Yesterday was a long day.

There are often days when I feel like I am the listening receptacle to the people I work with. I am often the leader on the team who gets the full download of feelings, issues, and problems. And I am often the person that is asked the question “Do you have a few minutes to talk?”

And I do.

Or I don’t. But I find the few minutes to talk when asked because I remember working my tail off, not being sure where we were headed, and not having anyone to talk to. So I listen. And I tell jokes. And I give pep talks. And occasionally hugs. But always…I listen.

Some days I wonder how I ended up with this job. In this career. This place where my desire to build cool shit comes together with the humans who build the cool shit. Many days I miss being the person making the decisions about the next thing being built. Many days I miss understanding the detailed architecture of what’s being built and having an expertise.

c43824d6cce3b98d2685c3a30d37e820I no longer have an expertise. I used to be a payments expert. I used to be a platform builder.

Now I am the builder of the people who build the things. And that job some days is a lot harder than I imagined it would be and a lot harder than I imagine my team thinks it is. Maybe it’s just harder for me. Maybe I just miss seeing my ideas come out the other side as products. Maybe I just miss being a doer and not a planner.

I do miss those things. No maybe about it.

And yet, we need listeners. The world needs listeners. The workplace needs listeners. Families need listeners.

So today I will listen. I will hear between the lines. I will extend myself. I will try to tell the truth while protecting the team from the chaos and ugliness that are in the decision making. I will be still in my own soul so that I can extend my extra space to those who need to use their words.

Today I will listen.

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