Sunday, March 04, 2007

Exercise in Honesty, An Error, or a Great Strategy?

This last week was an interesting one. After all the dust settles, I may well share some insight on it all, but the situation is still in flux. Suffice it to say, this week determined my career, my home, and my mental state. It's been a busy one, to say the least.

One odd experience was with the power and peril of social networking on the web, and blogs. I am a passionate LinkedIn user, as it has always yielded me great results for professional networking and hiring. When you are a LinkedIn user, as you make updates to your profile, your linked contacts are notified of the changes, through email. I received one notification of a change, from someone I work with: he added a link to his blog. Curious, I checked it out. The first entry I saw?

A time for change?

It's been over 3 years that I've been at my current company. I have never stayed with one company this long, and I'm getting the itch for a change. I've got several reasons why I want to change, and several reasons to stay put.

This was startling, to say the least. My first reaction was shock, then embarrassment for the co-worker: he obviously had not realized his fellow company mates would see this. I could not tell him directly, as it was delicate, and I had reasons of my own. I shared the blog with some others, so they could talk with him.

As I thought more about this, I realized his "error" was actually one of three possibilities:
  1. He made a genuine error, not realizing others in the company would see it.

  2. He blogs honestly and transparently, and is proud that others in the worlds he lives in can see his thoughts, regardless of the consequences.

  3. He did this as a conscious strategy to get others in the company to recognize his unhappiness, and choose to address it with him, either with discussion or perhaps compensation.

Now, I have worked with him for years, and find him to be one of the most honest and easygoing people I have ever worked with. He will dig his heels in when he thinks he's right, and cheerfully abandon objections when he sees no merit to them. I still have not figured out which of the above it is, but as more and more of us blog online, I wonder if this will be a more common occurrence, and if so, if he's not just a bit ahead of the rest of us on using this as a tool for change.

There's no resolution that I know of, but his subsequent blog entries make me think he's staying, so I hope, if he had planned to use this as a change agent, it worked. Would any of you do this?

And no, I will not put the link to his blog here. :-)

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