Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job

The Three Signs of a Miserable Job by Patrick Lencioni

I need books like this for great reminders of how to keep it simple. Have you experienced or are you experiencing any of these 3 things in your workplace?

Anonymity: Do you feel like your manager doesn't know squat about you? Your co-workers? If you feel like a number or no one cares anything beyond what you get done at work.... you might be miserable.

Irrelevant: Do you feel like you're simply digging holes and filling them up again? Is what you're doing making a difference? Who are you impacting? Do you have "Office Space" moments on a regular basis? If you don't understand who, how, and what you're doing that is making an impact, easing a load, etc... you too might be miserable.

Immeasurable: Do you know what success looks like in your position? Do you know when you're knocking the ball out of the park or is it simply "subjective" to your boss or manager? Working for extended periods of time and not knowing if you're winning or not can be extremely unsettling... Are you measured? How?

Here were a few quick takaways from this easy-to-read, quickie:

  • I want to genuinely get to know my team, not in a lame, fake way- but truly listen and do life with my team- for many of our consultants, it's as if they're self-employed... they do there work (remote many days) log their time and roll-up billing.... But what do we really know about their families, hobbies, or other interests or beliefs?

  • I guess I've missed this, but the way that people help "me", take the load off, etc.. can be expressed better than a simple "thank you". Telling my team "how" they are actually making it easier for me to do my job and impact my life actually brings some relevance to what they do. Every day I want to find ways to remind people how they're making an impact either for me directly or for our company/team...
  • Generally our consultants are easily measured in billable time and sales is measured by specific targets. However, our admin team, customer service manager, and myself aren't measured as well. This will be a good topic of discussion for our management team to brainstorm about... How do you measure success for your admin team? I'd love to hear some ideas...

As a manager, these three nuggets are easy and actionable to keep in front of us- If you're not a manager and simply find your job miserable, think of the reverse of these three items... can you engage with people on your team to get to know them? Can you find ways your position makes an impact and how you can measure yourself? If you have a poor manager, sometimes taking control of what you can control can make a difference in your own perspectives...

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