One of the biggest blows to one’s ego is watching the work one has done be supplanted by another’s vision. This always happens when you leave one job, and I’ve often felt a little guilty over the “blame the predecessor” game that goes on when jobs change hands. Watching (via twitter and personal blog posts) and hearing friend’s reactions to what’s happened in their schools – to the collection, to the website, to the program – after they left their posts has been instructive.
This is the second time I’ve left a position where I worked hard to create a collection and program that were creative, collaborative and met the school’s needs. My vision wasn’t completely fulfilled when I walked out the door for the last time (thanks to lack of money or administrative/colleague support, and even my own ability to do what I’d thought was possible), and it rankled that someone else would reap the benefits of my work – or dismantle it completely. The most difficult piece is getting over myself, recognizing that others have a vision, too.
Having had a few months to reflect and revisit triumphs and failures, I’m definitely “over” myself. In a recent conversation with a good friend about one library I worked in, the good and bad of both my and my successor’s regimes were discussed – a great reality check. And what a pity we couldn’t work together, blending our strengths and balancing our weaknesses to provide a great program. Being able to learn from peers is a blessing, but a bigger blessing is having the opportunity to learn from your own past performance long enough after the fact to not have ego about it.
And what a great way to move forward, with a clear idea about the good and bad and the ability to capitalize on the former while minimizing the latter. Here’s to a 2012 that provides more such opportunities.