Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Everyone Likes Being Needed

by Sandy Kellogg

Aquatic Operations Supervisor, Mount Vernon RECenter
Fairfax County Park Authority
VRPS Aquatics Resource Group 2016 Chair
VRPS 2016 Awards Co-Chair

We all thrive on recognition, on being the best at what we do, and the confidence that comes from feeling irreplaceable.  There is a problem, though, with believing you are the only one that can do your job as well as you do – what happens when you can’t?

I got called home last week on very short notice.  Home for me is Southern Alberta, so it was not a particularly short trip!  I did everything I could to quickly get things taken care of while I was gone, with the ever present threat of an outrageous cell phone bill if I get stuck dealing with work issues while in a foreign country.  As I went around assigning tasks I realized I do a lot of stuff!  And while I think I’m pretty good at what I do, I am the only one who knows how to do them!  I spent longer explaining how to do some of the tasks that I should need to, and the fault was definitely mine.   I have amazing staff, many dedicated employees and coworkers, and I neglected to train and share responsibility.

When I got back is when it really hit.  There were frustrations, and broken things that “only you know how to fix”, and a long list of things that I had to deal with.  I realized I was looking at it backwards.  Instead of wanting to be the go-to person for everything my goal should be the opposite.   I have done my job well when I can be called away for emergency leave and have people not realize I was gone, that things can get done and thrive without me being the only one to do them.  My staff can handle it, as they tell me again and again, and I have to have the faith in them that they have in me.  Summer camp is coming up soon, hopefully the only reason they know I’m gone is my empty chair!

1 comment:

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