Tag Archives: workforce

4 Signs You’re Not Leadership Material

23 Mar

leadership material

I don’t know who came up with this extremely popular notion of promoting employees into leadership positions based on tenure, but to whoever’s responsible..stupid idea, bro.

The truth of the matter is this…

NOT EVERYONE’S LEADERSHIP MATERIAL…

And that’s okay!

Just because you’re a genius in your field…

Just because you’ve been at your job for twenty-some odd years…

It doesn’t mean you have to have direct reports. 

It takes really particular skills to be a manager.

Heck- it takes a whole lot of patience too.

And for that reason, throughout my career I’ve been absolutely dumfounded when I’ve seen some not-so-leadership-material employees placed in managerial positions.

Let me say it again.

IT’S NOT FOR EVERYONE!

And like I said…that’s okay.

You can still be a genius.

You can still be kick-ass at your job.

But if you’re not leadership material, please, for God’s sake…don’t make other people suffer. 

Now some of you may be wondering whether or not you’re leadership material.

(But really…those of you who aren’t…you probably already know that.)

Just in case though…to clarify this for everyone…here are 4 Signs that You’re Not Leadership Material.

1. You Have Zero Social Skills/You Hate People

People say hi to you and you stare at them, but you don’t say hi back. You don’t hold doors open for people 5 centimeters behind you. You know…basic courtesy kind of stuff.

If you’re the kind of person who avoids social situations at all costs and really doesn’t want to be troubled with interpersonal relationships, then that’s fine…but you have no business managing others. This is pretty self-explanitory.

2. You Don’t Like It When People Ask You Questions

Questions annoy you. When people ask you dumb questions that you think they ought to know the answers to, you think they’re stupid…you think that they are mentally challenged. Every time that someone asks you a question, you feel that they’re taking time away from you doing your own work. Open door policy? Forget that! Locked door policy is what you’d implement…peace and quiet is what you need.

Good managers want their employees to feel comfortable coming to them whenever they have questions. And the reality is, good employees do ask a lot of questions. Managers need to accept that part of their job is helping out their direct reports, and they shouldn’t make them feel bad about seeking that support.

3. You Couldn’t Care Less if Your Team is Motivated/Inspired

You’re sure as hell no cheerleader. You don’t think it’s your job to motivate those around you. You’re here to get a job done and everyone should be on the same page as you.

FALSE. Managers need to be cheerleaders. If it’s not written in the job description, someone’s lying to you. If you want your team to work well and to perform to the best of its ability, you’ll need to take out those metaphorical pom-poms at times and inspire your people. Because let’s face it, there are times at any job when morale is low. And when morale is low, not a whole lot of work gets done. Teams that get out of that slump are the teams who have great leaders, and believe me, they’re super grateful for that. Look into it…they call it transformational leadership. 

4. You Want to Punch Positive People in the Face

You hate it when people smile. You hate it when you come to work Monday morning and people are actually happy. What the heck is wrong with them? They ought to be a bit less peppy.

If you’re a negative Nancy, you have no business managing others. You need to be a positive influence, and people need to actually enjoy being around you. Do you have to do backflips everyday and sing songs? No. But you should strive to be a positive role model for others and part of that means helping others see the bright side of things regardless of how bad any work situation is.

***Now it’s your turn…what else makes someone not leadership material?

Other stuff you might like:

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Why NOT Taking Time Off Is Stupid

11 Nov
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motivateddecor.wordpress.com

Some people never take vacation.

Worse yet, some people complain when OTHER people take vacation.

time off

The belief, these days, in the lovely corporate world -which P.S. I have no patience for- is that if your butt isn’t glued to your desk Monday-Friday 8 hours a day, you’re not a hard worker.

It’s a concept so sad that just thinking about it makes me want to cry.

Then, it makes me want to punch someone.

In the face.

Repeatedly.

We’ve somehow gotten to the point where people are scared of taking vacation. People are scared of taking time off.

Why?

Because they’re afraid that if they do, they’ll be considered a slacker.

There’s Amy…she’s going on a cruise next week…OBVIOUSLY she’s not very committed to her job.

*Shake my head*

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that it’s very possible to be a hard-working super-awesome employee

AND

Someone who enjoys using their allotted vacation time.

It’s a beautiful concept, work-life balance.

Some people really ought to try it.

You know, I’m pretty sure we can go to work and be efficient and get things done and STILL have time for a life.

STILL have time for ourselves.

And STILL have time for our families.

I don’t think we should have to choose between work and a life, and I certainly don’t think we should have to feel guilty about it.

So now that the holidays are quickly approaching, talk to your boss about taking a few days off.

Even if it’s just one day.

Eat.

Travel.

See new things.

Enjoy a quiet day by yourself to unwind.

Make time for your family.

Make time for your friends.

Laugh at something ridiculous.

Yes, it’s important to do good work.

But it’s important to do good life too.

Other stuff you might like:

 

In A Super Negative World, Challenge Yourself to Stay Positive

10 Sep

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Today’s guest post was written by Colleen Garvin. She’s really quite wonderful and her message is a great one: all this negativity….it’s killing us. So let’s try to look on the bright side. Let’s try to be optimistic, and make a difference at work. Because doing anything other than that, is kind of terrible. Enjoy!

**************************************************************

“I’ve been here for a decade”

“We’ve tried that before”

 “Oh just wait, you’ll become jaded”

“That’s cute… how optimistic you are..”

“That’s what we did and it didn’t work so we can’t try that again”

 “That’s the future, that’s not now”

 “We don’t want to be overly ambitious”

OR

“Push through it!”

“Don’t give in to the drama”

“Work your ass off and you will see results”

“If you don’t like something, change it!”

“If it didn’t work before, learn from the mistake and take a new approach”

 “Everything can be improved, including yourself”

Welcome to the professional world of an individual born in the late 80’s!

1988 to be exact. I am one of those people who was definitely over extended in my collegiate career and wanted to make sure I was doing everything correctly. I graduated in 4 years exactly after being in charge of two major college groups and was immediately placed in a corporate position. I was given more projects than my pay grade simply because I wanted them; I asked for them. The worst thing you can do is bore me.

You know what I wasn’t expecting on those collegiate evenings? A slew of negativity that would come from “experienced” workers. The quotes provided are real, legitimate things coworkers have said to me in meetings, one-on-one meetings, via email and on the phone over the past 3 years. I think there needs to be the same button that you have in Taboo, when you say the “no-no” words on the topic card? Someone says something to the effect of “we tried that before” and they should get buzzed. Unless you are going to say “we tried that before, here were our barriers, here is my idea how to move past them and make this approach successful”… save it! You are not adding anything to the table except negativity. Take your negativity and get to walking.

Don’t you remember your very first day at your “grown up job”? You were excited and optimistic.

You didn’t know about the drama…you didn’t know that your coworkers would end up acting as mature as second graders.

It’s important.. correction… IMPERATIVE…to foster that newness… that bright-eyed-bushy-tailed feeling from the day you had your I.D. badge picture taken.

It’s easier said than done. The more you’re exposed to negativity, the more your optimism shield may start to disintegrate.

There’s one thing to really keep in mind: you’re allowed to have a bad day.  Unless you’re a super hero, you’re not going to save the world every single day. However, you’ll have moments of greatness that’ll get you through the other times where yes, you indeed need to spend 4 hours [insert mind numbing topic here].

Regardless of how terrible your situation, challenge yourself to stay positive.

When someone starts to complain about corporate life or about, in my world, doctors, listen… but don’t commiserate with them. Let them vent, some people (including you) need that occasionally. The tactic that works better than simply adding to the list of “things at work that piss me off,” is to listen, empathize and maybe offer some advice. That way your coworker is able to let out their frustrations as well as find some clarity.

Never let anyone tell you to not be ambitious, always be ambitious. If you fail, you learn. If you do fail, try to figure out why something failed and maybe come up with a few ideas to make it better the next time.

If not, 20 years from now you’ll be sitting in a board room and a 20 something with a fresh I.D. badge will start to say that they want to start a project and your response will be… “We tried that before.”

Then, your 20 something self will want to kick you in the ass.

So what’s the point here?

Foster the newness and continue on the road of optimism. Your optimistic, 40-something year old self will appreciate that you started practicing that a long time ago.

Colleen Garvin is a 25 year old manager, working at a Children’s Hospital in Quality Improvement. Her coworkers like to remind her that they have children her age and older! She’s learned that age discrimination is definitely something most recent-grads will face…but she’s certainly dealing with it well. Follow her on Twitter @ColGarv.

4 Day Work Week…Would It Really Be So Bad?

20 Mar

friday

The workforce is a scary place right now.

Really, it is.

For those unemployed, it seems like it’ll take a miracle of God to find a job.

And for those of us who DO have jobs, we hope and we pray that we’ll be able to keep them.

Even GREAT organizations…even organizations that have been recognized for their financial stability… right now, they’re having to deal with not-so-great stuff like budget cuts and layoffs.

Take a look at the equation below, it’s pretty simple.

Budget cuts + fear of layoffs = unhappy, scared, & unproductive employees

Ask any employer.

I was thinking about this yesterday because I came across the term “Furlough Fridays.”

For those of you who don’t know, the term “furlough” is essentially a leave of absence, a vacation, a holiday. You’ll hear this term a lot these days because many government employers are implementing “furloughs”.

They’re mandating that employees take time off work….with no pay.

Basically, they don’t have money to pay you…so you need to go home.

NOT COOL.

So then I started thinking about it…what would happen if I had Fridays off because my employer couldn’t afford to pay me?

Would the extra time off be worth the pay cut?

And so I came to the conculsion that for some people, it WOULD be worth it.

I’ve written a lot about Gen Y and how we’ve pretty much redefined what success looks like.

Instead of spending our entire lives devoted to a job, 70+ hours a week, we want time to spend with our familes and our friends.

We want time to pursue our other interests, our other hobbies.

We want time to travel.

But we give up a lot of this time because we need to make ends meet. We need to pay rent.

More often than not, a part-time job just won’t pay the bills.

But on the other hand, a full-time job usually leaves us exhausted, with no time to enjoy the other aspects of life that we’re interested in.

But what about an extra day off every week? What about an extra day off every TWO weeks?

I think some people would love that.

Now I’m not trying to say that all employers should send their employees home every Friday. I’m not trying to say that employees should be paid less.

What I AM trying to say is that in SOME situations, rather than having to lay off employees, the budget could possibly be reduced by allowing employees the option of working a few days less each month.

At a time when employers are trying to cut budgets while avoiding at all costs having to lay off employees, I think it might be a good time to think outside the box.

I think we’d be surprised by how many people would jump at the chance to have a little more time off.

To have an extra day to spend with their kids.

To have an extra day to run errands.

To have an extra day to go away for the weekend.

It’s not feasible for all employers. It’s not feasible for all employees.

But in some situations, I think it is.

And I certainly think it’s a much better option than having to lay off employees.

Because laying off employees kills morale.

It kills morale and it can destroy an organization’s culture in two seconds.

But allowing employees to have an extra day of freedom…

That might just do the complete opposite.

Something to think about…

How to Get Along With Older Coworkers

17 Apr

Okay, I’ve said it before…being the youngest person in the office SUCKS.

It’s been tough, working in an environment where most people are even older than my parents.

For any of you that can relate, you know how easy it is to sit around complaining about how terrible it is, sulking in your forever alone-ness. That’s what I did for a while. But then it came to a point where I was like you know what? I have to deal with these people for 40 hours a week so let me see how I can get these people to like me.

Here are some things I tried…

1. Make them think they’re geniuses. Even if they’re not.  In general, older workers have a difficult time adapting to new employees, in particular, new YOUNG employees. Us college grads enter the workforce and we’re automatically perceived as those bratty kids that think they know it all. And so, a lot of older workers don’t like us. Some of them are  insecure and feel that we’re going to steal their jobs. Some feel that they have something to prove. Others are just mean. (If you’re one of these people, please do everyone a favor and go take a vacation…just saying). So let them think they’re awesome. Tell them they’re awesome.  Reach out to your older coworkers and make sure that they feel that you value their wisdom. It’ll make them feel important and they’ll be less likely to hate you.

2. Find something you have in common. Working with people twice and three times your age is um…not really fun sometimes. Why? Because it’s hard to find common interests. Let’s see…Grandkids? Negative. House? Negative. Cooking? Negative (but I’m learning). Perhaps I’ll just complain about how much homework my non-existant children have. 

I do have a cat though and yes, he’s a  model…

So I’d talk about my cat with my coworkers. And for a while, that’s about all I had in common with these people. I spent weeks trying to figure out what the heck else I could talk about. Then I found something that I had in common with about 97% of the people in my office!!!! I was so happy I could cry! What was it? What’s this bond that we all share that makes me feel like I have something to talk about with the people I spend all day with?!?!?

I can crochet.

Don’t judge me…I learned how to crochet blankets in high school. We would make them and donate them to kids with Cancer. And yes, it was a very cool thing to do, thank you very much. God, I feel old now. But you see, point is that regardless of how completely different you think you are from everyone else you work with, if you look hard enough, I’m sure you can find at least ONE common interest. But please, don’t pop out a baby just so you have something to talk about with your coworkers.

3. Ask them about their youth. One of the things I’ve discovered while working with people much older than me is that for some reason, they tend to love sharing stories from when they were young. They like telling you that when they were teenagers they dated guys 10 years older than them. They like telling you that they used to sneak out of their houses to party. They like telling you about the time that they drove home completely wasted and stumbled into their bed and are somehow miraculously alive to tell the story. Whether it makes them feel young again, or whether they’re simply trying to relate to you, either way, it’s not a bad thing. So just listen to their stories. Ask them questions. Some of them could be interesting and you might actually end up learning a thing or two about life.

4. When all else fails, bring them food. Everyone likes free food. It’s hard to NOT like the person in the office that brings the free food. For that reason, I tend to bring in breakfast a lot. So do this and people will  love you… Until they see you stuffing 3 donuts in your mouth and then feel the need to make some resentful remark about how you should enjoy your fast metabolism now, while you still can.

Working in a multigenerational workforce can be kind of awkward at times. So make an effort to move past generational differences and stereotypes. Because I think that if we do this, if we let go of the resentment and ill feelings, we’ll find that we can all learn a lot from each other.

I promise, we’re not as awful as you think.

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