I’m Just a Pawn


Here’s the background story for model context:
Hospital staffing is experiencing critical shortages. My leader was having a conversation with me to discuss the organization’s decision to offer a bonus to exempt employees to pick up 8 hour shifts in respective departments. This was intended to motivate volunteers, next step would be mandating leaders to pick up shifts beyond their regular work hours. He said “we may lose good leaders during this process”. Prior to that discussion I had already adjusted my admin hours to support evening and night teams to offer ancillary support. My leader didn’t need to ask me. He mentioned that he had the conversations with his technical specialists (TS) informing them how they may need to cover technical bench operations as needed. Recently, I had a conversation with a TS, who recommended we up-staff our blood bank during training. With the team stretched as much as possible to cover multiple departments, I was confused why the TS had yet to cover operational needs like training. I was in a meeting the other day where an agency said they had a candidate ready to start Monday. They asked if the department could support training. The managers asked the operational leaders for feasibility, and I noticed there was some hesitancy getting this person started. With staff stretched thin, and nights with n0 staff available, I was confused why this leader had yet to cover operational needs such as training. I adjusted my hours last minute to support a critical vacancy, instead of working nights I worked evenings. My leader said “I wasn’t expecting to see you” and asked me into his office. He pointed out that my schedule indicated I would be working nights. I pointed out he was looking at the wrong schedule. I was confused why he was even questioning my hour change, because he reported our critical needs on a staffing call. Other leaders call in last minute to work from home, why was I being questioned for an hour change? Reflecting on these last two weeks I’m feeling like I’m the only leader with a contingency plan and I am the only leader covering operational needs. All leaders have work to be managed. Thankfully I’ve learned some valuable tools in SCS and can schedule my time to get a ton of shit done. Out of 10 leaders, I’m the only one covering operational needs – a fact. Yet I volunteer ahead of time, never have to be asked, and find it odd that I’m the only one being held accountable, example of my leader pointing out the discrepancy in my schedule earlier on. Here’s my model:

C: Boss said “we may lose good leaders”
T: I must be a pawn he is willing to sacrifice
F: Disposable
A: Question leader why he’s not following through with what he’s saying, Tell myself no-one else is stepping up so I shouldn’t step up, Not focusing on how I really want to show up, Not creating a plan that will support my vision, my team and promote wellness
R: Not the best version of myself

It’s interesting to see that the thought “I must be a pawn he is willing to sacrifice” drives the outcome of me not as the best version of myself. In other words, if I’m not the best version of myself then I must be a version that even I would want to dispose (maybe). As a leader I’m exploring these models that come up and trying to understand how my Results are the Effect of other people’s models (my result is their circumstance). I can see where I have total agency in the model above. I can see that I’m making my boss’s “words” mean I’m a pawn and that it’s my thought that’s creating the feeling of disposable and therefore driving my actions, not him or what he had to say. But I want to look at this as a learning point, I too have had thoughts “I may lose very good employees” and I can guess at that having a similar effect on others as it did me. Although I have no control over what other’s make things mean, I do feel I’m responsible for creating an inclusive environment. So I’m just trying to figure out how to process models in a way that takes into account the effect my results have on other people’s models. This is with respect to leadership, I’m trying to apply and learn from this model as a way of being led and leading.