Sunday, August 28, 2011

Of Waves & Ripples

The past weeks have been super busy times in my division. In the last 4 months, a flood of projects came in resulting in the team having to clock overtime week after week (even on weekends when the need arises).

It's a good thing actually, from a business perspective. It must mean we're doing something right, to have clients wanting to work with us. On the other hand, it also meant a lot of late nights for some of my team members, due to the limited number of resources to do that many projects concurrently. Some are already feeling the burn, but are persevering. Fortunately we've managed to get a few extra helping hands along the way, hopefully in the next coming weeks, the load will ease off to some of the new members, and everyone can take a breather or two.

The recent slog has also taught most of us just how much we can achieve, if we are willing to make some sacrifices when required. It also taught us some valuable lessons about being efficient and really pushing ourselves to new levels, to be better at what we do and make the most out of the tough situation, and come out stronger.

Unfortunately, not everyone was willing to be on the same boat. I received a resignation letter this week, and had a private conversation with the said person, together with my General Manager. You see, about 1.5 months ago, I made the decision to put this team member to work with the team of developers, as they could use the extra helping hand due to the influx of integration projects. I saw the window of opportunity for her, which with help her grow further into her role and also build her skill sets to new heights. The learning curb was going to be steep I said, but if she pulled through, the results and achievement would far outweigh the hardship. And I had faith in her because she had shown her potential to me before. So I asked, if she was keen to take the new responsibility and challenge. She said yes.

When she started with the new challenge, it was a struggle at first. Despite the shortcomings at one point, she managed to pull through. Made me proud actually. Then she fumbled. A few days later, she hands in her letter, citing the pressure and fast pace of the job is just too much to bear and she wants out. This new responsibility and challenge made her realize she doesn't want to do this after all.

The decision was made after she went through 1.5 months of hard work. From my perspective, she lacked the understanding and logic to be efficient in her role, hence the many late nights she had to endure in order to deliver work and meet deadlines. I posed a question to her then, perhaps it was a question she didn't really expect to be asked. My question to her was: Had I not put you up to this challenge, and you just went on doing what you were previously doing, menial tasks... Would you have thought of resigning? Her reply was a NO.

So I gathered that, she was contented and complacent in her current responsibility, even if it meant doing the same tasks time and again. And after being thrown into the deeper end, she realized she couldn't keep up and would rather throw in the towel than to push herself further.

I guess not everyone wants to grow and be better, even when the chance is given to you. Perhaps some prefer to just stay at the same spot, do the same things, think only so much, and grow only that much. I wouldn't really know...

As far as I'm concern, had I not see the potential in her, I wouldn't have even thought of giving her the opportunity to dabble in this new challenge. Makes me wonder if I had failed her, or am I expecting too much from a person?

I hope my question to her made her realize that her decision to leave was made purely out of the 1.5 months of hardship she had to endure to come out better and stronger. And if all it took was 1.5 months of tough shit to make her realize she's not cut out for hard work, or not willing to do hard work, then she should seriously take a good look at herself and her attitude towards life. Because life is hard as we know it, and there's only so many times you can run. I wish her all the best in her future endeavours, with hopes she will find inner strength and be brave.

Life is like a huge wave sometimes. You either ride with it to stay afloat, or you sink to the bottom.


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