Belatedly, I've come to realize that my real niche, at the office (and elsewhere!) is to supply lubrication — reducing the friction among people and between groups, thereby increasing the efficiency of the overall system.

It sounds simple, but to do it well takes a lot of experience (and I'm still learning, after 20+ years), plus a conscious attention to sometimes-subtle human factors. "Little things" like personal idiosyncracies or misunderstandings can cause the whole machinery to grind to a halt.

But when it's working right, the lubricant absorbs stress so that the rest of the apparatus lasts longer and functions better.

Engine oil gradually leaks out or is burned up, graphite powder is ground to dust, etc. Sometimes that's tough to take, especially when everybody is screaming at me ...

(see also OnFriction (14 Aug 1999), HumanNature (5 Dec 1999), OnePerScore (6 Feb 2000), FifthDisciplinarians (10 Sep 2000), PersonalEnergy (8 Dec 2000), MyOb (18 Aug 2002), SimplyDifficult (28 Feb 2003), ...)

TopicOrganizations - TopicPersonalHistory - 2003-04-02

Have you noticed how some people are more like grit... :( – Bo Leuf

(correlates: GrayGreenGap, WakeUpCall, MasterAndCommander, ...)