One of the biggest disappointments I get when I take a consulting job working with an organization is all the political work-arounds I have to deal with. It just drives me crazy. I usually get around it by telling myself that I am there short-term, I was hired to do a job, and that I will make a difference in the end.
This past week I observed a situation that, after reflecting on many frustrating incidences in the corporate world, made me realize that there are some ways to rise above all the game-playing and mind-numbing banalities. Ready?
The truly competent individual can be free of politics in an organization if he or she chooses. When you’re really good at what you do, you can rise above politics, and I’ve noticed that this is what the more successful people within a company have done. Be careful when engaging in water-cooler talk and “making plays.” It might be back-firing more than you think. Brain Tracy says, “It’s the mediocrities at work who have to play games and every study shows that although they sometimes succeed in the short-term, they invariably fail when everyone figures them out.” Looking back on previous situations I’ve been in, I’ll have to agree. But then I suppose “studies” prove themselves, don’t they?
So how can you become the competent, mediocre-less, on-the-way-up type that you want to be? Here are two things you can do to assure that you are in the right position.
Do What You Love To Do
Select your work carefully and if you don’t love what you’re doing enough to want to be the best at it, get out! It is rare to be successful at a job you don’t like. Enjoying your work and being good at it go hand-in-hand. More importantly, your work should excite you and cause you to jump out of bed in the morning. If it doesn’t, that’s a tip from your inner being that you’re not on the right path. Flee from the boring or unsatisfying job as you would from a burning building. Working at something you don’t care about is the very best way to waste your life. Remember, this life is not a rehearsal for something else. Love it; enjoy it – it’s what you came here to do! If you need help with finding your passion, try reading How to Decide What to Do with the Rest of Your Life.
Work for the Right Company
One key to getting onto the fast-track is for you to work for the right company and the right boss. The right company is one that respects its people and practices pay for performance. Our employees are on a bonus system that makes them partners in the practice. (Not from a liability standpoint, just from a profit-sharing perspective.) The right company is dynamic, growing, open to new ideas, and full of opportunities for people with ambition and initiative. If you’re happy with your work, but feel stuck in your career, maybe it’s time to steer or jump overboard. Listen to that voice that’s telling you to have faith and make a change; never listen to the voice of fear, and don’t make decisions based on fear either.
If necessary, find a new company, possibly one that is just starting up, that would appreciate your expertise. Be sure that there are lots of opportunities for you to grow, develop and advance in the company. Your future is too valuable to waste where there is no future for you.
Finally, it doesn’t take long of being in a corporate environment to make me want to throw up! Personally I prefer having my own business, making my own decisions, and the freedom to turn down business when I feel it is morally more right to do so. I believe America would be a much better place to work in general if we went back to the small, family-owned businesses of yester-year. Sure, family-owned businesses have their problems, too, but they are much easier overcome and our values were more in line with the well-being of all back then. I’ll be blogging about this more in the weeks to come. For today, your assignment is to think about the business you’re in and make some hard decisions if necessary. Do you love what you do and for whom you’re doing it? Or are you struggling to play the game? If you’re playing politics, you’re missing out on so much bliss!
Until next time,
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This post was written by Debra Moorhead, Motivation, Education, Inspiration on June 25, 2008