When to Surrender and Take One for the Team As in life, people who never compromise, volunteer, or surrender their own wishes and needs to those of others—well, they might be successful but they surely aren’t popular. And frankly, I doubt they are all that successful either. Purely pragmatically, it is in your best interest to be seen as someone who will take one for the team. Your colleagues like you more and are more likely to help out when...

Are You the Fall Guy for Your Team? Being the fall guy has a negative connotation. It can mean dupe but it can also mean taking on an unpalatable task to help your team. Let’s look at an example. You work in a large company with a history of developing its people, but upheavals in the industry have meant cutbacks of all kinds. You’ve been in your job for two years and, every year, the company allows your unit (three of you—YOU, Sacha, and T...

Are You Invisible in Your Job? In previous posts, you actually had it good when your boss valued you too much to let you go. You get the same outcome but none of the kudos if you’re invisible even if you do your job well. In previous posts, you actually had it good when your boss valued you too much to let you go. You get the same outcome but none of the kudos if you’re invisible even if you do your job well. Some jobs are mostly invisible to...

Talking to Your Boss about Being Stalled in Your Job We’ve discussed when being too good at your job can impede your career. This can occur when your boss has a dog-in-the-manger view of good staff; he wants to keep them even if they don’t want to be kept. It can result in being stalled in your career. Whether to talk to your boss about feeling stalled It’s an option. With some real benefits. If he truly didn’t realize you were unhappy, y...

Avoiding the Dangers of Being Too Good at Your Job You fear your boss is holding you back because you’re too good at your job. The answer is not, of course, to start being bad at it. That really is cutting your nose off to spite your face. And I am assuming you are keeping your eye on the job ads. While you are doing that, there are other options to try to avoid the dangers. Is talking to your boss one of the dangers? This is where the assessme...

I Lied on the Report

    I Lied on the Report In the previous post, you lied on a report by projecting a six week cost overrun rather than the three months likely. This is so the executive committee will give you the second half money to get you back on track. You push the send button to give the report to your boss, Rhonda, to present to the committee. What happens if you push the SEND button? With your boss It is as if Rhonda has been at her desk waitin...

I’d Never Lie—Would I?

    I’d Never Lie—Would I? You manage a software development group which has a multi-year project. It’s been one disaster after another. The first year, the client kept changing the specs. By the time that was sorted, you were almost six weeks behind. In the second year, the programmers ran into all kinds of problems not foreseen by the (now fired) systems architect. The programming started almost three months late. However, som...

How Do I Get Power/Influence?

  How Do I Get Power/ Influence? Let’s say you’ve recognized that you need to have influence or power in your job, either to move ahead or avoid falling behind. First and as a given, you need to do your present job exceptionally well even if it’s a joe job and you know you’d be more successful at a higher level. Bosses don’t promote people who are doing a crummy job, no matter the reason. However, that’s not enough. To posi...

Power Matters to You

  Power Matters to You In the last post, you were vying to develop a new company service. Despite your and Sarah’s best efforts, but power hungry Mike positioned himself as the only one to do it. Why should you care? So, why does this matter? You may be thinking that you’re not power-hungry so this undercurrent can’t or shouldn’t affect you. (My definition of power is later if you’re interested.) After all, you’ve got a job...

Power—Work’s Hidden Engine

    Power—Work’s Hidden Engine As I mentioned in a previous post, there are at least five undercurrents in organizations. Power is an important one. Here’s an example of how it’s used at work. Power at work Your company manufactures greeting cards. You are meeting with your boss Galen and your peer managers. Galen is a nice guy but to your mind, too much under the influence of Mike, one of your peers. Galen: Alicia [Galen’s ...