Monday, March 16, 2015

10 People at work

Work work work.  While you are in school, you are learning.  Learning to read and write and figure out numbers.  Why?  to prepare you for a lifetime of work.  You will spend most of your life working if you are a productive member of society.  If you aren't working, you are learning more so you can be working.  Well, while you are at work, you don't actually spend ALL of your time working.  In fact, some estimates put your productive time at work at about 4 hours.  If you are there for 8 hours that puts you at 4 hours of productivity.  Well, during those unproductive times, you have probably noticed several people where you work.  Maybe one of them is you.

- Me?  I'm always here - There are some people that work hard and there are other people that would at least like to LOOK like they are working hard.  This person is the one that shows up before everyone and tries to say after everyone has left.  Sub categories of this guy are early guy and late guy.  I am early guy.  I usually get to work at 7 hoping to leave between 3:30 and 4 depending on the kind of lunch I take.  OFTEN I find myself staying late anyway promising myself that I will leave early when it suits me.  I rarely if ever do.  The alternate is late guy.  He comes in late, but stays late.  This is likely the better option because you are never paying your time in advance hoping to get home.  But I'll still go early.  It's what I do.

- The time bomb - Mild mannered and seems to work, but says interesting things like 'I wonder what kind of emergency plan this building plan has' and 'there really isn't much security here is there'.  Now these kinds of phrases come from all kinds of people at work, but when they come from the guy that is a survivalist and has mentioned his anger management classes on multiple occasions, THAT guy is the time bomb.

- The politician - This person would rather play the system rather than play at doing their job better.  Usually they are not satisfied with the amount of responsibility given to them and usually has lots of open ended statements to used in public when describing the current management.  Things like 'Hmm...That's an interesting choice' and 'I guess the company is made of money'.  These phrases are used most of the time when they know that people that have the ear of upper management are around. A side note, these are the people most likely to use business speak phrases like 'circle the wagons' and 'Reach out' among others.

- Company Man - Similar to the politician, this is the person that has COMPLETELY bought into the company philosophy, company product, and is given to quoting the company leaders.  This person is quick to praise and fast to leave if the mood turns sour.  This person is often mistaken for an optimist, they aren't.  They just don't want to be seen on the wrong side of any controversy.  The company man would welcome a higher position in the company, but honestly is just happy to have a job.

- It's all wrong - Negative Nelly, everyone has one or two.  These are people that always seem to be seeing the dark side.  Always have an exception for your rule.  They make life tougher.  I've been accused of being this guy.  I don't think I am.  Every negative person calls themselves a realist the problem of course is that some of them are.  But the difference, while subtle is all too real.  Negative will proclaim the bad side without knowing anything about the proposal.  They will assume that sometimes the source is enough to make a proposal a steaming pile of poop.  Unwilling to give anyone a chance, the wrong person will also rarely give themselves a chance either.

- The comedian -  Similar to the Negative person.  The comedian always seems to have a pithy phrase on hand for every occasion.  These people often find themselves in the negative persons corner only because opposition is an opportunity for humor.  They may or may not be good at their job, but what they are really good at is getting attention.  Sometimes the wrong kind.  Most managers don't really appreciate the comedian.  They talk too much.

- I really miss high school - This individual really likes the idea of parties and balloons and streamers.  Usually found as the instigators of the birthday cake for any given employee.  What they like most is obvious fun and socializing.  First on hand with a greeting card or a cupcake with a candle in it.  They really miss the kind of cliques that happened naturally in high school.

- The Genius - This is the go to person in the department.  Everyone around this person seemingly loses their brain because they know this individual will have the answers.  Infuriatingly confident, the genius seems to know everything about the systems of the departments of their domain.  Good ones are affable and always willing to share their mental largess with all that are in need of assistance.  Bad ones use their knowledge like a weapon.  They dispense sparingly and often incompletely.

- I won't be here long - They aren't given to talking much.  They don't like to stand out.  This person just wants to sit down and work and wait for the resume he has put out to any number of companies come back with a better offer.  The problem of course is that they don't appear to be a part of any group at the office, they just seem to come do their work and go home.  They don't offer any information about family and friends and they don't care to know anything about yours.  Anything that isn't work building a resume is probably not worth their time.  Their trademark is how much the job they are working at is beneath them.  They really figure they should be doing something else for more money, but this job pays the bills and gets them to the next month and the next bunch of job offerings.

- The Historian - Usually but not always the person with the longest seniority in the department, the Historian seems to have a story about everyone that has ever been there.  Knows most of the skeletons in the closets and has the word on anything happening in sub channels.  Always willing to share but more willing to listen, the Historian doesn't like to be too busy because they are too busy being a busy body.

Well there are a few people you might know I know there are a LOT more.  You may even be one yourself.  Got a different one?  comment and add to the joy.  15 days goes by pretty fast.  see ya then!

Monday, March 2, 2015

10 ways to be dumb enough to succeed

When we go to work we sometimes look at those more successful than we and ask ourselves why?  Why are they getting a lot of the gravy and I'm ending up with the gristle?  Well instead of looking at why you aren't winning in life, lets look at those that do. I'm not saying that this list will make you successful, I'm saying that I've observed these behaviors in people that are successful.

- Don't be afraid of Failure. - Failure is a problem for everyone.  As soon as we are born we find that we are failing at all kinds of things.  The difference between kids and adults is that adults have managed to learn enough things to avoid failing on a regular basis.  When we were kids, the only real experience we had was failure.  Of course when you are a kid you call it learning.  The fear should not be of failing, but it should be of not learning.  Successful people NEVER look at things in terms of the loss.  The rest of us use fear to measure what we risk.  We don't venture out unless we are certain of favorable outcome.

- Act first. - There is a time for thinking and a time for acting.  How many times have you said 'Why haven't they thought of this a long time ago?'  Well, they probably have.  The problem is nobody DID anything about it.  Lets face it, it's hard to implement a new idea.  Most people want to give you all of the reasons it will fail and not any of the reasons it will  work.  Fortunately you already have the reasons it will work.  But if you keep thinking about acting instead of acting, your brain will figure out a way that you shouldn't do it.  People that don't act on ideas are the same people that sit wondering why their lives always tend to treat them the same way.  People that do act first are usually unable to do otherwise in other aspects of their lives.  They are impulsive and are often left with egg on their face.  But when it works, they look like the hero.

- Let other people do the dirty work. - If you have the big picture in mind and you know what you want, let other people deal with the minutiae.  This sounds pretty oblivious to the effort that it takes to make things work, but it's what you need.  There is a lot of value in someone that knows exactly what they want.  Most of my life I have no idea what I really want, just a bunch of vague thoughts and impulses.

- Don't care about money. - The biggest worry about people in general is money.  It's also the biggest source of fear.  Money seems to be very hard to get and so easy to lose and everyone wants yours.  The best decisions are probably made without thinking about money.  You want proof?  Look at your kids.  Most people that have children had very little idea of what they were getting into.  Last on that list was how much they cost.  Yet there isn't many that would trade their kids for anything.  Sure there are some notable exceptions, but that's what prisons are for.

- There is only you. (family doesn't matter) - If you are going to succeed, you really need to put all of your energy and your soul into whatever activity it is you wish to succeed at.  You should care about your time like most other people care about their money.  If what you are doing with your time is pushing you towards your success then the opportunity costs are worth it.  Any time spent in pursuit of your goals is time well spent.  Just understand that this includes other endeavors like family.  Family done poorly takes a lot of time and effort.  Done well, it takes nearly all of your time.  Am I saying family men are not successful?  Not at all, they are successful at family, they can also be successful at their career, but I have witnessed precious few that are good at both.  There is no higher aspiration in my opinion.  I am saying that single people with no kids have a much easier time of being successful at whatever vocation they are in, but it still requires most of your time and effort.

- Double down. - Things look a little rocky?  Your idea isn't panning out?  Success driven people don't tend to believe it.  In fact when they are faced with the failures of their ideas, those people will work that much harder to prove their idea was in fact viable and worthwhile no matter what it takes.  Successful people take failure as a challenge to succeed.

- Be born into it. - This aspect of success is interesting.  Some successful people have been born into it.  There has been a lot made lately of being born into privilege and how it is just not fair.  No it's probably not.  Boo hoo, now get over it.  The funny thing about being born into extreme privilege is that you may live a lot of your life trying to decide if your success is yours or product of your lucky stars.  I would submit that being born lucky only gives you an opportunity that you must sill take advantage of.  The idle rich that take no effort to improve themselves and take that opportunity are similar to someone that has won a lottery and files bankruptcy years later.  One can be born into privilege, nobody is born into wisdom.

- Mans gotta know his limitations. - Unless of course you are successful.  I've found that most of us that have any intelligence at all are painfully aware of our own limitations.  We use them like different colored crutches that give us myriad excuses for inaction.  The successful will ignore many of their limitations and assume they can wing it beyond any trouble they are ill equipped to handle.  This is vital for success since we often overestimate our own shortcomings.  The pitfall of this of course is getting in WAY over your head.  If you are willing to let other people do the dirty work of course you will probably not run into your own limitations as much.  Sometimes that's just not possible.

- The glass is ALWAYS half full. - If you are going to be successful, you MUST see everything in terms of success.  This might be the most important line in this blog entry.  As a life long cynic and self proclaimed realist, I have often found myself expecting the worst of everything and not often being surprised, but also finding myself missing from opportunity.  If you look at most things in terms of possible success, you can see what it is you are working for.  There is no real downside to being an optimist unless of course you are relying on others to make up for your failed ideas.  Then people look at you as having your 'head in the clouds'.  You don't want that.

- Feelings are for suckers - I've met some successful people that are good at 'pressing the flesh' so to speak.  They are people people.  They get you to think that they genuinely care about your disposition relative to theirs.  They don't.  What I should say is they do care, but only as long as it doesn't get in their way.  That's ok.  We are all that way to some extent.  Each of us has that line that we care at.  In my own attempt at being self employed, I've found that I can't bear to charge people what I think they should pay.  I don't know what it is, but I would often discount myself and look on as my customers had NO appreciation for that discount.  The successful have no problem charging for their services or their products, and they don't care if you think it's not a good deal, they know their worth.

I do not offer these tips as a way to become successful, only as observations of successful people.  There is a difference.  Another 15 days and I'll probably have something else...probably, if i'm successful.