Friday, December 27, 2013

Set Your Goals with a Clear Line of Sight

You cannot count on your Bad Boss to help you advance your goals. If you’re not paying attention, your Bad Boss can sidetrack you from your goals, if not discourage you entirely from going after them.

It’s up to you to see to it that you stay on track, on target, on purpose with what’s important to you.

Business consultant Julie Winkle Guilioni, in a recent Lead Change Group post, suggested that one of the ways to make sure you accomplish your goals, is to tend to your “alignment.”

In her words, “Alignment – For goals to have power and drive a sustained focus, there must be a clear line of sight to what’s important to us. Lining individual goals up against department or organizational objectives can help paint us into the bigger picture and give our work greater meaning. But goals must also be aligned on a personal level. Do your goals reflect your values? Do they support you in achieving other important outcomes? Alignment on a personal and professional level will enhance goal achievement.”

Alignment is especially important when you’re up against the diversions a Bad Boss will constantly throw at you.

Get aligned with your values, the bigger picture of your life, and succeed!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Want Less Anxiety? Practice Compassionate Management With your Bad Boss

There’s a new movement afoot, “compassionate management,” headed by such business honchos, according to Bronwyn Fryer, as “eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, Bill Ford (yes, that Bill Ford), Karen May (VP of Talent at Google), and Linked In CEO Jeff Weiner top the bill. At TED, Karen Armstrongʼs talk about reviving the Golden Rule won the TED prize in 2009 and has given rise to a Charter for Compassion  signed by nearly 100,000 people…

At Wisdom 2.0, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner told the audience …[Compassion] requires spending the time to walk in someone elseʼs shoes — to understand what kind of baggage that person is bringing to work; what kinds of stresses sheʼs under; what her strengths and weaknesses are. In high-pressure environments, such a time investment is anathema to most of us. But such an investment is analogous to the work of a carpenter who carefully measures a piece of wood three times before cutting once: spending such “compassion time” with an employee, Weiner insists, pays off in that personʼs much greater efficiency, productivity and effectiveness (and obviates later regrets).”

How does compassion help you deal with a Bad Boss? Simple: putting yourself in someone else’s shoes almost immediately reduces the amount of anxiety and stress you feel around your Bad Boss.

When you feel less anxious and stressed, more of your brain power is available to focus on solutions, on tools and techniques such as those recommended in “Got A Bad Boss?” On advancing your career, rather than bemoaning your Bad Boss misery.

Don’t take my word for it: Itʼs not just altruism: as it turns out, companies that practice conscious capitalism perform ten times better than companies that donʼt.

You are your own “company.” As you practice personal “conscious capitalism” you too will perform better.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Got a Ghost Boss? Counter Your Boss’s Undermanagement by Taking Charge of Your Job

A Ghost Boss, one who is either literally always absent, or who is there in body, but who rarely offers any input, guidance, or actual management, is every bit as much a Bad Boss as one who screams, puts you down, or shovels all the work on you while taking all the glory.

Most of us recognize a Ghost Boss by that eerie sense that no one is home inside the Ghost, even as he or she stands there, gently smiling at us. Unfortunately, most of us don’t recognize how the Ghost’s undermanagement is a career killer.

Such bosses remind Greg McKeown, CEO of THIS Inc., a leadership and strategy design agency, of the comment Jim Hacker (the fictional politician in the English cult classic "Yes, Minister") made, when he said to his bureaucratic colleague, "You really are a wet blanket, Humphrey, you just go around stirring up apathy."

“These nice but somewhat absentee managers can continue to survive, unchecked for decades. At least a controlling boss who yells all the time gets noticed: they create acute pain and people complain. In contrast, the pain these nice "Neutralizers" produce is chronic. The pain is inflicted slowly, drip by drip. On any given day an employee can say, "Well, it's not so bad." They are, after all, nice. But the cumulative effect on your career can be dramatic.”

Be sharp. Be alert. Be aware.

When you feel that deadening effect on your morale of a Ghost Boss, don’t assume it’s not so bad because at least you’re not being yelled at. Take charge of your job! Take steps to manage your career. Get strategic on your own behalf, because it is guaranteed your Ghost Boss won’t lift a finger to help you get there.