there are minutes, and hours, and sometimes even days, when i feel like i’m pretty good at my job. or, maybe i should say: there are minutes, and hours, and sometimes even days when i don’t really think about it, so lull myself into thinking that “i’m the man!”
then, there are the other times, when i feel like a poser, like i’m over my head, like i’m totally under-qualified and not smart enough. i feel like a little kid who somehow got into an adult world, and no one has noticed yet — or, they’ve noticed, but are being nice.
the last week has been a full week of feeling like an imposter, or poser, or a “who the heck let this guy in here” series of moments.
the feeling started at the end of last week, as i struggled (and still am) with the reality that the staff of ys are extremely weary. everyone’s working at 120% (or more), and we’re struggling a bit financially. if we were doing really well and working hard, it might feel ok. but the weariness is setting in deeply, and morale is low. and i don’t have a clue what to do about it.
in the midst of this realization, i was spending 12 – 15 hour days myself, preparing a one-year plan (on one page) for my boss, and a 3-year plan to present to my boss’s boss. and, i am just SO not a business man. talking about finances and growth (especially when we’re not growing), putting together charts and graphs — well, let’s just say i felt a bit like i would be the little kid coming home with my pretty pictures, saying “look what i drew, mommy.”
sunday, i flew to grand rapids, and monday and tuesday were spent with the leadership team of zondervan, of which i am a part. i’m not saying i don’t contribute anything — they’re all really nice and tell me i add to the group. but they all just seem so smart. i play my little gadfly role, and try to keep my “well, what we do at YS is…” comments to a minimum. really, it was a good two days, and i love the people i work with there — but i did regularly have that feeling of “who let me in this room?” and “when are they going to discover that i’m a junior high pastor, not an executive.”
wednesday morning, i spoke to 100 professional youth workers at a nice breakfast hosted by baker book house. again — great time. but (and, maybe it was the experience of the previous two days), i left feeling like, what qualifies me to be the guy up front speaking? just my title? a title i have because a quirky dude named yaconelli chose to bestow it to me?
wednesday afternoon i sat in a long meeting with a few zondervan execs, a few fox execs, a harpercollins exec, and a couple others, about an initiative we’re working on. what the heck?
and the ultimate was thursday morning, when i sat with the ceo of harpercollins and my boss, the ceo of zondervan, and talked for an hour (with my pretty charts and graphs, all ready to be pinned to a refrigerator with a “look what markie drew!” magnet) about the future of ys. the meeting went well, as did all the others; but i left with that overwhelming “how in the world did i get here?” feeling. this all came together in my little tired mind on the flight home yesterday afternoon.
don’t misread this: i’m not getting all down on myself, or saying i suck, or asking for any pats on the back. i’m just trying to be transparent about the regularity of the feeling i experienced this week.