Tuesday, January 23, 2007

 

Growing Up

When I was younger, I assumed that one day I would "grow up" and become an "adult." For a large portion of my life, I've awaited that milestone, but now I know it won't arrive.

As far as I can tell, people never grow up. I've participated in meetings of CEO's, CFO's, Boards of Directors, and various levels of governmental bureucracy, and have concluded that after age 30 or so, nobody really becomes any more mature.

The people I currently work with spend most of their time talking about World of Warcraft. They pay the bills, so I won't argue. But it always amazes me that most of the work I do is secondary to whatever non-revenue-generating activity is consuming the people with whom I am working.

I used to think that the upper echelons of corporate leadership were dominated by clear-thinking businesspeople who were focused upon the bottom line. After interacting with some of those people, I now know that most important corporate people are focused on the same issues that the characters of "Seinfeld" were focused upon.

Does it make sense to try to "grow up" in an environment where the CEO keeps a water pistol in his desk drawer? Or when one's boss takes a week of vacation to "level" his World of Warcraft character?

My observation is that the higher-level a corporate officer/executive is, the sillier his behavior is.

In such an environment, does it really make sense to try to fit in and advance within the system? Or is it better to try to maintain a sense of what is really important?

For now, I'm trying to stay away from the silliness. But I don't know whether that is really the safer course.


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