From words to action

Today’s poem is dragged from the deep recesses of the archive. It was written on a scrap of paper one evening as I was coming home from work on a rickety old diesel bus. In an epiphany earlier that day I had decided to start looking for another job. I had been employed to do a very specific task and deliver a well defined outcome, but at every turn my efforts were undercut or blocked by people at various levels up and down the food chain …I realised that the words of that particular organisation were unlikely to ever transform into meaningful action. I also realised that I am not the sort of person who’s prepared to wait ten years for an organisation to catch up with me.

Being in a latent state 
is perhaps the most 
soul destroying of all states. 
It’s the knowing what needs to be done, 
having the skills to do it, 
but never the opportunity 
or mandate
to act. 

Organisations can enforce 
latency on the talented, 
either intentionally 
or unwittingly.
Or leaders can
establish spheres of influence 
that can go beyond 
what the Job Description says. 

Being shot down, 
told to be quiet, 
or sent down exhausting garden paths
that lead to nowhere...
distraction techniques
designed to sap energy 
and support the status quo.  

I recall the moments and faces 
so easily because it’s been 
such a frequent occasion 
in a career punctuated by 
false starts, 
faux opportunities, 
and wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. 
How do you dialogue with that? 
Photo by Mikechie Esparagoza on

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