Thursday, December 16, 2010

Afghanistan Day 208: NMAA

Recently, someone in one of my chains of command (yes I have several bosses with layers between me and them), implied that the problems that I was having with structural issues were my fault, as I was the "common denominator".  This hurt me so very much at the time (you know how I have two settings- serious and extremely serious) and deflated my energies for several days.   Because I am incapable of "letting it go"- it being the piece of information that doesn't match my reality- I thought and thought and thought on this commentary.  

I know that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, the cause of problems in Afghanistan, the US military, or the only common denominator in any situation I currently navigate.  All of my contextual factors contribute, my leadership is constant, and my peers are constant.  Still, I felt incredibly responsible for being the source of difficulty in my job.  While I have very little control, and only marginally larger purview, I still felt responsible for things I can't possibly make successful. 

I work hard, all day long, every single day.  I push the people I mentor to work harder than they've ever worked before and they are often able to be more successful than even I anticipate.  I know the tasks and iniatitives set before me are worthy and critical to overall mission success.  I know it's not my job to save Afghanistan.  

Still, it's hard to not feel like I am the common problem, instead of the common solution. It's easy to be susceptible to diverse criticism, because my position exposes underlying structural deficiencies. it is incredibly taxing to be the source of solution in a sea of schizophrenic demands, lack of communication, and discontinuity. What I am able to accomplish by sheer force of will is easily overlooked, while the blaring big broken things loom over my reputation. my character is attacked, my energy is depleted, and the direct/indirect insults are causing gaps in my stamina. pray for me, pray for Afghanistan. please!

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