This week’s word, nascent, is filled to the brim with newness. It comes from the Latin word nasci meaning to be born. Nascent is an adjective meaning beginning to exist; recently formed or developed. I enjoy gardening, so I think of this word as a tiny little sprout breaking out of a seed, frail, but full of possibilities, just beginning to exist.
“Why in the world did Mr. Richards put ME in charge when he left so suddenly for that trip to Europe? I’m not qualified for this. I didn’t ask for it.” Tom moaned and slumped in his desk chair, distractedly massaging his temples in worried circles.
“He wants to make sure the project is done right,” Ron replied. “We’ve got clients waiting for results and their expectations are high.”
“Added pressure. Thanks for the reminder. You’re a peach,” Tom replied wryly.
“Say what you want, but it’s a complement. You’ve got a good eye for what this project should and shouldn’t be.”
“Maybe. But we’re both well aware of what I DON’T have. I don’t have the skills to communicate what needs to be done. I’m much to wishy-washy. I know what needs to be done, in my head I can see it, but it always sounds harsh, so I beat around the bush and nobody listens. When I talk, people aren’t exactly affected. You know? They just glaze over.−Yes! just like that!−Thank you for the demonstration. Geez, Ron. I thought you were my friend. But case in point, I might as well not even open my mouth.”
“You worry too much and drag on and on before getting to your point, but you’ll figure it out. You just need to be more assertive. Be clear. Be bold. Be blunt. Threaten a little if you need to. Whatever gets the job done. You’re the boss for a few days. You can’t be intimidated by the people you’re supervising. They’re counting on you to provide answers, direction, stability. Hey, why not do a little role-playing? Pretend that I’m…”
Footsteps at the door interrupted Ron’s pep talk. Knock, knock.
“Even better!” Ron exclaimed quietly. He gestured silently at the door and leaned over Tom’s desk. “If they’re here to talk about the project, be direct and clear. Are you ready?” he added in a rushed whisper.
Tom swallowed and nodded.
The door opened and a young girl entered apprehensively, a couple of papers in hand.
“I have something for you to look over, Mr. Black. It’s the outline for the Watterson presentation.”
“Ah, excellent! Thank you so very… Tom’s voice faded off as he traced his pointer finger down the scant page. “Outline? Is that what you call this these days? This is nothing more than a couple scattered ideas! You want me to give this bogus to Mr. Watterson? I requested a full-fledged, point-by-point plan! Tell your team, that if anyone wanders in again with another nascent idea, and tries to tell me it’s a well thought out plan, he’s off this job! You hear me? Fired!”
The stunned underling backed slowly up to the door, then quickly turned and rushed through it.
“So? How was that? I was straightforward, assertive, and left quite an impact, I think! I doubt I’ll get another shoddy, half-finished assignment any time soon.” Tom chuckled triumphantly. “I just may have what it takes to get this done after all! Ron?”
“Wow… Boss, I’m stunned. Truly, I am. That was… Well, it certainly was concise and assertive. And you made your point clearly, there’s no denying that. I also applaud your enthusiasm−absolutely blew my expectations out of the water− but do you think you mighta overdone it? You know, just a tad? This isn’t a life and death situation, after all. We market kitchen sponges; we aren’t looking for a cure for Ebola. Besides, I think you just made that intern cry…”
Tom sighed. “Back to square one. So, about that role-playing idea?”
“That’s probably a good place to start…”