Life in the Corps was full of dichotomies.
One was how we were supposed to be disciplined and follow all orders at all times, while also being expected to think outside the box when problem solving.
The job I had was so multifaceted and interwoven with so many other groups and units, that following the orders at all times would have made the job impossible. It was too big and had too many variables.
Problems would happen despite the best of planning and when they did, dozens, if not hundreds of people would be knocked off balance or log jammed across a wide swath of land.
The headache from not knowing how to react to that was simply unthinkable.
So, a sort of dance evolved
We did what we were told, or made it look that way in such a fashion as to keep our bosses ignorant of the truth for our own needs, or ignorant of the truth so as not to be held accountable for our actions.
We protected ourselves from the bad bosses and we protected the good bosses from us.
My shop was never one to back down from a fight, regardless of who was attacking us or how much rank they held. We were stubborn and nuts like that. We just didn’t care and we fought anything which we did not agree with.
Usually though, we proved to be right. It was our backs being broken and our butts in the heat and cold doing the work and we did the work well. Our quality of performance was what normally saved us from the expected disciplinary actions when we upset the chain of command.
I am not saying you need to be a rebel in order to get the job done. But that sort of shakeup might be necessary within the confines of your own mind.
I am saying that you’re gonna want to step back and see your situation from a higher vantage point
Get the bird’s eye view, the view from fifty-thousand feet.
Or find someone doing something similar to you and see how they do it. Or find something you like online, even if it’s in a different niche, and copy the parts of their work that seem applicable to what you’re trying to achieve.
The easiest way to do this is to view the world as a marketer, not an end user or a client. It’s important to see things from those two points of view but for now, just see things like your competition or peers sees things.
Why are they reaching out to you in the way they are? Why does their site look like it does? What are they really after, beyond the blatant sale?
What have they done with you that you really liked and can you do the same on your site? If you see something they do and you don’t agree with it, yet they have better numbers than you, consider why that is. What point are you missing?
Is somebody marketing in a way that seemingly has nothing do do with what your goals are, yet you like how you’re being approached? Then, how might you adapt that to fit your marketing, product line, or service offering?
In short, stop looking at what’s right in front of you, day in and day out, and stop focusing on whatever it is that you’re trying to complete just long enough to see it from another angle.
The fish can’t see the water
You’re the fish. You need to think more about the aquarium you’re in.
The photographer of this post’s featured photo: Vinicius Amano