Sunday, December 25, 2016


From Laurie:
Are you familiar with the work of this guy? The article made me think of your blog title.
Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead?
No I am not familiar with this individual, however I agree with his comments.  About 20 some years ago I set a simple set of goals for my work life:

  1. Do my job.
  2. Learn new things.
  3. Help others to learn new things.
And to this day that is how my yearly performance plans are written.

A related concept that I whole heartedly support is Servant Leadership.  It is part of why I lost that job 4 years ago... An upper manager who was transferred in was a hardcore "Traditional Hierarchical Leader". (ie my way or the highway)  Needless to say that I did not mix well with a guy who set arbitrary goals and bashed employees when they were not met... Thankfully for my ex-coworkers he was retired soon after...  But too late for me.

Also, Arbinger Institute is one of my favorite author groups and I am reading their latest book. "The Outward Mindset".  This encourages similar concepts.


Laurie said...

I actually share your advice number 2- learn new things- with my children one of whom is still in college and one who has been working as an accountant for a year now. The accountant is already ready to go in a new direction by quitting his job and attending a coding boot camp this summer.

The younger son just got a huge assist in learning new things by a friend's mother who was very instrumental in getting him an internship with a terrific company next summer.

How are your children doing in getting their college education and starting careers? Isn't one of them interested in education?

jerrye92002 said...

I have found "servant leadership" to be indispensable to getting things done. I had a boss many years ago who told me, "the guy who walks into a meeting with it all on paper is going to walk out with 95% of it." If you enjoy doing something, are reasonably good at it and are willing to do the work, most people are going to LET you rather than have to think it all through for themselves. One example was what we used to call "ego-less programming." That is, you put your code up before your peers and they found all the flaws in it, and you fixed them without getting bent out of shape about it. As Reagan said, "It's amazing how much you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the credit."

I'm a bit surprised that you lost your job over it, though. My experience in working with difficult people (though some are irredeemable, as it sounds yours may have been) is that you do the work well, let the boss take the credit, and eventually they come to rely on you and trust you to do it well without (and indeed better without) their interference. And I suppose the key to happiness may be knowing that something good came from the work you did, regardless of whose name is on it. I often go to lengths NOT to have my name on it. I don't want to be the leader or manager, it's too much extra work. As I told my old boss, "It works out really well because, while you are on the carpet explaining to the brass why it isn't working, I can be back in the shop making it work."

John said...

Oldest changed from Chem Engr to Accounting / Finance and will graduate in the Summer of 2017. Second is is still undecided after 1 semester.

The problem with hard core top down Managers is that often they are obsessed with micromanaging. I am fine with top down Managers who stay out of the way. This gentleman liked to demand unattainable arbitrary results, direct people to fix non-problems, etc. Part of why they had to let about 20 people go who had 15+ years experience was that him and his boss screwed up so bad that that we had a year end revenue problem. And of course the easiest way to solve that if you are a short term egotistical manager is to fire the expensive mid-level experienced people who disagree with you.

jerrye92002 said...

I was fortunate enough to have managers who understood that my job was to make them look good, and their job was to enable me to do that. One of them told me that he wanted to move up in the organization, but the only way he could do that was if he had somebody already able to take his job. And finally, one who told me how valuable I was to him, and then reminded me, "But if you get to thinking you are indispensable, it is my job to convince you you are not."

John said...

Thankfully most of my Managers have been easier to work with. :-)