Stakeholders can kind of suck. They’ve each got a piece of you and they think it’s a synecdoche. What’s more they can’t believe it might be a synecdoche because you’re theirs. Just and only theirs.
From that they never have to make a pitch: stakeholders aren’t ever looking to recruit, they don’t care to make you feel good about the position you’re in. They’ve already got you and you aren’t going anywhere.
Stakeholders don’t measure, couldn’t matter in the slightest what else is going on and what it might demand. If they measured they’d have to acknowledge there are others in the mix, they’d have to count all the other stakeholders. Then they couldn’t look at that piece of you and believe that it was all they had to do to ask.
That’s not the end of it either. Stakeholders don’t care to listen to what you might be able to tell them about their request: about the time, about the money, about the opportunity cost or the bottom line. Their claim and its matching with outcomes is all that enters into the equation. Benefit is the only reportable that matters, fuck cost and analysis.
Sometimes stakeholders thank you and pat you on the head: well done buddy, great job they’ll say, having seen the prize and ignored the work. Stakeholders usually move on, to stake another claim, knowing that every well runs dry. And then you’re left listening to professional development podcasts about commitment and looking at the space where enthusiasm used to be.
I am reminded of Bruce Springsteen as stakeholders take stock of my labour: that ain’t oil that’s blood.