The Boss of Me
By Jacey Eckhart
Do you have more starts than finishes in your work life? I do. Because I am an idea squirrel. I wake up delighted to find myself surrounded by millions of idea nuts. Picture me merrily running around all day long, scooping up ideas and sniffing them all over and then tucking them away. Cheery!
Problem is, if left to my own devices that’s all I do—squirrel things away. I won’t naturally produce jack anything on my own because I don’t like to finish things. Starting is funfunfun and finishing is so stressful my squirrel fur threatens to fall out in little clumps.
This is why I need a Boss of Me.
If you have more starts than finishes for your Next Door Project, finding a Boss of Me might be a strategy that will boost your productivity, too.
Because the Boss of Me is not me. Surprise! I know you are expecting me to remind you how you are in charge of your own destiny. I know you are hoping I will know how you can force yourself into a squirrel harness and whip up the kind of iron self-discipline that will lash you down and make you spit out that novel/resume/workout you have been meaning to do.
Umm, no. If that strategy worked, Netflix would go out of business and we would all have cowboy abs by now. Or a waistline. Or at least a few abdominal muscles here and there.
Consequently, your inner squirrel needs a Boss of Me who will partner with you and help you finish the things you want to get done.
The Boss of Me is not a nag.
Your Boss of Me does not wield a hammer to crush you. Your Boss of Me is not a nag. Threatening and nagging make work squirrels run away and hide. Usually under the tire of a great big truck.
The Boss of Me is a person who does not see you as inferior or flawed. Instead, this person gets you and your work style and likes you anyway. The Boss of Me is a person who helps you get past your fear and into a finish—because no one is truly productive who does not finish things.
When I was putting together big live events for military spouses, our events manager, Rachael, was a perfect Boss of Me. Knowing I was an idea squirrel, she would say to me, “Jacey you have until Monday to come up with your last big idea. Then we have to go with what we have.”
I was often my most productive right before that deadline. If I came up with an idea after the deadline, she would make me put it away until next time.
I can be the Boss of Me for other people, too. When I am coaching veterans on how to get jobs, I’m the Boss of Me for them. I totally understand how hard it is to face their careers and then attempt to put all that on paper. So it is my job to teach and lead and cajole and demo and play until their resumes appear magically on paper instead of looming over their heads for months.
Finding a Boss of Me may be easier than you think. You might have a partner at work already. You might have a kid who is a major motivator (I do.) You might find an accountability group or a coach who will help you identify strategies that suit you exactly.
Because you were meant to accomplish things on this earth. Let a Boss of Me help your inner squirrel to produce everything the Big Squirrel in the Sky put you here to do.