Expertise and Ego

by Dwayne Phillips

Is it okay to not be the person in charge?

I am nearing the end of my professional working career. Maybe I will retire in a year or ten. Regardless of the retirement date, I have worked many more years than I will work, i.e., the past is bigger than the future.

Questions I ask myself often include, “Am I willing to take direction from others?,” and “Is it okay to not be the person in charge?” Some days it is easy to answer “yes” and “yes.” There are other days when it isn’t so easy.

These are simple questions. They are not simple when my past has made me into some sort of expert. I have seen it before, done it before, made a mess of it before, and learned a few things that others have not. I guess that experience goes with expertise. Then someone who has not made a mess of things before comes along and tells me to do something that will make a mess of things. Oh well.

There are alternatives. I could open my own consulting business and be a one-person company. That isn’t so easy when working in the national security realm, but it is possible. As a one-person company I would take direction from me. I’m not sure if I could get along with me day after day, but perhaps I could.

It is good to have the opportunity to ask these questions. I have a blessed life.



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Dwayne Phillips

Engineer, computing, consulting, writing, teaching, and a few other things in an effort to make us all better and smarter.