Friday, June 17, 2005

15 Mistaken Work Values

Today I had the opportunity to attend a meeting and hear my CFO speak. The hour long presentation that he gave was a presentation that he gave to his direct reports at the beginning of the year. Someone thought that it would be valuable for the business branch that my team supports to hear what he had to say. I was glad that I got to attend the meeting, as there were some interesting lessons to be learned. It was interesting to see the big picture as the CFO sees it. I wonder if at times, employees in the trenches simply haven’t been sufficiently motivated to understand what the big goals really are. The CFO’s presentation was clearly geared toward a management crowd, but many of the principles that he shared would apply equally as well to a manager as to a clerk. A point that he made over and over again was that people are much more likely to go along with change, if they understand why change is being made. It is important that people understand the corporate vision, so that everyone can work together as a team to make it happen.

Really the presentation made me think. I haven’t had the greatest of attitudes toward my employment in the last couple of weeks. It has been rough, and things haven’t exactly been going the way that I would wish them to. That doesn’t mean that I am in trouble, or even that I haven’t been doing my job, just that I would like for it to be different. In the presentation today, there was a laundry list of mistakes that people make which causes them to be less effective employees. I found it useful, so I thought that I would share it here.

  • Expecting that someone else will reduce your stress

  • Expending energy in resistance to change

  • Acting like a victim

  • Playing a new game by the old rules

  • Shooting for a low stress work setting

  • Trying to control that which is uncontrollable

  • Choosing your own pace of change

  • Failure to abandon the expendable

  • Slowing down the work

  • Being afraid of the future

  • Picking the wrong battles

  • Psychologically unplugging from your job

  • Avoiding new assignments

  • Trying to eliminate uncertainty and instability

  • Assuming that “caring management” should keep people comfortable


You may or may not agree with each of the above points but they are worth some consideration. It seems to me that a lot of the points are just the simple values that good employees should have; noting that it is important to remember that just about anything taken to the extreme can be a bad thing. It was informative for me to sit down and thing about where I rated myself with respect to the above list. I came out of the lecture feeling more empowered than I had been before, and feeling that much of my work happiness had to do with the way that I would choose to play the game. There are a lot of things that are beyond my control, but I can control how I choose to respond, and how I do the work that I am assigned.

Perspective adds a lot of value.

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