It’s Not Me…It’s You

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I’m sure we have all had an experience or two with a person that just can’t get it right with people. They have no people skills, they are off-putting, they have zero personality unless you’re around for them to try to outshine. I could continue but I’m sure you get my point. Let’s just say you have someone in your office that just doesn’t fit in. They are in a leadership position, so everyone feels the need to pretend they are happy and working well with said person. They do their best to grin and bear it and roll their eyes each time they have to placate him. It’s all done for the sake of the 15th and the 30th.

In all honesty, I understand their logic. Bills need to be paid, kids need to be fed, and gas needs to be put in the car.

Little by little several long time employees start to leave the company after having grown fed up with his lack of managerial skills. They’ve complained about said person and their knack for making people feel uncomfortable with his off putting demeanor. They detest the fact that he goes after any and everyone to have them fired, written up and pushed out And they grow tired of putting up with his”little man syndrome”, insatiable thirst to be seen and noticed, even his subtle nuances of power-hungry body language. With all that in tow, it begs me to pose these questions: At what point does someone notice and think “everyone can’t be wrong” or “why is everyone leaving since this person got here?”

#FoodForThought #AmITheOnlyOneThinkingClearly

I guess it’s one of those things that reinforces the old adage: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Don’t mean to ramble on and on just thinking out loud. But hey, what the hell do I know?

And by no means am I bitter or angry. I’ll just go work at Soho House Weho. 😉

-AndrewPhillipK

Nervously Excited!

It’s no secret that I’ve been working diligently on making some major changes in my life as of late. I’ve mentioned it in many (if not all) of my past blog posts, especially The Importance of Editing Your Life. With this being my last shift left in my role at the company I’ve worked at for the past nine years, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I am nervous. It’s that anxious nervous feeling you get when you are excited but don’t know exactly how it’s going to go. Yeah, you know that feeling!  Last night I was asked the question: “Will you take time off or go straight into another job?” Good question! Like most people, I have been working non-stop since I was about fifteen years old and so yes there is a major part of me that wants to respond with  “Hell yeah I’d love to take a break! WTH do you think?!”, however, in all honesty, I haven’t given myself the time to really stop and ruminate on my next few steps.

In preparing to embark on this new adventure in life and exploring not only myself, but for the first time in nine years, having the time to actually explore Los Angeles, I have been toying with the various options I have available. I’ve never had the chance to visit Northern California, so that is one option I am thinking of. Tossing my dog Chopstick in my car and he and I taking a long road trip up North.  Just the thought of he and I hitting the open road and exploring together gets more and more enticing the more I ponder on it. Since I made the choice to become his parent, we have not had much one on one time to really bond and get to know each other. All of that is about to change.

Choppy

Chopstick

Second option I have been toying around with is, again tossing Chopstick in my car and driving ( yes driving) back home to Washington D.C. It’s been a year since I’ve been back home and I’d love to see my family and friends. I’d love to take Chopstick home to my mother’s house and have him meet everyone too. Or just maybe just maybe I’ll take a drive up to Portland and visit my friend Duran. God only know what kind of trouble he’ll end up getting me into.  😉

Decisions….decisions…

What are your thoughts? What would you do if you had a month off to rejuvenate and figure things out? Where would you go?

What The Hell Do I Know About Coping With Stress?

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Not one of us is immune to the daily stress of life. Especially the stress that comes along with your chosen profession. In fact, according to  What To Do When Your Job Is Seriously Stressing You Out, more than a third of all American workers experience chronic workplace stress. I’ll be the first to admit that finding the right balance both personally and professionally has been quite the daunting task as of late. The challenge we face spending eight hours (if you’re lucky) at the “office” dealing with the stress can become a never-ending cycle.We try our best to keep our bosses happy by doing our jobs to the best of our ability, then come 5 o’clock we rush home to cook dinner, play with the dog and prepare for work the next day. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones, you have a job that you love and those eight hours (again, if you’re lucky) don’t actually feel like work. However, if you’re like most people, you are looking at your watch counting the seconds until it’s time to clock out and make a run for it. I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum.

But what happens when you’re stuck in a job that sends your blood pressure through the roof on a daily basis? You struggle to meet deadlines, make your boss happy, keep up to date on your email correspondence and then deal with managing your home and personal life? Not to mention attempting to have a social life! That’s where I have been the past few months. I’ve struggled with feeling like I am slowly sinking.  Keeping my head afloat, not only professionally but personally, came close to being too much to handle.

Life got to the point where it was becoming increasingly difficult to smile and act as if everything was great, when in fact things could not have been more to the contrary. So I made a decision. As I wrote in The Importance of Editing Your Life, I sat down and thought about all the things in my life that I felt no longer served me. No longer brought a smile to my face and no longer was an asset but rather a liability. The first to go was people. I had to remove certain people who were not moving in the same direction that I’ve been moving in. It’s not personal, it’s just that I decided to choose me because again, as I said before, “If I am not okay, how can I be of service to anyone else?” My thought process on the matter is “if you are not enriching my life, then you have to go.”

The second item on my list to go was my job. Yes! No need to get your eyes checked! You read that right. I decided to leave my job. This one was a very difficult decision to make. My rationale on the matter is, if I cannot take my own advice, then what the hell is the point of writing here in hopes of inspiring people? I’d be blowing smoke up your ass by talking the talk and not actually walking the walk. I’ll be honest and admit that I second guessed this decision a little bit, but at this point I have made peace with it. As my time winds down, I am actually filling more and more with excitement and looking forward to the next chapter in my already colorful life.

You see, for the past nine years, I’ve worked at a company that I loved and enjoyed with everything in me. It was perfect! It felt like home! It was home! Then why am I leaving you ask?  I’ll go into more detail later, but suffice it to say, sometimes people who are not the right fit are hired to be your boss and their lack of managerial and people skills can cause your professional life to be a complete nightmare. Sprinkle in their jealous and envious spirit as well as their insecurity when they stand next to you, and POOF there you go!! Most people would grin and bear it, but I am definitely NOT most people. I’ve been taught to stand up for myself. To never allow anyone to treat me any kind of way and as my mother would say “it’s just a paycheck”.

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Mom

I get that trait from her. My mother stood tall and strong for what she believed in. She was never one to back down from a fight nor allow anyone (boss included) to treat her disrespectfully. She put her foot down and taught me to do the same. And in truth, if this was back in the day, I wouldn’t have thought twice to drag that dude by the throat up and down Sunset Blvd… however, I digress. Back to my point, in keeping faithful in editing my life ruthlessly and frequently, I am now entering into a chapter where I am walking away from the unnecessary stress. I am choosing to apply my new school of thought to the next chapter in my life because let’s face it, it would be pointless to walk into another situation dealing with the same nonsense. That’s definitely NOT happening.

How do you cope with the stress in your life? If you happen to be editing your life, what is the first thing to go? Feel free to leave a comment below to keep the conversation going.

PS: Parlay

-AndrewPhillipK

 

What The Hell Do I Know About Nutrition?

With my 34th birthday quickly approaching in the next few weeks,  I’ve been working my ass off with my talented but tough trainer Coach G. For the past two months we’ve been focusing on finding the right nutritional balance for me as well as fine tuning our workouts for maximum results.

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Because AndrewPhillipK.Com is a place where I intend on being completely honest with my readers, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to you that nutrition has been quite the up hill battle for me. It’s been a lifelong struggle actually. I don’t know about you, but as I mentioned before in  Fitness Forensics w/ Coach G,  the mere thought of food seemingly result in my waist expanding. If you couple that hereditary issue with an insane work schedule that at times can be all over the place, it’s no wonder more than 65 percent of American adults are overweight or obese.

Being overweight and fighting obesity, sadly, is a major issue we face in this country. However, on the bright side, if you are not dead you CAN make a change. All it takes is making the decision to change your lifestyle. No it’s not a choice that comes easily and yes it also requires a hell of a lot of self-examination. But the good news here is that it CAN be done. I made that decision about halfway through 2016 and I can’t begin to explain  how much the trajectory of my life has changed. And continues to change.

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Besides the nutritional hurdles, I sometimes refer to as “food noise”, I’ve struggled with, I find that one of the major roadblocks I face in the quest for optimum health, are the same challenges that most of us adults in this country face: Finding the time in our busy schedules to eat right, exercise, meditate, pray and do whatever else is required of us to keep our body, and more importantly, our minds healthy. It has been increasingly difficult, in the last few weeks especially, to prioritize and dedicate my time to the betterment of my well-being. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! And I don’t even want to imagine if I had children to care for on top of everything else. I don’t know how some of you all do it but I tip my hat to all of you with kids that still manage to make it work! Send some of those good vibes my way! #PleaseAndThankYou

Back to my point, since I injured my foot a few weeks back, G and I have had to overcome the challenge of tailor-making our workouts to a) prevent further injury and b) keep the momentum rolling in achieving the goals I set from the beginning. We decided to make mobility, flexibility and injury prevention the focal points of our workouts. Meanwhile I’ve had to have a laser like focus on my eating habits, which, if you are like me, can be a complete and utter disaster when you are stressed out, depressed or just plain tired as hell.  There have been some good days and some bad, however, for the most part I’ve been pretty good about sticking to my goal of making better choices in the food department.

The key for me is remaining consistent in the health conscious choices when grocery shopping. For example, I’ve replaced ground beef with 93% fat-free ground turkey.  In fact, I made some bomb AF Turkey Chili (with an amazing side of rice – Thank you very much Antoin) the other night. I’ll throw that recipe up for you soon!

For those of us that need that extra push or to be pointed in the right direction when it comes to food, I thought I’d share a little gem with you for the next time you hit the grocery store. It is true that a few slight alterations to your diet can be just what you need to start seeing a change in your physique, which then leads to the motivation you need to continue on with the change in your lifestyle. Which is what it’s all about.

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As Q1 for 2017 comes to a close, there is still time to get your ass on the ball ladies and gentlemen! I promise all it takes is baby steps! You can start by replacing a few items of junk food in your kitchen cabinet with something from the list below. You don’t have to go overboard because let’s not forget rent is due today!

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Who Do You Trust When You Can’t Trust HR?

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“Business” HR people also have an underlying understanding that the motivation of the workforce is good for business, and this is a foundational principle for them. They operate by the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would do unto yourself.”

It just so happened that I stumbled across the above statement while reading a very interesting article pertaining to the Human Resources department within a company’s organization. The statement resonated deeply with me and caused me to reflect on the various companies I’ve worked for and my experience (good and bad) with them. It also caused me to pose the questions: What do you do when your HR department fails you? Or maybe the real question here is: Who do you trust when you can’t trust HR?

There it is! That is the question!

I’ve attended many a company meeting, sipping coffee and nibbling on pastries, while the speaker, a senior level executive or someone from the Corporate Office drives home the point that the company is there to act with integrity. Say it with me! IN-TEG-RITY

in·teg·ri·ty

inˈteɡrədē/

noun

  1. 1.

The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

 

The speaker of the hour rambles on and on about how they (HR) are no doubt here to fight for you and your rights. They are here to champion you on and above all else, they value your feedback as an employee. Slogans dripping in cliché such as “if you see something, say something” or “if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it” are spewed at you throughout said meeting, in hopes that you’ll buy into the rhetoric. Catchy slogans yes, but what they fail to tell you, is that those rules don’t apply to them. That’s the catch! Because they are upper management, they will uphold the rules and hold you accountable to company policies, but what happens when it’s one of their own? Will they fight for you, Alex Middlemanager or Tony Littleguy or will they coach, guide and protect the member of their executive panel? When issues of his or her behavior is brought to light, and several long time employees quit, will the executive member be held accountable? If said executive is holding middle management accountable, who then holds upper management accountable? We all know the answers to those questions right?

What some people fail to realize is that the ulterior motive behind those company meetings are for you to feel like they are there to protect you and fight for your rights and that you can trust them when in fact, they are there for neither.

Sadly this is the experience that many of us have faced and may still continue to face throughout our careers. We follow the correct protocol and the chain of command, document our complaints and grievances only to be hoodwinked by Miss Lady HR Director, who talks a good game but couldn’t process a worker’s comp claim if her life depended on it.  Who the hell hired her in the first place?

THAT being said, I’ve had many great HR representatives throughout my experience with various companies, that actually knew their job, protected the employee AND company as well as fit the brand in which they were working. I miss those days!

It is not my intention to make this a bitch-fest of a post, it’s just my two cents. But hey, what do I know? I’m just your average middle manager. Only difference with me is that I have the balls to stand up for what I believe in!

Recommended Reading: Why We Hate HR  & 5 Rules To Be A Good Boss

*Any resemblance to any person or company in this post is purely coincidental*

 

 

The Importance of Editing Your Life

The past few years have been a rollercoaster for me. I have had some great highlights and some serious low points. We all have them! It’s life! As 2017 began to usher itself in, I made the conscious decision to no longer allow anything in my life that would not benefit me or serve my greater purpose. I explained to friends, family and colleagues that I was making a change for the better. I was finally making a wholehearted decision and that decision was to choose ME. I began to distance myself from people in my life that I no longer needed. People that added no value nor enhanced my existence. That, I determined was step one.

I would no longer entertain or engage in the bullshit. I sat down and thought of a plan (You see, I am not only gifted in the art of writing, I have also been gifted with the talent of formulating a plan. It is one of my strong suits) to get me from where I was in 2016 to the direction I am determined to head in 2017. That included changing my number and relocating. That was step two. I was hellbent on bringing in the new year with tunnel vision in tow and the determination to create a new life for myself.

What I had come to learn towards the close of 2016, with the help of my life coach (I know! SO LA!), was that if I am not okay and I am not able to operate at full capacity, how then can I be of service to anyone else? How can I be a good and productive boss, a good friend, son, brother or even a good lover? It’s impossible!

Recently, I have been bombarded by Steve Harvey’s new book entitled “Jump”, which basically states that if you want to soar in life you have to be willing to jump off the cliff. You have to JUMP! While I have always been indifferent to Mr. Harvey, this message of his resonated with me. Loudly!

Midway through the first quarter of 2017, I began to take little steps towards my jump with the first being the birth of this blog/website. I have always had a passion for writing and I’ve always been quite good (damn good!), however, I never thought I’d actually put my writing out there to be consumed by anyone. I was fearful of negative feedback, lack of good content and most of all being boring. But true to form, I decided to say “fuck it” and here we are!  My first jump!

As I continued to examine my life and myself, I made a mental list of things that needed to go.  In order for me to be better and operate with a full tank, each person, place and thing on my list needed to be removed.

I spent most of  the month of January ruminating over one of the major decisions I’d have to make in my life. This decision would be a scary one but it had to be done. You see, this particular decision would have serious ramifications and if the decision turned out to be a bad one, it could prove detrimental. Nonetheless, I made the decision to choose me above all else. I would practice what I preach.

I am holding steadfastly to the fact that if it no longer serves me, enhances my well-being or brings me closer to my purpose in life, then it MUST go.

I’ll expound more on that major decision later.

But I will leave you with this for now, if it DOES NOT serve you in whatever capacity you need, it MUST go! That goes for any person, place or thing!

As my good friend Duran would say: “Anybody can get it!

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