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Realism and the Workplace

A word of caution to those of you who are just entering the workforce. The work world you encounter may differ from the one described in some of the popular management literature out there that advocates lifting wholesale its lessons with nary a concern for repercussions.

Checking email only once a day, for example, is a practice that will very quickly get you fired. Your job is to take such lessons and consciously integrate them into your reality by tempering them against real-world circumstances.

And it is up to all of us to make the lessons, ambitions, hopes, and dreams of how the world ought to be come alive by confronting and questioning with honesty, integrity, and critical thought, the counter-productive inertia that so easily develops in human systems.

Consider that good intentions without power are just that: Good intentions. Power lets us get things done, and without it we are useless.

We have to acquire power in a way that is congruent with our deepest values while maintaining a situational awareness that trade-offs may occur in an environment that does not reflect our deepest values. When we do have power, the onus is upon us to change the system to reflect those values for the betterment of those who succeed us.

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