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7/23/06
Sarah—who hates confrontation—pulled her hood over her head and shrank onto the floor in the corner.

Dear Kim:

I have figured out my holy grail.

Delegation.

As I am producing several projects as well as dealing with some serious family stuff, I have to figure out ways to spread more responsibility or I will not be able to sustain what we have on the boards.

(Kim: I went to a lecture on the "Joy of Work" by the author of a book by that title. He had an interesting perspective here, that we don't give up responsibility when we assign someone to complete a task for us. What we should do it to make it clear that we are trusting them to do the job, and that they will do whatever that entails. It is all about "letting go.")

It is definitely trial and error.

Although the Apple Pie performance we did on Sunday didn't reflect everything I might have wished, I appreciate the particular qualities that Jackie and Sarah brought to the work. They earned the trust and commitment of the kids in the project and that is no small feat.

It is only by letting go that I will be able to gage how much supervision or monitoring is required.

So after my initial struggle to reconcile my vision of what might be with what was, I felt good about Apple Pie.

Today was a whole different story.

I have been working on the grants for the Regional Arts Commission for weeks with a bight and eager intern we have right now named Pterri. Last week, we were in the happy proofing stage. Reading the grants aloud to check for misspelling or lack of clarity. I can write a mean narrative. We felt so good about the work we were doing, we were high fiving each other.

I kept putting off dealing intimately with the numbers, as it is the most complicated part and definitely my least favorite. So I told Sarah a few times that we really needed our accountant Susan to take a look at the budgets to make sure we were in good shape.

I don't know if I didn't communicate the necessity this to Sarah or if she didn't communicate the necessity of this to Susan. All I know is that Monday the numbers were just not looking right and I started getting panicky. I told Sarah we needed to talk with Susan soon.

Susan finally came by today, calm and breezy as usual. She is the epitome of evenhanded. When she looked at the numbers and realized that all of the budgets needed to be reworked, she became cranky and defensive.

It was the first time I have ever seen her that way.

Sarah—who hates confrontation—pulled her hood over her head and shrank onto the floor in the corner. I escaped to make myself a peanut butter sandwich and said nothing for fear of saying too much and too angrily.

I didn't want to descend into a fault and blame scenario. So I swallowed my anger, especially given that that our accountant is on a retainer, and tried to focus on the tasks at hand.

As if to test my patience further, almost all of the technology in the office seemed to laugh at us. The computer froze, then the main printer stopped working. It was really uncanny. Like some sort of spell or moral test. As if to say, see?! See, what happens when you put things off to the last minute.

Susan did her best to give Sarah and me direction and then left for another appointment. Instead of feeling slighted, I tried to concentrate on the mage of being a slalom skier.

I said to Sarah, this is our event. We have to make the jump.

We got it done.

I still don't know how. Done. Xeroxed. Electronically submitted and into RAC with multiple copies and support material. and a zillion required attachments.

Tonight, I am exhilarated by how close to the edge we skied without falling off the cliff, exhausted by the effort and still trying to figure out how closely I need to keep an eye on everything.

Because . . . the more closely I supervise, the less creative work of my own I get to do.

Later,

Joan

Wed Mar 8, 2006

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