I’ve recently talked to a number of people who talk badly about their jobs, bosses and co-workers. There’s a fire that burns within them when they passionately express ALL the things that are wrong. Their passion usually illuminates the flame in other people and then you have a group of people complaining about everything that’s wrong with the world. They say that if someone would just fix the problems, their jobs would be so much better. If someone would address the countless challenges, they wouldn’t be depressed, stressed or have high levels of anxiety. Surprisingly, they also have a list of solutions to the problems they’re complaining about.
I’m very direct in my questions and when asked why they don’t act on or propose their recommended solutions to the decision makers, their fire quickly diminishes, coldness enters and I get a “deer in the headlights” look. After a minute or so, an avalanche of excuses start to emerge from their pores and spill all over the floor. Passion soon turns into exhaustion.
“Start going the extra mile and opportunity will follow you. Leaders who need a job done think first of people they know will do it well. If other people respect you for the quantity and quality of your work, you will find yourself advancing past others who regard their jobs as drudgery. For all the extra service that you’ve rendered, you’ll find yourself more than amply compensated by opportunities others never grasp.” – Napoleon Hill
It’s so interesting that people get excited when they complain about everything that’s wrong in their lives, but get exhausted and make excuses when it comes to creating a solution. It takes work to make changes and create new habits, but it’s seems easier to complain than make changes. Truthfully, it’s easier to make changes than to complain about the same thing year after year. If you are blaming everyone else for your problems, depression, stress and anxiety, and NO ONE seems to care that you have these conditions, it’s time to look in the mirror and decide to save yourself.
At one office early in my career, mid-level personnel rotated jobs every year to diversify our portfolio. When rotation time came, senior leadership decided to keep me in the initial position because I was very good at it and made significant improvements. This was great for them, but what about me and the implications to my career?? I had every right to complain and rage against it, but instead, I asked to be given an official title and the flexibility to change the job description; my requests were granted. I also volunteered for other roles to stay in the presence of senior leaders.
When rotation time came again, they kept me in the job for the third year. This was unheard of and completely unfair!! With the success of the training programs developed, the new standards of conduct and higher levels of professionalism displayed by the people who worked for me, senior leadership wanted the trend to continue. I felt my hard work was having the opposite effect and cost me career diversity. Again, instead of beating my fists, I asked to be given 4 newly arriving personnel and the request was approved. Over that 3 year period, I ended up with 75% more officers (mid-level supervisors) working for me, than any other person at my level.
Instead of feeling victimized by the decisions of others, I chose to create new and unconventional ways to diversify my job portfolio. The valuable lessons learned from that experience taught me that organizations are open to efficiencies and changes if they:
1. Make sense
2. Greatly benefit the bottom line, and
3. Doesn’t involve extra money or personnel to make it happen
In the next position, I applied the same principles and ended up developing a reputation with the leaders in my office and others within the worldwide organization. I also attracted the attention of leaders from local, national and international companies and was regularly requested to speak at their events to share my knowledge and expertise. After the events, I had numerous job offers that were kindly declined.
The previous paragraph is not intended to impress you, but to impress upon you that thinking outside of the box, and working hard to solve long-standing problems opens up an expansive array of possibilities. Senior leaders have their reasons for making decisions and any time you work for someone else, you will be subjected to their reasons; whether they share them with you or not. Taking ownership for how you respond is up to you. Getting down on yourself, becoming depressed or stressed out, or having anxiety because you feel left out is not the right approach, there is a better way.
If you don’t like the circumstances of your job, are you willing to work for your company/organization and go the extra mile to make it better at no cost? Doing more work than your counterparts and making significant impacts in your current position may give you an opportunity to get hired at a higher income level with other companies. Leaders love other successful leaders and are always on the lookout for top talent. Are you doing what’s necessary to be considered top talent?
When leaders work to make their companies better, they aren’t looking for praise, accolades, raises, awards, etc. They are doing the work to solve the problems that people have been complaining about for years. By solving the problems, it’s likely they receive the praise, accolades, raises, etc., but the price has to be paid up front.
“If life hands you a lemon, don’t complain, but instead make lemonade to sell to those who are thirsty from complaining.”
– Napoleon Hill
What have been your experiences with leadership and going the extra mile? Do you have people in your office that complain all the time?
Christy Rutherford, an Executive Leadership Strategist, trains leaders on long-standing leadership principles to assist them with realizing their full potential and increase productivity. She also coaches Type A leaders who are suffering from burnout, which impacts their performance at work and home.
Download your free workbook: “Success Roadmap – 7 Powerful Ways To Get Clear On The Results You Desire” at www.christyrutherford.com
Check out the programs designed for you to manage your stress, reduce anxiety and significantly improve your life while you work to make a living. www.christyrutherford.com/programs