April 30, 2012

work is not a job

Everyone Sees the Pimple First

April 30, 2012

By Dan Rockwell   Article

“Blemishes captivate just like the negative past.

The dark past draws you backward into futile conversations that solidify rather than solve. Complaints always focus on the past. Problems pull backward. But, solutions draw forward.

You become what you talk about.

… Leaders Solve the past by moving into the future. It’s the only way.


Talk about the past with the future in mind, tenaciously.

Rather than focusing on, “Where have we been?” say, “Where are we going?”

Shift from past tense to present and future tense language.

“What are we learning,” is better than, “What did we learn?” The latter takes you back while the former pulls you forward.

“What was done?” is only the beginning component of a, “What’s next?” conversation.

“Next time we’ll …” improves on, “What went wrong?””

Twitter Empowers Engineers With New Patent Agreement

April 30, 2012

By  Nick Bilton   Article

“Under a new agreement, a patent awarded to Loren Brichter, a former Twitter employee, can only be used for offensive litigation if Mr. Brichter approves.

It seems that every week there is a new set of patent lawsuits in the tech universe. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Motorola Mobility, Google and many more companies are continually enmeshed in vicious patent battles. At the same time, the engineers who develop the ideas that in turn become the patents at the center of these suits often feel exploited. …

In a blog post on the company Web site, Twitter said it had developed a new type of patent agreement with employees that will give legal rights to engineers and designers who are awarded a patent, halting any potential of the patent’s being used for offensive litigation. The new patent agreement states that any patent awarded to an employee at Twitter cannot be use offensively, even after the employee has left the company. This means Twitter could not sue another company or person without the consent of the engineer to whom the patent was awarded. Twitter can, however, use the patent for defensive purposes.”

Should I Check My Email?

April 30, 2012

By Invictus   Source

Office Politics 101

April 30, 2012

By      Article

“… office politics is how things work.  You can ignore it and suffer the consequences, do it the slimy way where a body count is taken, or do it well which benefits you and others.  In its simplest form, office politics is about building relationships in order to achieve some kind of end result. …

Here is the ingredient list for office politics:

Who’s who.   When you start your job the first thing you do is figure out who everyone is and what their role is.  …

Who knows what.  This is where office politics start.  You eventually learn that there are certain people who not only know work things at a detailed level, but are keen observers of human behavior.  They know how things really work. …

Goals.  Every job has various goals, and on top of that we have our own goals we’d like to accomplish within the framework of our job. …

Who wields the power & influence.  … We can be given position power like managing a group, but power also comes from other more informal sources within any group.  You can have power based on the information you posses, charismatic power because people like you …

It is at this point where politics can be negative, because of people who are using power and influence to selfishly advance their own goals, largely at the exclusion of others.  … On the other hand, when power and influence are exercised and it benefits the business and those in a work group, it can be a seriously positive thing.”

8 ways to help end workplace prejudice

April 30, 2012

By Leigh Steere    Article

“Racism. That’s a charged word. Companies reprimand employees for blatant, careless comments about color, ethnicity, religion and gender. But most discrimination is far more subtle. It flies under the radar. …

Daily, we engage in prejudiced thinking without even realizing it. Two recent posts illustrate this phenomenon: “Straight Talk on Workplace Prejudice” and “5 Uncomfortable Observations About Workforce Diversity.”

Discomfort with a co-worker often signals bias

Next time you find yourself cringing in a colleague’s presence, fill in one or more of these blanks.

  • I do not feel comfortable with this person because …
  • I am skeptical about this worker’s ability to do a good job because …
  • I would be hesitant to put this employee in front of a customer because …
  • I would prefer not to have this individual on my project team because …

Are your answers based on work performance you have observed? Or are you simply uncomfortable with a nonwork-related trait the co-worker exhibits? Wardrobe. A pierced tongue. Sexual orientation. Age. Mannerisms. …

Each of us needs to do a frank self-assessment and come up with a personal action plan for becoming more sensitive. Your organizational success depends on embracing employee talent and suspending judgment of the “packaging.”

An Honest Note to All the Sucky Managers

April 23, 2012

By Matthew Carpenter-Arevalo   Article

” Here are 13 ways of knowing whether you’re a sucky manager:

1. People are afraid of you. In some workplaces, managers are feared even by employees who don’t know them — because their reputations precede them. If this is you, there’s a high probability that you suck: no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

2. You micro-manage. … If you’re not able to persuade or convince people of a vision and instead regularly have to crack a whip to achieve results, either the team is rotten to the core or you have failed to properly motivate (these ideas are not necessarily mutually-exclusive). …

3. Stress controls you; you don’t control stress.

… The difference between a good manager and a bad manager, however, is that a bad manager sends signals that the stressful circumstances are controlling him or her and not the inverse. …

4. You create real and perceived distance between yourself and your team. Humans detest hierarchies and those at the bottom resent being reminded of their place within them. …

5. You’re unavailable. … good managers are available to their reports at a moment’s notice. If you’re unavailable and inaccessible to your reports then you suck, regardless of how much you are appreciated by your superiors.

6. You don’t know your reports. A good proxy question to ask yourself about a report is, “if he/she could have any job in the world, what would it be?” Knowing this answer means you understand the person’s passions, dreams, and ambitions. …

13. You eschew vulnerability. … Bad managers abhor vulnerability for fear of appearing weak, while good managers use vulnerability as a tool to build trust and meaningful relationships.

Managing a sales team is not the same as managing a boiler room; good management is necessarily context dependent. Nevertheless, one final truism is that bad managers (enforcers) have reports who work for them, while good managers (enablers) work for their reports.”