If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.

For some reason, this has always been one of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut quotes… and Vonnegut has always been one of my favorite writers.

His unique perspective on the world was usually quite true, frequently hilarious and always insightful.

But this quote – of all things – is the one I have hitched my wagon to the tightest, and even today, every time I read it, I come away with a new perspective based on whatever that day has entailed.

In the past, it has reminded me just how important my work ethic truly is.

And yesterday, it reminded me that even though some days go by and I feel like I’m accomplishing very little… trudging to put one foot in front of the other in a swirling vortex of windbag-laden meetings, passive aggressive email strings, and lame-o, opinion-based debates that almost never result in even the slightest actionable next step… this quote can make me crack a brief smile and remember that my efforts and microscopic achievements on such a crappy day likely surpass that of the loud, business-speaky talker in the cube next to me, or the ineffective politicizer across the building from me.

Today, that quote means something entirely different. Today it reminds me just how much my company has achieved this year in four short weeks, and how at times we really do operate in a kingdom of the blind.

My stance will likely always be that any large corporation is lucky to consistently operate at a level of even “half-assed.” It’s true. We are simply too enamored with our own collective power and resulting egos to continue to enact significant change on a daily basis like a small company can. We are an oil tanker, not a speed boat.

While we certainly have room for improvement in so many areas, social media for one, we also have days when that one massive project comes to fruition and we emerge out of our lumbering giant shadow, stars align, and we reveal – even for a brief few moments – the formidable powerhouse we are to which most in our industry can’t hold a candle.

I enjoy those moments, and I fear we don’t pat ourselves on the back enough when those happen. We are too busy preparing for the next big crisis to toot our own horn, and because of it, we blend back into the kingdom of the perceived-to-be blind, regardless of whether or not our vision is perfectly…or at least half… clear.

I have one more microscopic chance to help make progress in that area this afternoon, just as I do most days, and I plan to do my best to do so.

But will a complete revolution ever come? One day will I be able to see, touch, feel or even just read the fruits of my labor?

At this point, with these glasses, all I know is that the future is quite blurry. But despite it all, I will focus on putting one foot in front of the other where my vision is clear, and continue to press on.

So it goes.


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