When did the Prides get that divorce?

Splitting professional and personal prideMaybe I’m just getting old.

I seem to remember a time–well at least I’m pretty sure I do–when Professional Pride and Personal Pride were married. Inseperable and enamoured of one another. Intertwined as one.

Weren’t they?

Not just dating. But actually living with one another as a single unit.

Am I off here? Wasn’t there a time when taking pride in what you did (Professional Pride) translated into pride as an individual (Personal Pride)?

Weren’t they one and the same? A couple of peas in a pod?

I must have been imagining things, because, clearly, these two aren’t even on speaking terms any more. Let alone living in holy matrimony.

And “hating your job” is likely one of the things that caused it. The thing that drove the wedge between the Prides.

People have become so obsessed with disliking what they do, or who employs them, or what they deliver, or what they sell, or how stupid their organization is, that they’ve quit caring.

At all.

They’ve divorced Personal Pride from Professional Pride.

And Personal Pride seems to have come away with custody.

Professional Pride? I don’t even think it’s getting visitation rights.

People are looking for other places to harbor their pride. Personal Pride places. Places that are within their realm of control.

I can just hear it now…

“Oh, sure. I do this for a living, but in reality, I’m a Portland Trail Blazers fan. I can tell you all the stats for the team since its inception. Sure, sure. That last report I delivered was subpar. But I don’t really care about that. I do care about the Blazers, though. This stuff over here doesn’t really matter. It’s just work. The Blazers matter.”

(Of course the Blazers are a ridiculous example. I was trying to drive home the point.)

“Did you see American Idol last night? Here’s how I voted.”

“Did you see my new phone? This defines me.”

“I’m so much smarter than my boss, I’m just going to coast on this one.”

“They’ll never notice if we don’t do it the right way.”

I’ve heard more and more stories–and experienced more and more incidents–where workmanship is subpar. And the reaction by the responsible party?

“Oh well. Not my problem.”

For work, “not quite good enough” is more than good enough. Mediocrity is king. And “job well done” is falling a far second behind simply “done.”

Professional Pride is suddenly some lonely forty-something with a comb over. While Personal Pride is sewing wild oats with, well, everyone.

Can it be fixed? Can Personal Pride and Professional Pride be reconciled?

I don’t know. But I’d sure like to get those two in the same room, again. At least flirting.

And I guess it’s up to me.

About Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Founder and editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy
This entry was posted in Pride. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to When did the Prides get that divorce?

  1. Toby Lucich says:

    I wonder how much of this is driven by seeing ourselves as “expert” versus simply “able”. Kind of a Can versus Should.

    I CAN do a number of things good enough, but SHOULD I at the risk of doing nothing well? It takes focus and commitment to deliver work product at a quality level that clients perceive as expert workmanship. Craftsmanship.

    The risk of trying to be an uber-generalist is that we go broad and never deep. Find a passion, go deep, and strive to be the very best at what you do.

  2. Pingback: Are You Failing Often Enough? | More than a living

  3. Rick Turoczy says:

    I don’t know, Tobe. I see an awful lot of focused “experts” delivering subpar work with an “oh well, not my problem” attitude.

    I think it has less to do with actual skill and more to do with an “will anyone call me on it” mentality.

  4. Toby Lucich says:

    Good point. Understanding that you have an expert reputation isn’t enough – you have to also be accountable for quality results. Yup.

    No one should have to call you on it. Agreed.

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