You have a plum job! …If you are a manager, that is.
You have a plum job because your job is about making something happen that otherwise would not have happened. That’s called creativity. You are creating something. You! It wouldn’t have happened without you.
Even if it is something as basic as introducing a new system or process or way of doing things in your area of responsibility. That will remain forever, or, at least for a long time. And, every time you see it in operation you can justifiably say : “ I created that. Only for me, that system, that operation wouldn’t exist.”
So, your plum job means that what you are really about as a manager is seeing what is possible and turning that possibility into a reality. You are a spotter and realiser of possibilities. Isn’t that great?
But, talking about plums, we have two plum trees in our garden, a large one on which the plums are already ripe and a smaller one where the plums are still green.
I have been gratefully collecting baskets of delicious plums for a few weeks now. Naturally, I have been picking the riper ones and leaving the others a bit longer to reach their full level of soft, rich sweet maturity. And naturally, of course, my harvests have been diminishing, to the point where fewer and fewer plums were left to continue their progress to maturity.
Some days ago I arrived in with another bowl of ripe plums.
My wife was surprised. “Where did you get those plums?” she asked, “ I looked and there were none.”
Why do you think she, who is sharper and more observant than I am, couldn’t see or find any plums whereas I, a lesser creature could?
Answer: Because I knew there were some there from previous pickings.
Believing is Seeing!
This is always true. Unless you believe, know, that there are things there to be discovered, possibilities to be realised, a bit like my wife, you won’t see them.
Richard Rohr says: “We see what we are ready to see, expect to see, and even desire to see. If you start with no, you usually get some form of no in return. If you start with yes, you are much more likely to get a yes back.”
So, while you do have a plum job and you can make great things happen and turn possibilities into realities, you can also fail in this wonderful role.
One way you can fail is when you are unable to see the possibilities that are there to be found, like plums on a tree.
This is easier to do than you might think. It takes courage and vision to see and believe in something that apparently is not there.
Courage and vision are two essential qualities of the good manager and you probably have these by virtue of being a manager…however well you are using them.
But remember, irrespective of where you are or what you are doing, there are lots and lots of plums to be discovered if you really want to find them. And to find them, as Richard says, you have to desire, to want to find them.
Do you? Do you really want that plum job you have?
Of course you do!
Go looking, looking for possibilities to make real. But go believing they are there.