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Monday, December 06, 2004


Finding Your Voice

I seem to be very conscious of this notion of voice lately (see: What's Your Voice from a few days ago).

I continue to be influenced by Stephen Covey's work, but have yet to pick up his latest book, The 8th Habit. Based on this interview, I think maybe Santa could bring me a copy when he comes to visit later in the month (granted that he reads blogs and needs some additional ideas). Covey equates having a voice with a deeper connection to one's work:
People have basically lost their voice. They’re alienated from their work. We’re in a knowledge age, yet our management principles are from the industrial age. They’re the authoritarian, command-and-control models. Just take the accounting system: It calls people an expense. Performance-appraisal systems are just repugnant to the dignity of people. You give them some nice words, slip in the knife and call that “areas for improvement” and then a few nice words at the end.
BTW, his 8th habit is: Find your voice and inspire others to find theirs.

Another article that caught my eye was one from Alaska about a sculptor named Sylvester Ayek who is trying to return to his Inupiaq roots.
Ayek says, he's leaving Anchorage in pursuit of balance, something he can find only in the Bush. That's where he finds solace, center and sustenance, a solitude in whose heart he regains equilibrium as he tries to maintain his footing in two worlds -- worlds that continually pitch and roll beneath his feet. "If I'm in the city, I'm just an artist," Ayek says. "But out there, I can be a hunter, fisher, gatherer and an artist. I get some sense of good order when I'm in nature, in the middle of nowhere, by myself."
What struck me about this was the reminder that we are so much more than the labels that we attach to ourselves or those that we allow to be attached from others. In our work, we can be more than what a job description says. Once we have an idea of what our voice is, then its time to add another element to it.

Categories: c.Books; c.Creativity; c.Careers; c.Organizations

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