“This isn’t the way it should work!”

Never ceases to surprise me how often organizations of all kinds don’t really operate the way they “should.”  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a company or went to a school or played on a team that truly operated as everyone thought it should.

Two things here.

The first is that there are multiple perspectives on the way something should work.  There are different types of engines and vacuums and helicopters for reasons.  Differing perspectives on optimal output.  It’s important to respect that there are different viewpoints.  You don’t have to agree with them, but you have to respect the perspective if you hope that your perspective will be.

Next up is that we don’t live in an ideal world where things are as they should be.  We live in a flawed hierarchy of systems that evolve slowly over time based on differing perspectives.  It’s quite easy to throw up your hands and yell that the machine is broken, but at the end of the day, that won’t get you anywhere.  In my experience it’s far better to work as hard as possible to make things work out with the people, systems and situation you find yourself in.  You are far more likely to get a good result through hard work than a spectacular result in trying to redefine a system.  Systems are icebergs, they move and can be directed with great effort, but it’s probably better to navigate around them.