32 – Deeper Water.

Posted by Whistler                                                                                          230 words

deep water

I posted some weeks ago on whether or not local government is a country song. It started me thinking about the connection between popular culture and working in local government. In the Paul Kelly song ‘Deeper Water’ he describes the process of growing up and becoming an adult through a series of images beginning with the child guided into deeper water in the security of an adult’s company; the adolescent getting out of their depth in order to grow up; the young adult being taken into deeper water by life’s inevitable events only to discover they are now out of their depth; and finally, dealing with death and moving through the waves to calm water.

In many ways the story parallels our growth and development as professionals. We begin conscious that we don’t know what we are doing but having a go in the knowledge that you are supported by more experienced colleagues. We then start to take risks in trying out our own ideas and testing our ability in new situations. If we don’t do this we will always remain dependent on others. Then we realise we are competent and capable and we have to step up and accept responsibility. The challenge becomes delivering, not mastering. Finally, we move beyond the turbulence of learning and practising to understand the deeper meaning of what we are doing. The patterns underpinning our professional life have become apparent to us. We now know how to act effectively to change and improve what we are doing.

If we are lucky.  Some of us are just out of our depth.