Hard, hot, and slow work in the Doldrums: As Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race neared its halfway point on Tuesday, any memories of the freezing cold Southern Ocean had long been banished….
Full Article: World Sailing RSS – Hard, hot, and slow work in the Doldrums,
Lynda Gratton, is a professor at the London Business School, and has just published a book entitled ” Hot spots: Why Some Teams, Workplaces and Organisations Buzz with Energy and Others Don’t.” So when I saw an article by her in the Sunday Times, I couldn’t wait to read it.
When working TOO hard gets you the shove!
She writes: “In times of recession and job uncertainty, it is more important than ever to add value and to prove their worth at work. The problem is that sometimes the very actions people take to make themselves indispensable only ensure they are disposable.”
She considers two cases: in the first scenario, Tom, a manager in a medium-sized business is given a tough assignment to complete, so he puts his head down, works long hours and stays late. What he doesn’t do is seek advice or assistance from colleagues or his networks, choosing to work alone because he wants to prove his worth and indispensibility and ensure that if anyone one is going to be sacked it won’t be he.
In the second scenario, Jack has a similar task, but what he does is to turn to trusted colleagues and seek their views on his project. Then he seeks others who have had similar problems to solve to see what he can learn from them – he goes to his networks for ideas. Finally, he considers the project at length and redefines it in a way that ignites interest and enthusiasm in others and draws them into working in his team.
Unfortunately, because poor old first-case Tom is first-in, last-out of work, there on weekends (or working at home), taking on everything asked of him and doing it alone he will become stressed, suffer burnout, become ill-tempered and will upset not only his work colleagues but his family. He will lose not only his energy and ability to be innovative, but will also show himself to be fallible, thus decreasing his value. All of this of course impacting on his confidence and self-esteem.
Second-case Jack, however, has learned to work smarter, not harder, so he exceeds expectations because he can bring innovation, flair and maybe lateral thinking to the project. The ideas may not even be his own but his positive, upbeat attitude to life has enabled him to connect to others, build networks and engage with inspiring questions, thus creating trusting relationships. He doesn’t use words like ‘competitor’, ‘I’, ‘winners and losers’. Instead he uses different words: ‘collaboration’, ‘we’, ‘win-win’.
Lynda Gratton describes this as (a) “jumping across worlds”, opening yourself up to new ideas and being innovative; (b) doing this by celebrating the diversity of others as you paint a picture of the future for them that is exciting, and (c) accessing your inner spark, redefining your task, creating a vision of what you want to achieve, and igniting others in the process, creating new insights and ultimately trust.
To summarise, what Linda Gratton is saying is that “it is better to cooperate than to compete!”.
Adrianne Morris, success coach for small businesses has similar articles on her website: go to http://alplifecoach.com or call her on 07956 514714 for some laser coaching on taking your business to the next level with regard to increased client base, expanded repeat business and better team work.