I’ve seen this in many project teams and organisations over the years. Interestingly I’m reading Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed at the moment. More about that in another blog coming soon, but for now he talks about being trapped in the paradigm which is why i thought about “Prisoners of the Paradigm”.
I will explain.
In a team or group, we’re in a demanding situation. It’s difficult. It might be a challenging project, a difficult client, whatever. It gets worse, more demanding. We bend, flex, adapt to the changing conditions to continue to deliver. And yet we want to be part of the solution. In reality sometimes we’re part of the problem! It’s because we become so immersed in the minutiae and the grind we lose sight of the bigger issues. Someone from the outside comes in from the cold and their immediate question is “why the fuck are you doing this?!”
The temperature rises. We adapt. Rather like the apocryphal story about boiling a frog. Chuck a frog in a pan of boiling water it will jump out straightaway. But if you put it in a pan of cold water and gradually heat it up, you can boil it to death.
Yikes. Sometimes we adjust and adjust and adjust to toxic situations and hang on when in reality you should just jump whatever the consequences. I can think of a few work situations in my own life in the past where i should have just said “Fuck this” and walked. But I didn’t. It done me no good in the end as they say.
An outside objective view helps get perspective. Beware of losing yourself in the situation, because you become someone you are not and really deep down, you don’t like.
You are better out of it.
Jump or be boiled to death.
Be careful out there.