Saturday, January 29, 2011

I am an Organizational Virus

 I am an organizational virus. My contribution to the cause is to complain. I know you have met me before, because I exist in most societal institutions. I am the person at your place of employment who gripes about everything from the work load to the way that the toilet paper is mounted in the restroom. And somehow I manage to worm my way into non-profit organizations that are trying to do something helpful in the community. I am the person who sits on the board of directors and whines about the things I perceive are not being accomplished.

And unfortunately I spread my viral germs at church too. I am that individual that wants things my way. (In the name of the Lord of course…) When things don’t go my way, I resort to complaining in a righteous sort of way. I don’t call it “complaining” at church. I use religious jargon that makes me appear that I am not really a virus.  And sometimes I will fool you!


As an organizational virus, I love to prey on the weak and vulnerable. That is my specialty. When a group is struggling, I am far more effective. I can plow over a weakened leadership team like a Super Bowl bound offensive lineman. I see the vulnerable places in an institution faster than anyone. You would be wise to watch out for me, because I am anything but harmless.


What are you going to do with me? I should remind you that viral infections are deadly. When a person’s body is invaded with a virus, physicians take that very seriously. Doctors know intuitively that there is no such thing as a harmless virus. I know you would like to eradicate me completely, but that may not be possible. What can you do? Here are a few ideas:


Hold me accountable for my words and actions. That means that chronic complaining will not be tolerated. Don’t hesitate to name my bad behavior.
• Don’t be a host. When I gripe at work, ignore me. Don’t host me by agreeing or being sympathetic.
• Force my hand. If I complain about the food, then put me in charge of the kitchen.
• Take away the reigns. Don’t allow me to control the future of the organization. In fact, reduce my power if necessary.
When all else fails, remove me.... Take me off  the board. Exercise discipline at the workplace. Deal with me forcefully. That could be the only language I understand.

Just remember...I am a virus.  And a virus is a disease... You can love the person I inhabit, but don't love me.
My desire is to destroy you.  I am an organizational virus.

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