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September 16 • What Have You Done For Me Lately?

Day 434

Perhaps the worst management tendency I exhibited throughout my career was the unconscious expectation that all my subordinates were there merely to help me do my job. I was well into my 30s before realizing that I was much more productive if I let others do their jobs.

As I tried intentionally to change, I learned that my job was helping them do their job. That was a challenging switch for me to make, even though I could see the indisputable truth of its value. During the ramp-up to my acting out, a period of several years, I awoke to the same realization about my wife and even my kids. They existed to meet my needs, feed my image, and make my life better. It was all well disguised in niceties and fake integrity. As much as I tried to be real, it became clear that the relationship with my wife was overly dependant on whether we had sex the night before, or the week or month before.

This pattern was a horrible way to live, and its tentacles still reach into our presents. We continue looking to each other to make us happy and content, even though we now have learned that it's not the healthiest way to live.

We are both trying to get better, trying to support the other without selling-out our own needs; it's hard. Old habits easily return if/when we let down our guards.



I built a snowman for you

And watched it melt all summer long in front of me

Endlessly I couldn't cure your sores

What have you done for me lately?

–Coal Chamber, ”Burgandy"


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