A bird the size of a leaf Fills the whole lucid evening With his note And flies.
At the midpoint in my career, one day I found myself considering a set of difficult questions: What would make me a more valuable contributor? Could I be strategic? What aspects of myself should I cultivate to be the best at what I do? Are there things I could learn to be more influential? How could I make more of a difference?
These questions surfaced shortly after I had won a key argument about how my firm’s marketing department should spend a $2 million budget most effectively to achieve the revenue target. I cared a great deal about how they spent the money, because I was directly accountable for a significant $58 million chunk of revenue (out of $400 million overall).
I was, of course, quite sure that my position on how to spend the money was correct. I had studied the issues carefully, formed airtight arguments that supported my position, and worked the halls to build political alliances. To further increase my chances of winning, I told people why my opponent, the marketing lead, didn’t really “get” the business. And I had no trouble publicly highlighting the flaws in the logic of her arguments and opinions.
In the end, the decision was rendered in my favor and I received grand accolades from the higher ups. I won. I won because I had armed myself with facts and details. I won because I was argumentative ...