“I can’t tell my boss what I really think. I’d probably get fired.” I hear this lament too often from employees with legitimate concerns carrying potential impacts to the organization’s success. Personally, that thought hasn’t crossed my mind. If it needs to be said, I tend to say it (maybe a little too often). This situation made me realize there are ways that employees should act more like consultants and therefore experience the freedom that comes with it.
Laid-off? It’s your fault. Didn’t get the promotion you wanted? Guess what? That’s your fault as well. In a dead-end job? You get the idea. Where you are today is your fault. The reality is, our lives are the aggregate of the decisions we have made to this point. The good news? If it’s your fault, that means you have the power to change it. You are not some victim at the mercy of a corporate conspiracy. Here’s what you can do about it:
You’ve been lied to. How can we sleep at night lying to little kids? You can’t do anything you set your mind to, and more importantly, you shouldn’t try. I understand why we encourage this type of thinking: a large portion of the population is under-performing; they aren’t living up to their full potential. If people are told they can do anything they set their minds to, then they are more likely to try to do something. But for those of us who are trying to live to our full potential, this phrase can be detrimental to our success. Continue reading
I would like to continue with Part II of “Lessons from the Devil.” Miranda Priestly, so aptly played by Meryl Streep, is the epitome of what not to do as a leader. Runway’s success is built on fear tactics and power-hoarding. The writing is on the wall with companies like these. When the domineering leader leaves the company, it enters a sharp decline. An example of this is when Lee Iacocca left Ford. The company went from consistent growth to dismal performance. No one was prepared to fill his shoes.
Lead by gaining buy-in. Miranda Priestly leads through fear. The first scene at Runway shows Emily, Miranda’s assistant, receiving a call that Miranda is arriving at the office earlier than expected. Panic ensues and rightfully so. When Miranda interacts with her employees, it consists of berating them for their ineptitude, doling out orders, and bullying in general. Continue reading