Of Machine and Men (And Disruptive Blips)

Very seldom do we interrupt ourselves.  We cling unconsciously to our habits, our routines…susceptible to the powerful draw of the patterns we etch into our daily lives.  Indignant and resentful of any disruptors that chaperone in change to this daily dance, this ebb and flow of our life.

And as much as we embrace change…

It is when these disruptive blips impede upon our routines and habits that we feel their squeeze…often pushing out bitter responses.  For which we come to understand that the strong embrace of disruption and change does not always evoke positive platitudes.

In much the same manner that we find ourselves entrenched in our habits and routines, we tend to procure a place in mindlessly serving the system, or more affectionately known as…

…the machine.

Vast and often cumbersome, the machine does not do well when slowed or derailed from its course.  While not necessarily wrapped in agenda or motive…it will find ways to take care of and support itself.  For when the machine is disrupted, when it is squeezed…much like ourselves, it often emotes a bitter response.

Unfortunately, much of our service is in making sure that the machine is operating and proceeding with adequate progress…than it is about creating and sustaining dynamic growth and change.  And in order for us to activate this dynamic growth and change, we will need…

…to serve as disruptive blips.

Which requires awareness and recognition.  Understanding that our job is not to serve the machine…rather, our responsibility is to ensure that the machine is serving the people and their best interests.

In order for this to happen…leaders must not only create disruptive blips, but accept their role as system adjuster.  Pulling and pushing against the machine.  Providing checks and balances.  Constantly redirecting the route.  Creating the path.

For we don’t truly understand the power and momentum of the machine until we remove ourselves from or try to stand against it.

Which is the difficult and lonely road of leadership.  For in the end, it will be less in our implementation and more in our questions that leaders will serve as the disruptive blips of change.

For when we choose not to take on these roles…we find that the machine rolls over us.  Effectively allowing the machine to end up as a self-serving entity…ultimately losing focus on what it was created and designed for…serving the best interests and needs of its people.

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One thought on “Of Machine and Men (And Disruptive Blips)

  1. I like this piece, David — simply because I feel like I’m getting crushed by the machine right now. My best friend and I teach on the same learning team in the same school. He’s an optimist and I’m a pessimist. Just yesterday, he said that he feels beaten down and defeated.

    I don’t think I’ve ever heard those words from him — and they only serve to validate what I’ve been feeling for the last several months/years.

    But neither of us has much hope of seeing change happen because no one is questioning the machine. No one is interrupting the momentum of the machine. That leaves us being crushed in the gut.

    I wish more leaders saw the importance of disrupting momentum with well timed blips.

    Rock on,
    Bill

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