“Why do you care so much?” “Stop trying so hard.” You may have heard this from a well-meaning colleague or, even worse, from your own boss. But why would someone want you to care less?
Why do some people work so much harder than others? Some might say they do it because of martyrdom or the pursuit of accolades. But my experience has shown that those who do more than expected simply love the job and want to contribute to the team’s success.
You are probably familiar with the “elevator pitch.” You know, the one-minute speech every seasoned salesperson has memorized to deliver at a moment’s notice. It may be a cliche, but like all cliches, it is rooted in some truth. And it could help you get hired.
What? Love and business? Yep. It is a concept I explain in Lovability, my new book — it means building a product that customers love and a business where people can do meaningful work and be happy doing it. The word “lovability” sounds friendly, but achieving it is not easy. It requires honoring a deep responsibility to yourself and your co-workers.
“Comedy is not pretty!” That is the title of an old Steve Martin special and I have to agree with the sentiment. When you tell a joke you need to be ready for laughs and also prepare for the worst. Some nights, the audience might roll in the aisles with laughter. The next night? Tough crowd, tough crowd.
I do not believe in luck. I appreciate good fortune, but it is just not reliable enough to call a friend. Luck has no place in business because it is an unpredictable force. Crossing your fingers and hoping for the best will not get the job done. So what is predictable? Hard work, perseverance, and one more trait that might surprise you.
Being a fully distributed company means we can hire the best people regardless of where they live. We receive hundreds of resumes every week from applicants all over the world. But I am still surprised to see the incredible number of “gurus” who are applying for open roles at Aha! — I mean, what are the odds?
So you are putting in another late night at the office. Tied up in meetings all day with no time to get to your real work. And just now catching up on 15 “urgent” emails from your boss. You are giving your best, most heartfelt effort — but it never seems to be enough. If love is truly evidenced by our actions, then you are showing plenty of it to your company leaders. But do they love you back?
You can probably spot the signs. Sunday night blues. Feelings of “am I really making a difference.” I am not talking about the occasional bad day. No, this is an everyday pit-in-your-stomach malaise. You are miserable at work. Thankfully, it has been a while since I felt that way.
“Sort of like a walk in the wilderness, just not as refreshing.” That was just one of the hundreds of comments on my recent post about rude “animal” bosses. But I thought it perfectly captured the essence of a wild workplace. Many folks recounted their own experiences with beastly bosses. One reader made an especially salient point — that these animals can only thrive when the proper conditions exist.
Have you ever had a boss who seemed to leave behind a trail of disaster? I have. Too many times. There was the boss who threatened team members when he did not like an answer someone gave. The boss who chased the VP of Sales around the conference table when a major deal was delayed. And my favorite — the boss who was as spineless as a worm.
Ever work with someone who hogs all the credit? Or a parrot who never seems to have an original idea? I bet you can think of a few people who act more like zoo animals than the professionals they are supposed to be. And if you work in an environment with these types of characters, then you know that rudeness spreads like a contagion.
It should be simple. But there are many ways to screw up a perfectly good apology. There is the over-apology — as if saying “I’m really, really sorry” carries more weight. There is the knee-jerk, insincere “sorry!” that does not ring true. Perhaps the worst is the non-apology, which begins “I’m sorry, but….” and ends with a finger pointing at someone else.