The most dramatic symptom of our newly christened PTSD is the belief that “I can’t afford to be out of the office!” If you believe that this statement is true, “I can’t afford to be out of the office!” is at risk of becoming a mindset that hinders your ability to raise your visibility.
You may hate Bruce Willis and scowl anytime you see one of his movies advertised. You might love eating out for lunch and organize your schedule to ensure you make this happen. You may hate conflict and do everything you can to avoid a confrontation. Whatever your mindset may be, it is at risk of pre-determining how you interpret and respond to a situation.
Once “I can’t afford to be out of the office!” becomes your mindset, it becomes your way of interpreting and responding to opportunities to participate in your organization and industry. You start to believe you cannot get out of your office or workstation. You start to accept that you do not need to participate in activities at your organization in order to be successful. You stop looking for opportunities to participate. Your visibility evaporates.
It is not surprising that Carl has anchored himself to his desk chair with an invisible mindset chain. Carl believes he cannot afford to be out of his office, rationalizing that the work he has to do is preventing him from participating in activities at his organization. If you are like Carl, the “which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” metaphor is at work. Do you have the mindset that you are too busy to participate? Or, are you disinterested in participating and you are rationalizing that you cannot participate as you are too busy? Regardless of your answer, in today’s fast-paced and fast-changing organizations, you must have a mindset that supports participating in organization and industry activities.