This post has nothing to do with banks or Wall Street.
I’ve come to realize that no matter how good you are, there’s something to be said for a good fit. Work is like sleeping. What do I mean? I’m fond of telling people that I can “fall sleep anywhere.”
When I was in the Air Force, we’d go on these Army exercises where we’d train where they did. This often involved spending weeks at a time in the field, staying up for several days and simulating what we’d do in real life contingencies. During those times, I quickly learned how to adapt my personal quirks to the most austere locales and discovered things like how a chem warfare suit bag can be a useful pillow (not the suit itself. Only with the suit inside the bag) and how the ground is more comfortable than a military stretcher to lay on after you’ve not slept for a while.
The point of this story? Being in a situation where you can fully stretch your wings takes some adaptation. No new situation comes with an instruction manual on how to do it perfectly. You move, shift, grow and see how it comes together. But this doesn’t solely rely on your own talent. One of the things I’ve figured out coming to different cohesive communities over the years is how much my own success relied on the embrace of others within the community to enable me the freedom to operate as I do.
This owes not just to leadership, but the freedom to express yourself. When this doesn’t happen, the situation becomes a lot more difficult. Not every community boasts the openness of others, every culture is comprised of stakeholders who have a vested interest in things remaining as they are with as little change as possible.
None of this matters if you’re a true change agent. You’ll find the spots where you can, make the changes you can make when you can make them. Not change for change’s sake mind you, but finding the areas where you’ve been called upon to assess the situations and grow them, evolve and develop programs and do your best with what you’ve been given.
Sometimes, a good fit isn’t always about shaving off the edges to make yourself fit, but pulling on the lines enough to reach your destination understanding that you might fall an inch or two short of your goal and that often, that’s just going to have to be good enough.