One analogy I often use with clients involves Batman and Robin. To the unfamiliar, Batman is a superhero whose methods are effective but often controversial. Robin is best described either as his sidekick or his junior counterpart. Robin is frequently not happy with the methods chosen by Batman, but continues to support Batman unconditionally. Robin’s feelings are not a focal point for Batman, not because Batman doesn’t care, but because Batman’s mind is on much larger projects. If Robin was my client and he expressed this displeasure, I would say to him something like this:
“You do not agree with what he is doing and it is making you uncomfortable to support him. Right now you are choosing to go along with it and complain to me, and this is not your most empowering choice. I recommend you make one of three more empowering choices moving forward, either you can go along with it and stop complaining, you can try to enroll him in changing his behavior, or you can move on to do something else. I realize none of these three choices are within your immediate comfort zone, but you are not being your highest and best by doing nothing and complaining.”
A lot of people find ourselves in a situation like Robin. Many companies large and small started as the dream of someone, then while building their dream they hired others to help. Some of the employees may be in love with what they are doing, some may disagree completely. Great employers make an effort to enroll their employees, and the results are a much higher percentage of happy, productive people. If you disagree with what you are doing, you can do nothing and continue hating it, or you can do something about it. The fact of the matter is, the world is full of people who would love to be like Robin, but that doesn’t mean you have to be one of them. You can live your own dreams if you choose, but even if you don’t make this choice I highly recommend including your feelings in your decisions.
Live your dreams, or someone else will hire you to help build theirs. You owe no explanation to Batman if you do not want to be Robin.