Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The best and the worste of us

Einstein got rejected from many universities and failed entrance exams, Bill Gates and many other famous people known or their success in various fields have dropped out of college and even high school and still gone on with their lives with great achievements. http://www.collegedropoutshalloffame.com/index.htm Is a website that celebrates these individuals.

I start this post with the above examples to prove to myself that even the greatest most brilliant people in human history have some "failures". The important thing seems to be that we move on determined to make good with the rest of our lives. So my hope for myself and for others is that don't worry about the mistakes of yesterday, instead do the best today so that the future is better than where you are now.

I have to admit that I've made some tragic mistakes in my life but as the old saying goes, who hasn't right? Maybe you can relate to some of this. I've sometimes had issues with boredom at work. Sometimes this is an onset of not enough "stuff" to do and at other times, I have plenty of "stuff" but nothing stimulating or interesting. After all, variety is the spice of life isn't it? I've had some superb coworkers whom I've admired. I've worked with people who were very talented and seemed to accomplish tasks and achieve success with great ease. I've worked with those who seemed endlessly enthusiastic about their jobs even when things weren't going so well. I've worked with those who were dedicated and regularly burned the midnight oil.

Who are these people and what's their secret?

Whatever the case, a positive attitude is definitely a good thing and people are drawn to optimism. Listed below are some common "types" of people who can really ruin an otherwise good working environment. Most people don't even know that they're like this. It's about time someone told you to your face what you're doing wrong and most importantly that it's hurting people around you, your chances for promotion and that ultimately you're really the one who loses out if you don't change your ways. So don't be one of these.

1. The Gossip: You may not think you're a gossip but this is how you know if you are. In the last 7 days, how many conversations have you had about other people? This includes celebrity news. "Did you hear so and so is getting a divorce?" and people in the office "So and so came in late to work yesterday...again!... that guy never shows up before 11!". If you are constantly talking about other people you should be aware, most people don't like you, even the people you talk with. Why?

a) You are obviously not to be trusted with secrets or sensitive information. If you blab so much about others, how are they ever going to feel safe sharing anything personal with you? In this regard, sadly you're the one who loses out because nobody will ever trust you enough to become truly close to you.
b) It just doesn't make you look good when you're talking about others. Sure Fred might have cheated on his wife and he's scum for doing that but why are you getting so much joy talking about it?
c) Gossip ruins moral. If you're going to talk about someone, say it to their face, there's nothing like a good rumor to destroy the fiber of a positive work environment and break the social contract of trust.

The solution: STOP now. Whenever you get the urge, talk about something else. A hobby, something positive, music, movies, etc. It's not too late to change. It might take a little while, but you'll notice people warming up to you after a while.

2. The Jokester: You were the class clown in high school, you're still the life of the party at gatherings, and you just have a knack for cracking people up. In the right situation, you've even made a bad situation good and gotten kudos for it. Be careful. Joke too much and nobody will take you seriously, especially your boss and the executives at firm you're trying to impress. Sure they like a good laugh and they'll remember you better for it sometimes especially at larger organizations. However, be careful. Don't make the jokes the center of attention and the only thing they remember about you. When it comes time for promotion, they'll question how serious you are when it comes time for promotion. They'll wonder if you're really cut out or "mature" enough for all the "business" and "responsibility" of management. You don't want your last joke to be the only thing they remember about you. You want your work and your abilities to shine.

The solution: Don't stop completely because being well liked is a critical part in getting along with others and for influencing people. Just self edit a little. The next time you're in the presence of an executive or you're participating in an important meeting, bring up a well thought out, researched point and contribute to the "business". Act as if you already have the promotion in the sense that you're proving capable of handling the added responsibilities. That should really impress them and when it comes time for the promotion, at least you'll be a more serious candidate.

3. The Backstabber: This one's just ugly and the good ones hide behind the mask of a friendly smile. Who are these people and what motivates them? Simple, all they want to do is climb the corporate latter. That's it. Fortunately, there really aren't a lot of these people around since most people, not even bosses and executives, like people who stab partners, coworkers, and others in the back to rise to the top. They know that once you become peers with them, you'll just do it to them to get to the next level so why should they trust you?

The only sad part is if this person happens to be your boss. That means when there's a mistake he'll probably blame it on someone he has authority over and that person could be you or someone else on your team. You might end up being blamed for something you didn't do or even worse that your boss did himself which was a total disaster. Hopefully, you'll get to say your peace but sometimes you just don't get that opportunity. Over time though these people really do get what they deserve. Believe me, I've personally seen it myself. One of the blog posts on here has something to do with this very topic.

No solution. Just repent and change your ways. Refocus on being good to others. It pays higher dividends. If not, then suffer the consequences. You'll be a bitter lonely old fart some day with a tragic life of destruction instead of building relationships.

4. The Leach: Sorry the label is so harsh but it's true. This person exists in schools, work place and social groups. At school, this is the member of the study group who is always late, never prepared and always asking for your notes. At work, this person always dumps work on you, is out sick frequently, and is always asking others to do favors like email someone for additional files on the project you guys are all working on when he could just do it himself. He is nothing but a draine on people and resources. In social groups, he's the one who needs constant attention who's life is filled with perpetual drama. he always needs a shoulder to cry on or a drinking buddy because of some recent incident with a girl, money, job or all three. These people have a few things they need to get straight. First, just get your act together and be a responsible adult. Just handle it. We all have bills, families, and have stuff happen to us, take responsibility for goodness sake! In some cases just bite the bullet and suffer the consequences for your bad decision. It's like the old saying goes, "You made your bed, now sleep in it."

The Solution: Really, these people are tough to change. The advice is really for people around "The Leach". It's a good thing to try and help others, but at some point, when it interferes with your family, school or work, you have to cut ties. Try not to be mean but somehow you need to separate yourself from this person or else he'll bring you down with him.

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