Category Archives: Leadership

Miserable Job

It’s annual performance review time at our company, and hopefully this annual exercise is as much about looking forward to the coming year as it is about looking back at the past. As you think about your annual review, it is a good time to consider job misery. If you are a manager, I hope you know when one of your team members is miserable in their job. If you are the individual who is miserable in your job, it may be useful to ask why..

In the book “The Three Signs of a Miserable Job”, author Patrick Lencioni offers a model that describes reasons for job misery:

1. Anonymity – Are you ‘known’ in your job? “People who see themselves as invisible, generic or anonymous cannot love their jobs, no matter what they are doing.”

2. Irrelevance – Does your work matter to someone? “Without seeing a connection between the work and the satisfaction of another person or group of people, an employee simply cannot find lasting fulfillment.”

3. Immeasurement – Can you measure your own progress? This one was the most intriguing to me. “Without tangible means of assessing success or failure, motivation eventually deteriorates as people see themselves as unable to control their own fate.”

If you are miserable in your job, do any of these ring true as the possible cause? If so, work with your manager to become known, connect your work to the satisfaction of others, and establish a means of measuring progress.

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Today’s Recommended Reading List

Compelling articles I found valuable today:  
Donald Miller – Ten Characteristics of a Disciple
I love the notion that you don’t have to wait until you become the exact right person to be a disciple. Note to self: get moving.  

Randy Elrod – Why Creatives Are Fleeing Their Day Jobs In A Search For Meaning
A connection between desire, making progress and creativity?? Wow, that works for me. I’d prefer that he had used examples other than celebrities to illustrate those who have shifted toward a search for real meaning, because celebrities are definitely not my role models. But the point is still taken. Convicting challenge here. Favorite quote: “Let’s not simply SURVIVE, let’s LIVE.”

Michael Hyatt – Five Consequences of a Life Out of Balance
Been there, unfortunately. Far too many of these consequences are familiar. Great list. I challenge the absolute truth of this statement, but won’t throw the baby out with the bathwater: “The number of hours you work has almost zero correlation with your effectiveness.” Favorite quote: “You can’t afford a divorce. The cost is incalculable.”

Jon Acuff, Stuff Christians Like: Running into famous Christians. (AKA, the “Michael W. Smith Incident.”)
Jon Acuff is funny. I’m so curious to know how much time he spent writing this post… Wonder if it is really as easy as he makes it look. Favorite quote: “In a few minutes he’s going to start laughing so loud that the pilot is probably going to need to make an announcement asking him to quiet down.”

CIO Article By Meridith Levinson – How to Network: More Tips for Shy People
I was offered a revelation a few years ago, the notion that being an introvert might not be a character flaw or evidence of brain damage. What a concept. I have had people who meet me for the first time, and say to me in that first meeting: “you are pretty quiet today.” Really? Compared to what? From the article and associated book…. “listening is as important as talking when it comes to networking, and introverts tend to be better listeners than the extroverts who run at the mouth” 2 Favorite quotes: “Real networking is about creating meaningful, mutually beneficial connections, one person at a time.” and “Introverts go deep. They like deeper connections and they think [in order] to talk, whereas extroverts talk to think,”

Photo Copyright © 2010, Jon McDermott
Location: Laurel, OR

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Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud – Part 1

This book is deep water. I expected a discussion on how honest and forthright behavior contributes to success in life and business. I’m getting so much more. Here are a couple of example quotes:

“When you empathize, you feel for the other person, but still know that its not your experience. In that way, you can be a bridge to a new and different experience from the one that they are having… such as hope.”

“True listening and understanding occurs only when this happens… The other person understands that you understand. And that only happens when your character is connecting enough to get you out of your own experience, and into the experience of the other. To do that requires a makeup that is not detached, or self-focused.”

Dr. Henry Cloud in Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality

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We must go out

“A young man beginning his work with the Coast Guard was called with his crew to try a desperate rescue in a great storm. Frightened, rain and wind pounding his face, the man cried to his captain, “We will never get back!” The captain replied, “We don’t have to come back, but we must go out.”

Spirtual Leadership, Chapter 8, by J. Oswald Sanders

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Sanders

I’m taking a spiritual leadership class at church (2nd time around), and we are studying a great book written by J. Oswald Sanders. Sanders has a great way of packing a truckload of wisdom into a small number of words. He also wastes no words in an attempt to be politically correct. Here’s my favorite example:

The young man of leadership caliber will work while others waste time, study while others snooze, pray while others daydream. Slothful habits are overcome, whether in thought, deed, or dress. The emerging leader eats right, stands tall, and prepares himself to wage spiritual warfare. He will without reluctance undertake the unpleasant task that others avoid or the hidden duty that others evade because it wins no public applause. As the Spirit fills his life, he learns not to shrink from difficult situations or retreat from hard-edged people. He will kindly and courageously administer rebuke when that is called for, or he will exercise the necessary discipline when the interests of the Lord’s work demand it. He will not procrastinate, but will prefer to dispatch with the hardest tasks first.

Spirtual Leadership, Chapter 8, by J. Oswald Sanders

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