It’s true. I know it’s true. I used to not be okay with that moniker but as my years progress I’ve become not only more aware of this fact but much more comfortable with it. There are those around me who would disagree with the “bit of an asshole” assessment and think that that plays a much bigger part of me. Fuck them! They need to spend just a little more time around me and ask me my motivation. There is also the moniker of a curmudgeon. The definition of a curmudgeon is 1 : a crusty, ill-tempered, and usually old man. I am proudly all three of those things.
I don’t want to be an asshole especially in the way we normally use that term. I just want to be good at what I do. Check that, I want to be really good at what I do. I’m not a perfectionist but I believe there’s always room for improvement. Maybe it’s got something to do with one of the first professional reviews I received 30+ years ago. I was asked to complete a self-evaluation. The scoring system went from 1-5 with 5 being the highest. The majority of my scores were fives. My boss at that time asked me if I thought those scores were accurate especially as I had just one professional year under my belt. I said “Yes.” She asked me if I thought I had room for improvement. That question caught me by surprise. My answer was also “Yes.” She told me to go back and to be realistic about my scores. I returned with scores of 2-3. These she accepted. Today after 35-years in my profession I can still say that my highest scores would not surpass 3.
No longer is this a source of embarrassment but a sign of humility, of acceptance that I am not perfect. I’ve accepted the fact that there will always be work to do. This is not the problem. The problem is in not recognizing this.
The asshole part relates to I don’t always know how to inspire my staff, to get them to want to be better, to get them to want more and to recognize that they can be better.
“I’m perfectly imperfect because if you’re perfectly imperfect you always have to work on yourself and if you work on yourself you don’t have time to talk about other people or worry about other people. The only person you want to understand really is yourself.” – Dag Aabye