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5 Bits of Advice Before You Walk

As former managers, here are some things we learned that we want to pass on to you before you decide to walk away from your job.

  1. As much as possible, be aligned with the company values. Yes, performance is important but so is knowing the company values. Get in and stay in alignment.
  2. Don’t be detached from the team or manager, be and stay engaged.
  3. Some managers are afraid to address issues proactively. Be proactive and bring issues tactfully to your manager to get them resolved fast.
  4. Some managers are not very approachable. That’s life. Approach them anyway.
  5. If you know you’re not a fit for the position you are filling, face the facts. Talk to your manager. Get on with life somewhere else. The sooner, the better.
  6. You may never get asked about how satisfied you are as an employee. Many managers don’t care enough to know. Whether you’re a satisfied or dissatisfied employee, communicate your feelings with to your manager. If you’re not being asked if you’re satisfied, most likely they’re afraid to ask.
  7. Be clear about your departure plans. Make certain to keep communication open, so you don’t cause any trouble for you or your to be former employer. You never know when that relationship will be useful in your future.
  8. If you’re taught life lessons, let them sink in.
  9. If possible, before you leave, leave behind some notes for your successor so they can do their job more efficiently faster. They will appreciate you, remember you, and so will the manager.
  10. If you’re a senior or key employee and plan to leave, give your employer as much notice as possible. Even if it’s months in advance, be comfortable and open about your career plans so you won’t fear retribution from your manager or employer.
  11. Although teamwork and collaboration are key performance factors, never underestimate the value of being the single individual who makes the biggest difference in the company culture.
  12. Don’t burn bridges. It’s especially important if you’re early in your career to be graceful in your transition from one job to another. People talk. People know people. You may have to cross back over this bridge one day.
  13. Even if the job you have may not be your ideal job, have a passion for what you are doing. Passion and enthusiasm aren’t always easy to maintain. If your energy gets too low because you’re waiting for something better, you’ll forget. Practice keeping your energy up. Set reminders on your phone if you have to.
  14. Be a happy employee. Employers know that a happy employee is the best employees. If there is something you want that will make you happier, ask. You’ll most likely get it.
  15. If there is something in your life that you really, really want to do and your job is in the way, make it known and go do it. Employees come and go, and an employer should know that turnover is a fact of life.

 

Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined. ~ Johnny Carson

 


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Read Manager Hacker now in paperback or free eBook.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Domenic Certa is the co-author of the soon to be #1 bestselling book, Manager Hacker and the founder of the Self-Achievement System, one of the internet’s best DIY personal and professional development systems, serving people across the globe. His book is currently being translated into 6 languages and will soon be available in more than 150 countries.

Domenic has managed hundreds of people and helped gross millions in revenue for clients like Apple, General Motors, AT&T, Vodafone Wireless, BMW, Heineken and HSBC Bank over the past 15 years. As a senior facilitator for the ISA Experience, Domenic has coached thousands of people in their personal and professional growth.

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Bad Boss Do’s

According to Kim Scott a former Apple and Google executive and author of the awesome book Radical Candor “The most important things you can do if you have a bad boss, is to remember that this person is a human being.”

You know how it is when you have a crappy boss you secretly walk around thinking you’re going to break the bitch down and make them suffer, but it never happens.

Usually what happens is that you hold all your feelings, thoughts and ideas inside until you’re ready to blow up like a volcano just to wind up being more frustrated and hate coming to work.

Kim Scott, who has been a CEO Coach to people like Ryan Smith (Qualtrics), Drew Houston (Dropbox), and Kevin Gibbon (Shyp) says to start by soliciting feedback from your boss to try to understand their perspective on how things are going.

You do that by:

  1. Looking for things that you both like
  2. Stop talking badly about them
  3. Focus on the good stuff

If you just do those 3 things, eventually you will create a safe space to ask your boss if it’s okay to give them some critical feedback.

What if your boss says no?

Polish your resume and find another boss.

If your boss says yes, you’re on your way to fixing the relationship.

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I really appreciate that you read our posts. If you like it, please share it. On LinkedIn, we write about how to hack lousy “people” managers and how to improve your performance in spite of a lousy manager. Feel free to connect via:

Google+, Twitter, Facebook, The Manager Hacker

Here are some other recent posts we have written:

Have a question? Invite me to connect and ask me any manager question you have.

Read Manager Hacker now in paperback or free eBook.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Domenic Certa is the co-author of the soon to be #1 bestselling book, Manager Hacker and the founder of the Self-Achievement System, one of the internet’s best DIY personal and professional development systems, serving people across the globe. His book is currently being translated into 6 languages and will soon be available in more than 150 countries.

Domenic has managed hundreds of people and helped gross millions in revenue for clients like Apple, General Motors, AT&T, Vodafone Wireless, BMW, Heineken and HSBC Bank over the past 15 years. As a senior facilitator for the ISA Experience, Domenic has coached thousands of people in their personal and professional growth.

Stop Complaining

It takes a disciplined spirit to endure the monastery on Mount Serat in Spain. One of the fundamental requirements of this religious order is that the young men must maintain silence. Opportunities to speak are scheduled once every two years, at which time they are allowed to speak only two words.

One young initiate in this religious order, who had completed his first two years of training, was invited by his superior to make his first two-word presentation. “Food terrible,” he said.

Two years later the invitation was once again extended. The young man used this forum to exclaim, “Bed lumpy.”

Arriving at his superior’s office two years later he proclaimed, “I quit.” The superior looked at this young monk and said, “You know, it doesn’t surprise me a bit. All you’ve done since you arrived is complain, complain, complain.

Exaggerated? Maybe. What if you were asked to share two words that describe your Life? Would your focus be the lumps, bumps, and unfairness, or are you committed to dwell on those things that are good, right, and lovely?

Impossible to Fail

Free Your Mind with Self Achievement

Failure is an old, outdated concept. The new paradigm is that it’s impossible to fail. You see, the results you get are always exactly proportional to the effort and steps you put into something. You are always 100% successful for the result you create. If you make bread and leave out the yeast, you didn’t fail, you were VERY successful at making flatbread.

So if you want to walk around fearing failure, or thinking that you’re a failure, you’re living in the old concept. Free your mind! 🙂

Why Energy Is Your Secret To Success

work hack 1 energize yourself

“I wasn’t always energized, but what makes me energized now is waking up each day knowing I’m making a difference in people’s life and doing what works for me to be energized.” ~ Domenic Certa

In my recent book, Manager Hacker, I include a chapter on “The Four Ideal Ways Managers Are Suppose to Develop You.” One of the ways managers are supposed to develop you is to energize you. But everyone knows that as much as a manager tries, the only one who can energize you is you thus the purpose of this article.

Related [How Do You Know If You Have An Awesome Manager?]

If you’re in a situation and you seriously want to change it, you have to ignite change in yourself and it starts with doing subtle little things that over time will make a big difference for you.

Why is it that as soon as the end-of-day work bell goes off, people are somehow magically energized, even though they were in sloth-mode all day long? What the hell is up with that?!?!

Energizing yourself is something you can learn to do anytime, anywhere, if you don’t do it already. No one can order you to be energized even though he or she wish they could.

All Little Kids Are Full Of Energy

As a kid, we were all energized. We drove our parents crazy. We were so curious that we were a total nuisance to anyone and everyone who was within a few feet of us. We wanted to know everything about everything and we wanted to know RIGHT NOW.

As children, we would ask a thousand questions a minute and didn’t care if we got an answer. We would open drawers and purses and get into all the things our parents didn’t want us to. We were so curious that we would even stick our finger in people’s noses to see what was inside there. We didn’t stop to clean up our path of curious destruction…we were just being our natural, curious, monster-self.

Smile Like A Stoned Monkey

Then, we grew up and after being told a million and six times to stop getting into things, stop making a mess and stop asking so many questions…we stopped being curious and lost our mojo.

You can’t blame anyone now, though, because you’re adulting. You know you’re the only one who can decide at any given moment to be energized and curious, so why the hell not be energized and curious everywhere you go, all the time? If you have to, set a reminder on your phone several times a day to say things like: “Energize yourself”, “Be awesome right now!” or “Smile like a stoned monkey!” For god sake, do it!

“The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” ~ Tony Robbins

You already know you have total control over your energy so why not use it to your advantage? Your energy is a tool that you can use to communicate with. Since you’re always communicating anyway with your words, tone, and body language, why not be energized? It’s all about perception anyway, right?

Are You A Snooze Alarm Addict?

Controlling your energy doesn’t depend on your manager AT ALL. The biggest reason people aren’t energized is because they’ve put themselves into a situation that they aren’t excited about, and they don’t even take responsibility for getting themselves into the situation in the first place. Now that you are reading this, you can be excited and energized that you are doing something about your situation. That should give you the energy to leap out of bed, instead of being a snooze-you-lose alarm addict.

Like it or not (NOT believe it or not…you don’t have to believe the truth), the truth is you have the power and the ability to think, feel and behave any way you choose, period.

Stop waiting for “the right conditions” to catch an energy vibe.

You can’t energize yourself whenever you want if you’re waiting for the IDEAL to happen. It ain’t gonna happen! Don’t be dependent on things like the weather or the traffic, a raise, a new position or the amount of sleep you got last night – or the mood of your manager.

Finding ways to energize is easy. Start doing things you like to do. Listen to loud music in the evening and dance for example instead of laying on the couch snapping with your friends. Shut off the TV, shut off the bright lights and turn up the music!

Here are a few other ideas to help you energize yourself:

Each morning when your alarm goes off, leap out of bed. That’s right! Shut the alarm off, push back the covers and leap out of bed. Why the heck do you need an event to create an energizing life?

Listen to a motivational mp3 or something energizing on YouTube.

  • Grab a banana or an apple instead of that cupcake.

Lay off the booze before sleeping

  • Take action on something you’ve been avoiding before something bad happens.
  • Set some exciting goals and commit them to writing.
  • Stop acting shy. Interact more with people in your environment. Shake hands and smile. Be real.

Start doing an activity that gets you up and moving every day.

Just remember, at work…you are expected to show up energized.

When you are energized, you are super productive and when you are super productive, more of your manager’s goals are being met. They want you to support their goals first and foremost so being super energized shows them your commitment to their department’s goals. Also, by being super energized you will not just feel good, you will feel super amazing. Just smile and you will feel energized! Try it!!

Also, FYI, your manager will probably never tell you that you are the most vitally important resource they have!

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I really appreciate that you read my posts. If you like it, please share it. Here on LinkedIn, I write about how to hack lousy “people” managers and how to improve your performance in spite of a lousy manager. If you would like to read my regular posts then please click ‘Follow’ (at the top of the page) and send me a LinkedIn invite. And, of course, feel free to also connect via:

Google+TwitterFacebook, #ManagerHackerTips or at DomenicCerta.com 

Here are some other recent posts I have written:

Have a question? Invite me to connect and ask me any manager question you have.

Have a comment? Please share your comment for others to ponder in the comments section below.

Read Manager Hacker now in paperback or ebook.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Domenic Certa is the co-author of the soon to be #1 bestselling book, Manager Hacker and the founder of the Self-Achievement System, one of the internet’s best DIY personal and professional development systems, serving people across the globe. His book is currently being translated into 6 languages and will soon be available in more than 150 countries.

Domenic has managed hundreds of people and helped gross millions in revenue for clients like Apple, General Motors, AT&T, Vodafone Wireless, BMW, Heineken and HSBC Bank over the past 15 years. As a senior facilitator for the ISA Experience, Domenic has coached thousands of people in their personal and professional growth.

If you’d like to learn how to hack your other-than-ideal manager, consider taking the online Management Style Detector that’s included with the Manager Hacker book. Your results will pinpoint which manager type and hacking strategy you should use that will increase your promotion potential the most.

Manajerk Micromanager Issues Solutions

manajerk

A Tongue and Cheak way of hacking a Micro ManaJerk aka the Black Hole Boss

As the name implies, here is a micromanager who adds their unique style of jerkiness to management. Also known as the Black Hole Boss, the Micro ManaJerk actually thinks that keeping their people in the dark and feeding them bullshit keeps them hungry for more, however, it only keeps them confused and feeling deflated. The Micro ManaJerk also thinks that by spilling too much critical information the team will take over, so they hoard information (like a galactic black ? hole), vs. sharing necessary information so their people can do their jobs effectively. Their entire purpose is to be vague, effectively reversing gravity, where resources and information go in but not even one fucking molecule comes out.

Micro Manajerk’s are Quirky

Some Micro ManaJerk’s act like snooty, numb nut heads who think their poodle ? pooh is odorless just because they have all their organic soup can label’s lined up in their kitchen cabinets at home. In the workplace, these managers are in your face, stalking your junk, 24/7 because they’re freaked that their boss is going to spot a mistake THEY missed. They’re like a confused squirrel darting back and forth unsure of which way to run. When mistakes start to build, they get the deer-in-the-headlights look and freeze in their tracks.

A Micro ManaJerk is a such a quirky management style because this unaware narcissist hasn’t a clue that they’re demotivating ? their people, making them weaker and painfully resentful. Team players are like, “Get outta my face, ass hat!” If a Micro ManaJerk would just give instructions and specific targets, and leave people alone, everything would be rainbows and butterflies. But noooooo…this boss type is neurotic, uptight, and anal, which leaves you feeling like they don’t trust you and like you’re a fucking, worthless chowderhead that can never do anything as well as them.

Micro Manajerk’s are Illusionists

A Micro ManaJerk has the audacity to think they’re better organized, more accurate, and way more practical than anyone else in the department which they think gives them the green light to tell you the proper way to hold a tissue while you blow your nose. These are some strange muthafuckas! You can spot these freaks easily because they say things like “I’m gonna need you to skip your break and go….” or “When you get done with that I’ve got a long list of projects that need your attention…so let’s speed it up.” or even “If you do it like this, it will go faster.” You can actually hear Team Members mumbling things like “Shove that micromanagement ? back up your ass!”

When you walk into a Micro ManaJerk’s office every piece of ? furniture every ? folder and every ? paperclip is organized which gives the impression they have their shit together, however, it’s blatantly obvious that they’re more focused on keeping their office crap decluttered than they are on leading, developing and coaching their people.

Micro Manajerk’s are Insecure

Generally, a Micro ManaJerk’s underlying thinking is that you either do it the “right way” or “my way,” and if you don’t like it you can “piss-off” with the other disorganized zit-heads in the office. If they catch you altering procedure from 1,2,3,4,5 to 1,2,4,5,3, regardless of whether your way gets the job done right or not…expect a 20-minute  ?  hammering  ?  for not following procedures and protocols, that lasts exactly 20 minutes.

Ordinarily, when the Micro ManaJerk feels under the gun, they stop talking to everyone (except their boss of course), go to their office, close their door and go into a mental  ?  coma to keep out all distractions. However, they’re actually just thinking up the next “be-all-end-all” report to demand from you that will fix this week’s shit-storm.

Since the Feng Shui-worshiping ManaJerk spends more time obsessing about every doom and gloom scenario (fear of losing ? money, fear of deadlines, fear of their boss, fear of fear), they do feel an incessant need to control. That said, it may seem like they’re all about having control, actually, they’re really just freaked out and scared most of the time because of all their self-fulfilling insecurities.

STRONG POINTS NOBODY WANTS TO ADMIT ?

  • Accurate
  • Fact-based
  • Organized
  • Makes solid decisions
  • Excellent follow through
  • Holds their people accountable
  • Depth of knowledge
  • Practical and thorough
  • Takes on complex challenges

PERCEIVED WEAKNESSES AND ACCUSED OF BEING ?

  • Stubborn
  • Boring
  • Unimaginative
  • Resistant to change
  • Penny pinchers
  • Reserved
  • Slow-to-respond
  • Righteous

SIGNS A MICRO MANAJERK IS STRESSED OUT ?

  • They go away so they can concentrate
  • They talk less because talking is a distraction
  • They complain more about shit that’s not right especially when they don’t know how to fix it
  • They have a hard time making decisions when they don’t have all the facts and that slows them down
  • They fixate on mistakes

WHEN A MICRO MANAJERK IS REALLY STRESSED OUT…THEY HATE IT WHEN YOU ?

  • Are sloppy and lack attention to detail
  • Are inconsistent
  • Are disorganized
  • Are overly emotional because they’re logical…emotions aren’t logical
  • Leave out details or facts

WHEN A MICRO MANAJERK IS REALLY STRESSED OUT…THEY LOVE IT WHEN YOU ?

  • Make sense when you talk, don’t babble
  • Use just the facts when communicating
  • Use words like logic, structure and step-by-step (they love that shit)
  • Ask specific, open-ended detailed questions about the details
  • Ask them “What specifically are you concerned about?”
  • Use them as a resource, they know a lot of shit so take advantage and they will feel more useful
  • Ask them “what do you see is the exact solution?”
  • When you ask them for advice you let them talk and keep digging for more info
  • Say things like “I’m going to figure this out.” or “I’m going to make this right no matter what.” or “Sounds like you need some time to think.”

Your Desired Outcome

Even though it may not always be ?% possible, ideally you want to get into a win-win situation with your Micro ManaJerk so that you get more of what you want out of the relationship (better pay, job satisfaction, recognition, growth opportunities, promotion, transfer, etc.) and they get what they need (job performance/achieving targets). That’s a best-case scenario. In many cases, however, the urgent need you may have right now is to just get them off your back. You’re gonna do that by asking the right questions, slowly letting them get to know you better, getting them to trust your work and by getting them to “get it” that you have their back.

Reality Check

Let’s get one thing straight if your Micro ManaJerk is driving you to drink, annoying the ? out of you, or gnawing at your nerves like a pit ? bull. Just remember this…you’re not a victim to their behavior. Say it out loud with me…”I’m not a victim!” Good job! A victim is someone who’s a blamer. Blamer’s think that things just “happen” to them, like having a ? manager without owning it that you accepted the job, even though you may not have known your manager was a psycho at the time you accepted the position. ?

Want to read the rest of the mini-ebook “How to Hack a Micro ManaJerk? [Download Here]

To purchase Manager Hacker [Download Here]

Five Bad Boss Situations

what does a bad boss look like? Manager Hacker tells you the five ways to hack a bad boss. Institute for self achievement.

The FIVE “Bad Boss Situation” HACKs

The following excerpt is from Domenic and Diane Certa’s book Manager Hacker. Buy it now from Amazon in paperback or ebook.

Domenic and Diane weren’t always effective managers, but what makes them stand out is that they’ve managed hundreds of teams of people, made huge mistakes and fine tuned corrections and then tested everything before they wrote their book. As a result of their dedicated testing they did with their own management skills, Domenic and Diane know for a fact what elements of management worked and what didn’t, and they were able to apply their findings to their teams so that they kept achieving better and better results.

Related: How To Know If Your Happy Satisfied Successful At Work

In their classic book, Manager Hacker, Domenic and Diane included a chapter on “The Four Ideal Ways Managers Are Suppose to Develop You” in which they lay out some of the basic laws of people management that produced results, based on years of testing different ways of managing people and analyzing their resulting sales and marketing result rates. Here are just some of these laws that worked back then — and still work today:

So, if you’re in a bad situation with a bad boss and you seriously want to change it, you have to ignite change in yourself and it starts with doing subtle little things that over time will make a big difference.

  1. Stop pressuring, stop criticizing, stop complaining and stop whining. Anytime you catch yourself pressuring people (including your manager), criticizing, complaining or whining, instantly STOP. It might not be easy because these behaviors are so ingrained and habitual, but you have to resist the stop whining to your bad boss, they don't caretemptation or sarcastic statements. Apologize if or when you screw up then regroup your thoughts, restate your words in a positive way and move forward. What’s good is when people don’t feel put down, it impels them to take action. The less pressure, the better it is for managers to do their job and the better the team is at being productive.
  2. Stop saying “I need” because it creates low self-esteem and makes you sound weak. Remember, needy people are like black holes…they suck! Yes, at work, there are certain resources you “need” to do your job but that’s not what I’m talking about here. You still NEED resources so continue to ask for them but if you’re asking in a complaining or whining way, knock it off! When you listen to other people say “I need,” you will easily see how it makes them sound weak and lowers their self-confidence. “I need a vacation,” “I need a break,” “I need coffee,” “I need a smoke.” When you say “I need” what you’re really saying is, “There is something wrong with me” and I “need” something external to fix me. The truth is there’s nothing “wrong” with you. Get over it. Stop trying to get sympathy. It doesn’t work and it won’t work if you want to improve your situation. If you are struggling to get your managers message, ask them for logical steps so you can accomplish your goals instead of being needy.
  3. Unless it’s something dire, start agreeing with anything your manager says or does, even if it’s wrong or negative. Many managers, and yes even a bad boss, are open to ideas, but when a manager has a closed mind and the situation is bad, the truth is they are in love with their own negative feelings and thoughts so much that they won’t let any outside, positive vibe or thoughts in. If you try to reason with them especially when the situation is bad, what they are hearing from you is that you think they’re wrong. That causes them to push back and have an even more closed mind. So like if your manager says “this situation is hopeless” you say “Yes, you’re right, this situation is hopeless.” If your manager says “I don’t trust upper management” you say “Yes, I agree, it’s really hard to trust them.” And for god sake, don’t defend yourself, it makes you look like an idiot! Just agree, sound sincere, shut up and go do your work. Lots of people won’t agree with this HACK but when a situation is bad, and your goal is to get the hell out of there as soon as possible. The important thing here is to make sure you’re only agreeing with your manager – you’re not spreading this negative vibe anywhere else. The idea is to reassure your manager how things will benefit from their ideas and how they will make everyone’s lives better.
  4. Just be happy or at least “act” happy about everything as it is. If something is screwed up, just say something like “Oh man!” or “That’s okay, no problem, we’ll/I’ll figure something else out.” Acting perfectly happy about any and all situations, good, bad or challenging will change everything like magic, especially for you. If your manager is pissed-off, just let them blow a fuse and do your best not to get sucked into their drama. When they’ve finished with their meltdown, kick your happy act in. When you “act” happy even though you may not actually be happy, physically acting will help you to shift your mindset. It’s just like forcing yourself to smile when you do that, you feel happier. If they are upset with you or give you any feedback, always say “thank you,” or “you’re right,” or “damn, I didn’t do that right.” When you’re in a bad situation with a difficult manager, it’s always better to let them be right about whatever their interpretation is about a situation. Agree with it, and be willing to do whatever it is they want and do it their way. You want to get yourself out of the way as much as possible, by being happy, you leave yourself out of the equation.
  5. Be urgent with your work, take immediate action often and be willing, one hundred percent, to do things your manager’s way. There’s no payoff in being right, there’s only being righteous and everyone loves to hate a righteous jackass, so let them hate your boss, not you. Speed and deliberate action are the easiest ways to show your manager (they have to see you moving fast) that you are on their side. Being slow only frustrates the hell out of them. The more urgency you show, you’re really showing that your interest is in creating results and not about boasting. Boasting is repulsive. The aim is to get action from everyone on the team by being the urgent example.

Related: Dealing with a Micro ManaJerk aka Micromanager

With these 5 HACKs in mind, actively observe your words, behavior, actions, and attitude. If you catch yourself forgetting to apply the rules, don’t beat yourself up and don’t get frustrated with yourself. Set some daily reminders on your phone and start each day new. Also, as much as possible, be sincere with your words and actions especially with your boss. If you are sarcastic or insincere, this will backfire. Start out slowly with one or two HACKs until you get the hang of them and then add the next one. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the relationship improves and how much more enjoyable your job will be.

It’s not only important to HACK yourself at work, it’s important to hack yourself outside of work. In my next few posts, I will give you 5 HACKs to help you speed up the process of getting more of what you want from of your career and life.

Invite me to connect and ask me any manager question you have by emailing me at: domenic@domeniccerta.com

3 Cool Ways to Hack a Not So Cool Boss

Not cool boss

Hack that NOT COOL Boss in three steps

Why Was I Sooooo Freakin’ Dumb???

After successfully screwing up in management and being the “not cool boss” a few million times, I finally got it. As a manager, I realized…all that my people wanted were the same things I wanted…get ahead, make more money, get better projects…get noticed AND above all, be ENGAGED and TURNED ON about my work!

Long before I ever became a manager, I secretly wished I could find the perfect manager who could set my ass and my career on fire! Seriously! I mean it! I really didn’t know how to do it myself. Even after reading a shit-ton of “How to” books after serving 4 years in the military, I wanted to be excited about my work and I wanted to be excited about my life and my job but no matter how bad I wanted to be excited, I just couldn’t get the right vibe going.

I was one of those Vets that didn’t get a fanfare welcome home (aw, poor me, lol) and had a very difficult time finding work even after I attended college. Finding someone, I thought, with the kind of energy I was used to in the Navy was, well, going to be impossible. Until one day…I accidentally found him.

The Guy Who Taught Me The Secret to Engagement

Luis, is a facilitator for a personal growth seminar that I decided to attend on a recommendation from a friend to cure my shyness and some of my personal problems. The man was engaging! He’s like Tony Robbins before Tony Robbins was Tony Robbins. This dude was LIT the f UP! He never stopped and to this day I’ve not met anyone quite like him and for a while, I was an intern and eventually worked for him for several years. What always stuck out for me about Luis was what he taught me…to be a kind, engaging kind of guy.

Fast forward 10 years, after leaving his organization and I was a manager for my own start-up. After not being in his engaging environment for years, I had seriously forgotten most of my engaging skills and I found myself struggling with my own team’s results. Basically, I had forgotten about Luis and what it was like to be around someone really engaging. Geez, what a difference environment makes.

And then one day, it was like BOOM! You know how it is, you’re driving and all of a sudden, wham! Well, one day, I was driving and boom…I remembered Luis! The way he used to engage me and what he had taught me about being engaging. I was kinda feeling dumb for forgetting but hey, whatever. I just kept thinking about how he used to so casually ask me personal questions about my life and my family, about my business goals, about my struggles and about the direction I wanted to take my life. And just by talking casually about it with him really helped to make things clearer in my mind. His questions made me want to work harder and be a better me. That’s when “I got it!” This is exactly what I needed to do with my team.

Hack 1 – Let Your People Get to Know You Better

And as I started to remember how Luis had engaged me, I realized that the real cause of my team problem was simple. My people didn’t know enough about me and I didn’t know enough about them for us to WANT to support each other in our goals. Although one major challenge I had was that most of my team worked in the field and never attended weekly meetings because of distance, I still decided to start engaging with them anyway by text and email and on the phone asking similar question Luis used to ask me.

Now, you may be one of the millions of people working remotely or working for multiple companies or working for multiple managers, or you’re a ghost team member who contributes but isn’t present and doesn’t get the benefit of the team energy. Whatever! But, here’s the deal, you still need to figure out how to make more money, to get better projects…to get noticed AND to be ENGAGED and TURNED ON if you want real job satisfaction! Otherwise, you’re going to end up wanting to be fired up just like I wanted to.

Hack 2 – Ask Your Boss Questions in a Casual Way

If you wish your manager was more engaging with you, here are three awesome hacks [there are more here] to help you engage with them and fire up your relationship.

  1. not cool bossCasually, find out what your manager is supposed to be doing.
  2. Casually, find out exactly what results they’re responsible for.
  3. Casually, find out how they are going about achieving those results.

Again, they may not be an engaging manager but DO NOT let that stop you. Remember, on the flip side, a good manager will find a way to include you in the team energy. If your manager just ain’t doing it for ya, give these hacks a go.

At this point, you may be saying, “how the hell am I going to do that?” Or you’re thinking “I already know what they are supposed to be doing,” blah, blah, blah. Just lighten up for a second. As The Manager Hacker, let me ask you “If your goal is to feel more fired up or connected or to create a more engaging environment or speed up the process of advancing your career, why not give these hacks a shot?” Let me know if you have some better ideas in the comments below. 🙂

Hack 3 – Ask Engaging Questions

Listen, it’s simple…talk to your manager more and ask them more engaging questions instead of the same old boring production questions. Luis used to tell me, “When you ask boring questions, you’ll get, boring answers. When you ask exciting and engaging questions, you’ll get exciting and engaging answers.” I was like duh!!

Well, just so that you know, I started asking my people more engaging questions and added some excitement in my voice, and guess what magically happened? Yes, you got it! The more engaging questions I asked the more fired up they got. You can do the same thing with your boss and co-workers if you’re interested that is. And let me be clear, the questions I asked were not like “Are you guys fired up today?”

So anyway, one day, I decided to tell them about Luis and gave them permission to ask me more questions about me and my life and my business plans. They got plugged into the bigger picture and became just as fired up as I was. Guys, engagement is the key.

My Lifelong Learning Conclusion

Engaging with your people first and they will engage with you.

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Manager Hacker about an awesome manager

Nice Boss Finishes Last

A Nice Boss Can Suck Too

The Buddy Boss aka the “Nice-Aholic or the nice boss,” has an incurable addiction to niceness. They are always ready to listen to the worries and problems of others and spare no effort when they’re asked for help. With over-exaggerated empathy and dripping sympathy, they can somehow sense what other people need and will sometimes offer help before they’re even asked to help. Their energetic phony aesthetic friendship is unpleasantly pathetic.

Buddy Bosses are always willing to point out the strong points of others and excuse their weaknesses. They are among the most sociable of all manager types. Social contacts and interactions are very important to them. Because the Buddy Boss wants to make friends with everyone and wants everyone to be happy, they get caught in lies because they tell one person one thing and another person something else.

More traits of a nice boss

If you haven’t noticed already, the Buddy Boss thrives on giving lots of “let me help you with that” attention to people even if it negatively affects productivity. Because they have such an extreme need to get along with everyone, they tend to be overly friendly, sickeningly pleasant and excessively agreeable.

Because they are unaware of their insecurity, they can be unnecessarily consoling, overly caring and helpful. With their constant pampering, they end up enabling people in ways that make them, and everyone on the team, weaker.

Buddy Bosses will mostly say what other people want to hear. They too often say yes to almost any request, perpetually over-commit and fall short on their commitments. They have a tendency to talk about how busy they are and how much they have to do “all for the good of the company.”

If you’ve read the Manager Hacker and believe this is your boss… Get the HACK!

If you haven’t read the book… what are you waiting for?Manager Hacker about an nice boss

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