The urgency delusion of work…

Thursday, February 8, 2018 11:35 am

Nick Marvin | Former Perth Wildcats and Perth Lynx CEO

The immediacy of our work environments have had numerous positive and negative implications on how we perform.

One phenomenon, is the sense of urgency that has permeated everything we do in the work place. The addiction to ubiquitous screens endlessly screaming for our attention has only worsened our consciousness.


Family relaxing together

It has led to a delusion of self-importance – a false sense that the organisation simply will not function in our absence.

Our response to this has been to stay constantly connected and always on-call at work…to the detriment of our family life.


Conversely, the urgency of our role at home and its importance on our families is often understated. Apart from the occasional screaming baby, there are no constant beeps or flashing lights that tell us how much we are needed.


The 12-year-old son or daughter is not reminding you that you’ve worked late every night for two weeks in a row; that you’ve travelled most weekends for the last month; or that when you are home, you’re almost always on your phone and disengaged from the people around you.

The stark reality is that, despite the urgency delusion, you are replaceable at work.

Unexpected illness or injury, economy-driven lay-offs or just rapidly changing environments may all result in you being away from work – and somehow the organisation continues to exist…without you!

However, no one else can step in to fill your shoes as a father, mother, sister, brother, son our daughter at home. The frightening truth is that unglamorous as it may seem you are, in fact, irreplaceable at home.

Days, weeks, months and years silently ensue until a defining milestone reminds us of how misdirected our energies have been from the urgency delusion of the work place.


This article was originally posted on Nick Marvin’s Management articles as The urgency delusion of work.

Nick Marvin is a company director, management consultant, and author. Nick Marvin studied Business and Computing at Monash University and has an MBA from RMIT University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM) a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Turnaround Management Association. He was listed in the 100 Most Influential West Australians (2015 and 2016) and in 1991, he won Rolling Stone Magazine’s national writing award.

Marvin has been married to Leigh for almost 20 years; they have six children who are home-schooled. They attend daily mass at Victoria Park Catholic Church.

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