One of my favorite sayings / motivational conversations is when I get to ask the question: “when is the best time to plant a tree?” The answer you give is “20 years ago”.. because the tree is grown today and bearing fruit. The follow up question, which is the motivational part is “When is the second best time to plant a tree” and the answer is…
“right now”. The purpose of this little motivational exchange is to try and get people to get off their sedentary behinds and go do that thing they have been talking about forever. Ok, sounds good.. It works well as a reminder to not put off tomorrow what you can do today.
But how does this mindset work in the world of the Professional Individual Contributor? Is it good advice or bad. In the professional word of PIC’s this may become less motivation and more trap. part of my research on what makes a PIC important is the idea that careers and positions change much more dramatically and dynamically. Job hopping is the norm. It can be assumed the golden ring is part of the solution, and the ring is backed up by big lies that encourage job jumping and career hopping. “The territory hasn’t really been worked well in the past” and “we need someone who can come in here and take care of the problems”
Sometimes this is the reality of the situation.. but more often than not the issues that the PIC who has job jumped is dealing with are systemic. Your chosen deity could come in and not affect change in an organization that’s that screwed up. So what do you do in this situation? I’m starting to think that maybe the answer to the question isn’t “ 20 years ago” maybe the answer is.. screw the tree, i’m going to dig up some potatoes to eat.