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Making daily decisions without blame drives me nuts

I am a registered voter. What drives me nuts about politicians is their inability to make decisions. If not that, then it’s their ability to make poor decisions.

I am a capitalist consumer. What drives me nuts about business leaders is their inability to make good decisions. Because when they do make a good decision, it too often means good for them and not for me.

I am an employee working for pay. What drives me nuts about my employers is their inability to make workable decisions. Because their workable decisions invariably mean more work for me.

I am a functioning adult. What drives me nuts about being an adult is the number of daily decisions I must make. And how difficult it is to make the right one.

I wish someone would make decisions for me, someone who won’t go nuts when I blame them for poor decisions.


Every hostile work place has a bully at the top

The typical organization is a hierarchy of imbalanced power, which makes it a perfect bully factory. Unless the leaders stop it. And most sensible leaders do prevent it because they know that corporate bullying makes your best people disappear.

But what if top leader is the bully? I once joined a company of really nice people, except for the guy at the top. Too late I realized that everyone worked so well together because they had a common enemy – their Great Leader.

This man was rather a short chappie, whereas his executives were less challenged in the height department. So how did he manage to bully bigger bosses? Think Napoleon! He wasn’t strong physically, but he was strong mentally. He understood that emotional and verbal bullying are often more effective.

Yet he did not understand that we lower down saw the hostile work environment as a failure of leadership – his leadership.

The Shrinking Leadership Syndrome is not on vacation

What are your vacation plans? What! Only taking a couple of days off? Surely not. You know that it takes at least five days just to begin to unwind.

Never mind, you’re not alone. American workers take fewer vacations than people in nearly every industrial nation.

Like all odd behaviors, this one has a name. It’s called ‘shrinking-vacation syndrome’.

If you ask me, it’s the shrinking self-confidence syndrome. Do you really think your job will disappear if you disappear for two weeks?

It’s nonsense that you can’t leave your job for a well-deserved rest. And it’s plain stupid not to see the need to recharge your batteries. Even your laptop knows that!

But your boss seemingly does not. A boss from my past insisted that I take two weeks off in one go. If you tried that today, your boss might insist that you stay away. I call that shrinking-leadership syndrome.

On the downhill to sticky success

Here is an important message from Nonsense At Work. The name of the month is July and the number of the month is seven.

Do you know what that means? From here it’s downhill all the way to December 31st. And do you know what happens on December 31st? You will once again be making the same resolutions that did not stick this year.

But wait! You still have five months and a bit. So try this trick to make them stick. Imagine it is already December of this year and you are looking back on a successful year. Describe in detail what that success looks like to you.

Now, look back in time and note what you did, what you had to do, to create that success. What steps do you think you had to take (did take in your mind) to create that success? Write them down. Now come back to today, here in July, and start doing those very things.

That’s how you create sticky success on the downhill to December. And how you turn resolutions into done-just-in-time.

Parents must teach shades of gray

With many kids on school vacation, I wish to remind all parents to ‘teach your children well.’ By well I mean what matters. Teachers cannot do that. Only you can.

Teachers are paid to teach the things with known right answers. Surely you remember — much of what you had to learn at school you knew had one right answer. The aim of the game as taught by your teacher was for you to memorize that one right answer.

Then you left school and discovered, to your surprise, that most of the things that happen and matter in the real world do not actually have only one right answer. Yes, often one answer does produce really good results, but more often many answers produce totally acceptable outcomes.

And yet, imagine the public outcry if teachers dared to deviate from black and white to ambiguity. That’s why parents matter – to teach us shades of gray.