Keep Ya Head Up: Choices

My first performance evaluation came as a surprise. I’d been gainfully employed for years before I had one, so I didn’t know what to expect. It turned out to be the most positive version of a conversation I’ve had many times since.

“You come off as somewhat…” my boss paused before completing his thought. The rest of my performance review had exceeded my expectations, but he had said that there were some additional notes he wanted to share as well. “…somewhat aggressive.”

I blinked. He gave examples. I nodded.

“Ok,” I said, digesting this news. “How do we solve it?”

“I don’t think it’s a problem,” he said. “Sometimes it’s good. I know that I can give you an assignment and trust that you’ll get it done. You won’t drop it just because other people aren’t interested in working on it.”

I waited.

“But I want to make sure you’re aware. It can be helpful, but it isn’t always necessary. So you should decide when to be, and when not to be, quite so forceful.”

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Motivating the Troops

I may be a manager, but they don’t pay me the big bucks because I rally the troops. Actually, they don’t pay me big bucks. But the reason they pay me at all is because I’m practical, and figure out how to make sure things happen. They do not pay me because I inspire people to want to make things happen.

Except, my staff now thinks I’m an inspiration. Rather, one of the my staff thinks so after our regular Friday check-in:

Me: How are you doing?

Staff: Ugh..I’m crawling out of this week.

Me: Better to be crawling out than in!

Him: I guess.

Me: Definitely. If you’re crawling out of a coal mine, you’re headed toward light. If you’re crawling in, you’re headed toward possible death through suffocation due to a cave in.

Him: You’re right! Thanks for the motivating speech! I’m ready to work now!

And he turned around and went to it.