Are you stuck @ work?

19 oktober 2018

Once upon a time, I must have been a horrible person to have on the team. Maybe not at first glance.

Because I worked hard, took initiative, was selected for projects and delivered on them successfully.


But I was badly stuck in 'hierarchical thinking'. And even worse - I thought that was normal.


Let me explain: I was the one who knew exactly what my manager should and shouldn't do.

He shouldn't decide behind my back, he should communicate more, he should make decisions more quickly. 

He should give more feedback. He shouldn't be late for meetings.

The list was endless. My judgment was relentless.

And of course I got frustrated when he didn't stick to my list of expectations.


Even though I put in many hours, was involved in interesting projects, and got good results, my career wasn't going anywhere. 

And I felt unhappy, not seen, not heard, not understood, not appreciated. 

Why was my hard & smart work not rewarded?

I thought my manager just refused to see my potential.


What I didn't see was, that I made it impossible for him to see it.

My mindset & attitude were holding me back.

I should have made it easy for him. 

I should have made him feel safe.




Yes, I'll say it again: it was up to me to make my boss feel safe with me.


If I wanted to be seen, heard and able to make an impact - that was my responsibility.

If I wanted to advance in my career - it wasn't just about working hard and doing the right things.

It's about taking care of my relationships. With everyone. 360°.

And that includes helping my manager to feel safe enough to hear what I was saying.

And making myself feel safe enough to do so.


When your stuck in 'hierarchical thinking', you're looking at others to make your life better.

You're waiting for others to lift you up, give you permission, spot your talent.

You play the blame game when they don't deliver.


When you upgrade to 'ownership mindset', you are looking at yourself to make your life better.

You ask yourself what you can do differently. You take your career into your own hands.

You focus on lessons learned when things go wrong.


The difference is in how you treat others.

Not in how hard or smart you work.


I see the same with quite a lot of managers I work with: 

they focus more on what their manager should do (and doesn't) than on their own managerial attitude.


Your boss is not there to make the world a better place, not to be the superman of the team who never makes mistakes.

He's there to help you when you're stuck, to guide you, challenge you, allow you to learn, grow and deliver.

You're boss is human, just like you. With strengths and development areas. With sensitivities and things he'd like to avoid.


The best way to make a manager-employee relationship work, is to step away from these unrealistic expectations of others.

Instead of blaming, ask yourself: what can you do to help him? Or to help him help you?


Upgrading to an 'ownership mindset' is what makes you happy & successful at work.


Complaining takes as much energy as taking ownership.

But the outcome is very different

What do you want to focus on?

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