As the escalator crested to the second floor of the convention center, Ken stepped off and headed straight for the cluster of armchairs off to the right. Relieved, he sat and looked at his watch: 30 minutes to midnight. 'No wonder I'm beat,' he thought. And then, 'What am I doing here? Working crazy hours to make Warner look good? It isn't worth it anymore.'
Because people are
perceptive, the truth
does get out, and
giving it your all
is almost always
a great choiceJust then he saw Peter hop off the escalator and start to make the turn to go up to Three. Spotting Ken by the window, Peter brightened, changed course and headed over to say hello, motioning to the woman behind him to follow.
"Gina, meet Ken Mersereau, Diamond Square. Ken, Gina Chang."
Ken stood and smiled. "Ah, yes, I attended your talk," Ken said as they shook hands. "Enjoyed it."
"Ken Mersereau…" Gina began, "…so you're the one who makes Warner look so good."
Ken was stunned. He didn't think anyone knew. "Well, I try, but that really isn't my main goal," he said. Suddenly he was glad that he'd decided to give it his all.
Holding back because you work for a credit thief is probably not your best strategy. Because people are perceptive, the truth does get out, and giving it your all is almost always a great choice. Here are three things to keep in mind as you decide how much of yourself to throw into a job.
- Don't hold back to get even
- Restraining yourself because of past or current injustice only confirms the (incorrect) low opinion others have of you. If you aren't appreciated, address the problem directly with the offenders. If that's impossible or if it fails, either do your job the best you can, or find another. Doing your job half-heartedly hurts you more than anyone else.
- Work for yourself first
- Praise or even adulation from others makes most of us feel good, but feeling wonderful yourself about the job you're doing is even better. Practice self-appreciation until you get really good at it. You'll probably find that appreciating yourself for something feels hollow unless you've given it your all.
- Give only what you've got
- Giving more than you've got isn't giving your all — it's giving what's not yours. You could be stealing from yourself, when you give up your time off; from your loved ones, when you deprive them of your full Self; or from colleagues, when you take unethical shortcuts.
For more on achieving and inspiring goals, see "Corrales Mentales," Point Lookout for July 4, 2001; "Commitment Makes It Easier," Point Lookout for October 16, 2002; "Beyond WIIFM," Point Lookout for August 13, 2003; "Your Wishing Wand," Point Lookout for October 8, 2003; "Knowing Where You're Going," Point Lookout for April 20, 2005; "Workplace Myths: Motivating People," Point Lookout for July 19, 2006; "Astonishing Successes," Point Lookout for January 31, 2007; and "Achieving Goals: Inspiring Passion and Action," Point Lookout for February 14, 2007.
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More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- Getting Around Hawthorne
- The Hawthorne Effect appears when we measure employee attitudes or behavior — when people know
they're being measured, they modify their behavior. How can we measure attitudes with a minimum of distortion
from the Hawthorne Effect?
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- Workplace Memes
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See also Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness for more related articles.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming July 25: Exploiting Functional Fixedness: II
- A cognitive bias called functional fixedness causes difficulty in recognizing new uses for familiar things. It also makes for difficulty in recognizing devious uses of everyday behaviors. Here's Part II of a catalog of deviousness based on functional fixedness. Available here and by RSS on July 25.
- And on August 1: Strategies of Verbal Abusers
- Verbal abuse at work has special properties, because it takes place in an environment in which verbal abuse is supposedly proscribed. Yet verbal abuse does happen at work. Here are three strategies abusers rely on to avoid disciplinary action. Available here and by RSS on August 1.
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- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
- Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.