Miserable Job

On page 53 of Bishop Will Willimon references Patrick Lencioni’s definition of makes a job miserable: “Lack of measurement. Lack of accountability. Anonymity.” I’ve read a few of Lencioni’s books, but not this one (Three Signs of a Miserable Job.) I suppose these features might characterize some miserable jobs. If I were asked the question, however, I’d put it differently.

1. A miserable job in which the things that you measure and count as important are not the same things the people you work with or those who have power over you count as important. The boss ruthlessly measures the bottom line: Where’s the money? You value the customers and their satisfaction. Both of these can be measured. They can even be compatible. But when expectations differ, misery abounds.

2. A miserable job is when you do what the boss or institution says is important, but discover that there are no positive consequences. Your work, apparently in line with what they desire, is unvalued. You might even discover that what is truly valued is something other than what they’ve told you to produce. That leads to a miserable job experience.

United Methodist pastors are, in at least some annual conferences, experiencing clearer articulation of which quantifiable goals they ought to be pursuing. They are being help more accountable for their productivity. Is this producing noticeably less misery?

How about you? Do you have any other things to add to tweak Willimon’s appropriation of Lencioni?

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