Driven – often to distraction

I’ve been thinking recently about what drives me.

Something must do, because those around me frequently comment on it. Sometimes favourably: “…an inordinate capacity for hard work.” Sometimes less so: “…if you don’t switch off you are going to burn yourself out.”

It would be easy to write lots of words about different motivations, their combined and shifting effect over time, but I think I’m going to try for a hole-in-one and go with ‘improvement’.

I want to help make things better. 

Sometimes that’s quite local – suggesting to the four colleagues I work with most closely we would be more effective if we met once a fortnight. Sometime it’s a bit selfish – seeking more technical leadership because I enjoy that more than project management. And sometimes it’s foolishly ambitious – trying to convince the folk in different government departments each trying to improve knowledge management across thousands of civil servants that they might do it better if they had a good network, some collaborative tools and developed a habit of helping each other.

I find it incredibly difficult to stand by and watch the sub-optimal if I think I can see a way to make it better. But that can be damaging. If I want to help improve knowledge management across government it’s no use getting distracted onto some minor problem in our ‘highly successful and universally popular’ desk sharing scheme.

Being driven is not necessarily a bad thing. But being driven to distraction is.


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