I am an organizational virus. My contribution to the cause is to complain. I know you have met me before, because I exist in most societal institutions. I am the person at your place of employment who gripes about everything from the work load to the way that the toilet paper is mounted in the restroom. And somehow I manage to worm my way into non-profit organizations that are trying to do something helpful in the community. I am the person who sits on the board of directors and whines about the things I perceive are not being accomplished.
And unfortunately I spread my viral germs at church too. I am that individual that wants things my way. (In the name of the Lord of course…) When things don’t go my way, I resort to complaining in a righteous sort of way. I don’t call it “complaining” at church. I use religious jargon that makes me appear that I am not really a virus. And sometimes I will fool you!
As an organizational virus, I love to prey on the weak and vulnerable. That is my specialty. When a group is struggling, I am far more effective. I can plow over a weakened leadership team like a Super Bowl bound offensive lineman. I see the vulnerable places in an institution faster than anyone. You would be wise to watch out for me, because I am anything but harmless.
What are you going to do with me? I should remind you that viral infections are deadly. When a person’s body is invaded with a virus, physicians take that very seriously. Doctors know intuitively that there is no such thing as a harmless virus. I know you would like to eradicate me completely, but that may not be possible. What can you do? Here are a few ideas:
• Hold me accountable for my words and actions. That means that chronic complaining will not be tolerated. Don’t hesitate to name my bad behavior.
• Don’t be a host. When I gripe at work, ignore me. Don’t host me by agreeing or being sympathetic.
• Force my hand. If I complain about the food, then put me in charge of the kitchen.
• Take away the reigns. Don’t allow me to control the future of the organization. In fact, reduce my power if necessary.
• When all else fails, remove me…. Take me off the board. Exercise discipline at the workplace. Deal with me forcefully. That could be the only language I understand.
Just remember…I am a virus. And a virus is a disease… You can love the person I inhabit, but don’t love me.
My desire is to destroy you. I am an organizational virus.