Contribution Trumps Complaining

For those of you that don't have The Daily Drucker, here's something from a few days ago that really caught my attention.

The question what should I contribute? gives freedom because it gives responsibility.

The great majority of executives tend to focus downward. They are occupied with efforts rather than with results. They worry over what the organization and their superiors "owe" them and should do for them. As a results, they render themselves ineffectual. The effective executive focuses on contribution. He looks up from his work and outward toward goals. He asks: "What can I contribute that will significantly affect the performance and the results of the institution I serve?" His stress is on responsibility.

This is a direct indictment of me several years ago. I didn't think the companies I worked for owed me something extra, but I did spend as much time, if not more, trying to change the way things were done instead of focusing on where I could contribute. Is it bad to question how things are done? No. But it was bad for me to spend so much time worrying about it. Sometimes you have to play by the rules until you are in the position to change them. Focus your time and energy where you can actually make a difference.