When I originally began writing a novel, I had not one but two job offers from interesting companies. Neither had anything to do with my creative pursuits, not directly. One was from a top IT consulting company. The other, a hedge fund, run by a geopolitical-economist billionaire and meditator known as the Steve Jobs of […]
Most of you wouldn’t take me for a biker. No, not a leather-jacket-wearing skull-and-cross-bones and tattoos biker, though if you knew me in college, I had a pierced nose and toured Rome on my uncle’s Harley.
I hate it when anyone starts a hiring pitch with some line about how the world is changing fast and how you need to hire highly “adaptable” people with “can do” attitudes who “fit the culture” of your company.
Not only is it a tired line, but I actually believe it is a failing sentiment. Do not get me wrong, I think most of us want to work in an environment where we evolve at a pace that is in line with our personal ambitions, and in line with the real needs of our peers, clients, and customers. But, we cannot lose sight of the fact that, for our health and happiness (both individually and collectively), we should evolve at a pace that is in line with nature.
We use the term “adaptable” with such absentmindedness these days that sometimes I think people forget we can adapt for better or for worse.
You’re sitting in a meeting when two influential colleagues hijack the conversation and turn it into a high stakes game of chicken with your project.
You’re not quite sure how you let it happen, but sheer terror emerges as you recognize overconfident people are loudly and speedily sharing semi-logical information. Yes, semi-logical: sh*t logic wrapped in a delicious layer of good logic.
If you let them continue, the phony information will spread like wildfire. If you interrupt, you’ll be a casualty of involuntary ego-cide, career death by egotistical recklessness. You don’t stop a tiger fight by sending Bambi in as a moderator.
I know an executive who makes his associates work 24/7. Oh, you know him, too? The arrogant, or ignorant, or insecure one who parallel-paths every workstream with the fast and loose inefficiency that makes you want to weep in your sleep?
But this story is not about him. This story is about you–the mid-level manager who gets sent in to do the dirty work whenever executive’s huevos are too full, and he doesn’t want to be seen as “the bad guy.”
Today you sit with a group of young, red-eyed associates. Your mandate is to yell. To teach these darling fledglings that blinking an eyelash on Saturday at midnight over a false deadline after enduring a grueling work week is unacceptable. In fact, no eyelash-batting shall be permitted. EVER. “Excellence demands unwavering focus.”
How do you approach it? What do you do?