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

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

 

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*

 

 

5 Rules To Be A Good Boss

We’ve all heard those horror stories at one time or another about how some people hate their boss right? How their boss insanely micromanages everyone and everything they come in contact with and how they get to work at 9am only to count down the actual minutes until the end of the day.

Maybe it’s your spouse that routinely comes home in a foul mood and rambles on and on over dinner about how nothing is ever good enough for his or her boss. Maybe a close friend or even a co-worker has confided in you about how they are at their wits end and is in the process of searching for a new gig.  Maybe it’s actually you! You are the one that doesn’t have to think too hard to remember that one boss you had that drove you and all your colleagues absolutely insane. Maybe it’s your current boss that rubs you the wrong way and makes your eight hours on the clock a living nightmare.

No matter how hard you try nothing is ever good enough. All your attempts at doing a good job in their eyes prove futile. You don’t feel appreciated, your hard work and long hours seemingly go unnoticed. There’s just no pleasing him or her! You dread checking your email inbox because you’re sure there will be something waiting for you with a tone that makes you come close to losing your religion. You walk into the office on Monday morning with a coffee in hand and a knot in your stomach unsure as to what new battle you are walking into.  What pile of shit is “Hell Boss” waiting to dump on your lap today? Maybe you’ve even gone so far as to add up your bills and divide them by how many Uber or Lyft rides you’d have to drive in order to make ends meet. At this point anything will do until you can find a new job and some peace of mind.

Sound familiar? Of course it does and let me tell you: You are not alone! Most of us have been there and trust me when I tell you, it is no way to live!

Luckily, I can honestly say I’ve had some really great bosses that I still love till this day but I have also run across an asshole or two since entering the workforce.

Admittedly, I myself have not been someone’s “boss” for all that long. Although it seems like it’s been an entire lifetime, in truth, I sort of fell into management about five years ago. I was asked by “the powers that be” to apply for a position that, unbeknownst to me, had become available at our sister property across town. Yes it was a promotion and of course it was more money, so I didn’t think twice. It was a no-brainer. 

I must admit I was scared shitless when I was offered the position a day or two after my interview and I remember vividly asking myself how exactly I would manage a team of almost twenty four people. How would I be their boss? I had never been someone’s boss before! How would I be the head of a department and have twenty-four unique personalities that I would be responsible for? How would I not let any of them down?  I was walking into an already established team that would rely on me to be their leader and their boss. 

Five years later I think I’ve found my niche! I am realizing that I’m actually good at this managing people thing! It is that innate quality that has made me successful when it comes to leading a team and being their boss.

By no means am I the perfect boss or manager of my department, but here’s what I know for sure: if you apply at least two of the following rules you will see a difference in your team’s attitude and their willingness to go above and beyond to get the job done.

Here are my top 5 rules I live by when managing my team:

Rule #1: RESPECT! – First and foremost I respect my staff. Simple as that. I am not the kind of boss to belittle anyone on my team and I do my best to never make them feel like they are beneath me. I value their opinion on our departmental procedures and I make it a point to include the team in the conversation when it comes to making any changes. I listen to their feedback with an open mind and encourage them to give ideas on how we can make any improvements. I believe it is my job to always make sure that they know they are being heard and that their voices matter and that their opinions are valued.

Rule #2: No Man Is An Island! – That was a saying my mother taught me as far back as I can remember. If the perception of me, being the boss, is that I think I can do the job myself and that I don’t need anyone, what then would motivate my team to want to do their best? What are they there for? If I am always criticizing their work and putting them down, does that encourage my staff?  Will that encourage them to pick up any extra slack when needed? Always remember, “No man is an island” and if you feel you can do everything yourself, there is no need for you to have a staff. Go do everything your damn self! 

Rule #3:  Make it light! – I don’t know about anyone else but I hate working in an office where the atmosphere is tense. I hate when it’s awkwardly quiet! I love to laugh and I enjoy laughing with my team. When we have a good time at work it makes the day go fast. It’s also one of the reasons that it doesn’t actually feel like work. When you enjoy your co-worker(s) you look forward to coming to work every day. You want to pull your weight and not let them down.  I make sure we have a good time and we enjoy ourselves for as long as we are on shift. But let me be clear, when the hard times come, we buckle down and get our shit done. Work hard play hard! And don’t forget to laugh!

Rule #4: – Own It! –  Let me reiterate that by no means am I perfect! My title may place more responsibilities on my shoulders, however, that does not mean that I think I am perfect nor does it mean that I am too good to admit my mistakes. It is when you look a member of your team in the eye and admit you fucked up that you earn their respect and you make yourself more human. They relate to you more and when the time comes for them to own up to their screwup, nine times out of ten, they will do so with no problem because they know they can be honest with you because you are honest with them. It’s a two way street! Simple as that! My team adores me and will go to bat for me because they know I have their backs. They also know that I will protect them and if/when I should fall short on anything, which I will, I own it!

Rule #5: – Appreciate! –  Does it really cost you to take two minutes to thank your staff when they are leaving at the end of their day? Would it kill you? It’s not that difficult a task to say thank you to someone for doing a good job. Most people want to please their boss and ensure their happiness and satisfaction with their performance, so trust me when I tell you, a little goes a long way when you show appreciation. You never know when you’ll need that same member of your team to change their schedule, put in overtime, or work that shift that everyone hates. When you show your appreciation to your staff they repay it back tenfold.

Now that I’ve given you some insight into what it takes to be a good and likeable boss,  begin this brand new week with the perfect opportunity to put one of these rules to use. You will notice a shift in dynamic with your team and in your office.

Happy Monday! Teamwork makes the dream work! 

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– AndrewPhillipK