Add value to organization through action, not talk
Cy Wakeman shook complacency from attendees during a recent leadership training session: It's you who needs to change — not your bosses and co-workers who aren't here.
Her message induced squirms. Many conscientious workers are religious about going to seminars, learning how to do better and then smugly talking about the other people who should have been there. Wakeman's wake-up call was for self-examination.
The leadership consultant and author said absolutely nothing, and especially not your happiness, is served by moaning or blaming your organization, your bosses or colleagues who don't pull their weight.
You need to succeed despite staff and budget cuts, despite task interruptions, despite office remodeling and other environmental irritations, Wakeman said at the annual Leadership Lyceum sponsored by Kansas City's Central Exchange.
“You can't make reality go away,” she said. “You need to change your mind-set. Accept reality. Do not give away power to your circumstances.”
Circumstances include changes in social media use, new technology or physical space. If those changes are painful, understand what the pain is telling you. It says you're not keeping up.
Wakeman particularly aimed her comments at anyone over 30. It doesn't matter what your past accomplishments have been, she warned. It matters that you continue to deliver results, to add value to the organization's bottom line.
Even more important than technical competency, she proselytized, is emotional maturity. Any “drama” you add to your workplace subtracts big time from your value. Don't tattle or complain. Don't act the victim. Always ask what you can do to help. Remember that action, not opinion, adds value.
Most of all, “Say yes to what's next,” she urged. “Don't resist it. See change as an opportunity.”
Diane Stafford is a writer for The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.). She can be reached at 816-234-4359 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- If you get this letter from the IRS, it’s legitimate
- Increased credit card use reflects confidence, flat wages
- Home appraisal is below sales price — now what?
- Heinz merging with Kraft in mega-deal; headquarters to stay in Pittsburgh
- Corporate missteps hurt reputations, profits, sometimes in long run
- Komando: Boost cellphone signal when nixing landline
- Farmers fund research on gluten-free wheat
- Falling demand for steel not likely to reverse any time soon
- France plane crash victim’s father calls for airlines to focus on pilot welfare
- Tourists rush to visit Cuba before American influence felt
- Venting online about job protected