Many times, I found myself in a situation to deliver unpleasant news to people that I have managed. Sometimes even to hundreds of them. In a small number of cases the news was that they would lose their jobs. Usually, that was a decision coming from above. But, I was never just a messenger who is just forwarding an e-mail.
Among many different types of people that I have faced during my career, there’s one category I find the most challenging: people who are just interested in keeping their jobs.
In most cases, people aren’t even close to feeling safe enough to expose their weaknesses. Because, many bosses will misuse that. Maybe not because they are evil people, but because they don’t feel secure enough and they see their team members as threats or sometimes because they don’t have the capacity – emotional intelligence – to act differently. It’s much easier to attack and to push someone towards the edge (they call it stretching in HR nowadays), then to really understand one’s behaviour, motivation and work with it to get the best possible results.
A while ago I was listening in on a conversation between two prima donnas – world class opera singers – now in their late 80’s. I was immediately amazed by how vital they look for their age and also how fast and powerful their brains are. Comparing to some other, “ordinary” people at that age, they were so sharp and interesting to listen to.
Where you come from is equally important as where you are going to.
Setting up your short term or career goals is a very thoroughly discussed topic and I’m not going to elaborate it now. You can find some hints about it in my previous posts. Much more in all HR web sources.
I was occupied by the fact that I was very often unsatisfied with things that most people are very happy with. And yes, it might be because I’m snobbish or because (I think) I set extremely high goals for myself, but instead of indulging myself with labeling, I have figured out that this is much more related with previous experiences then personality. Personality plays a role of course, but experience is what sets our benchmarks and creating our idea of happiness and satisfaction.
I have realized that I’m still much better in theory then in practice when it comes to some of the topics I’m writing about. Especially work-life balance. It was clear to me before that I’m not good at this, for sure, but it became so obvious that I actually suck!
When I started analyzing why that is the case, I figured out it’s still the same old problem – I think that the world is going to stop if I stop.
Most of us would like to work with fantastic leaders. In practice, we end up with people managers. Those are the guys who are simply in a position above us and they manage a group of people to finish work on time with acceptable results. Depending on the stage of our career and the size of the company, above our managers there can be one, two or ten more people managers. Any maybe somewhere some leaders.
The biggest problem with talented people is the fact that during most of their lives they listen that they should behave as if they’re equal to others. I can imagine that those sophisticated educational systems like the one in Finland have a solution for this, but the rest of the world is a nightmare for talents.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting one interesting and entertaining lady who gave us a presentation about stress and connection between negative thinking and hormones, stress and health troubles, love and happiness… She is a medical doctor. And a researcher. And many more things.
When someone who was very ambitious and who was very keen on vertical progress in his/her career decides it’s time to let it go – in a way it’s comparable with a top athlete losing a leg or suffering a major career stopping injury.