need to get the hell out of my job. However, I feel like quitting would be me admitting defeat. I didn’t spend a year toughing out a bad situation just for me to quit just because I don’t want to be bothered with dealing. That’s a cop out. I feel like I’m still in this job because I need to help make a difference. I need to help change the way things are done because they’re apparently not working.

The people at the bottom feel that they are not being respected. The people at the top don’t always seem to comprehend that they need the people at the bottom in order for things to run smoothly. And those of us in the middle can either try to work things out or add to the problems.

And it all comes back to perception, because everybody thinks they were in the right in some way. Even when people admit their wrongs, they can find fault in another’s reaction to it. And it’s so rare for people to apologize to each other for their behaviors, because often times they’re too stubborn.

Sometimes, all I can do is sit back and observe. Like the old saying goes, people will show you before they tell you. I try to lead my subordinates by my own example: I try not to reprimand them in front of their peers; I apologize when I feel I am in the wrong; I try to take the time to research and assess a situation before moving forward. I am not infallible; I let them know that I am still learning, but I refuse to leave them stranded. I know that if I do for them, they will – for the most part – do for me.

Ultimately though, people can only be liable for what they’re capable of. And if I’ve learned anything from my previous situation, if you just watch people, they will show you exactly what they are capable of. It’s all about perception.