Tag Archives: business

I Just Hope You Understand, Sometimes the Clothes Do Not Make the Man (via Success)

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Success — On the first day, at 8 a.m. in the kitchen, my wife asked, “What in the world are you wearing?” A good start.

An hour later, I opened the door to my usual caffeinated workplace with a noticeably increased sense of swagger, a confidence that had been absent from my previous 14,000 morning visits. But disappointingly, nobody seemed to give the slightest notice to my amplified handsomeness. Not the baristas. Not the other regulars. Not the personable veteran who runs the place.

“But LOOK,” I self-consciously tried to broadcast, ambling slowly to the croissant rack, “I am properly and handsomely attired for the day’s travails! I am a professional! I hath matched mine socks to mine own pants!” I did this for an hour. Nothing happened, except for somebody asking whether I wanted whipped cream on my salted caramel mocha. Of course I do. I am a professional.

What happened when I dressed for quote-fingers “success.”

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How Would Your Friends Review You? (via Success)

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Success — It is one of the truths of human nature that we ask for honesty from our friends, family and loved ones, so long as that honesty is unfailingly positive and contains no bad news whatsoever.

We crave attention and revel in approval, seeking it by means both conscious and sneaky. We ask directly (“Is this what you were looking for?”) and solicit passively (“I’m not very good at this, so I hope it’s close to what you’re looking for”). We ask leading questions (“Does this shirt make my stomach look fat?”) and frame our statements to solicit responses (“Ugh, this shirt makes my stomach look fat”). We lightly bait those whose approval we crave (“I’m only buying this shirt if it doesn’t make my stomach look fat”). Be honest, we say, when what we really mean is just tell me I’m OK.

When we’re asked to furnish those honest assessments of a loved one, spouse, colleague, barista, barber or bartender, we make a full stop, our brains flinging themselves through a maze of psychological pulls and snap decisions. Should I be honest with this person? Can I be honest? Will they take my honesty too hard? Will they be hurt?

Feedback, in short, sucks. When it’s bad, we ignore it, push it away or spend hours listing the reasons why it’s illegitimate, biased or unfair. When it’s good, we wrap ourselves tightly in a blanket of it, assured that our self-opinions have been safely validated. It’s a hopelessly tricky thing. So when SUCCESS asked me to submit to a 360-degree feedback review of myself via friends, family and colleagues, I’m pretty sure I said yes without thinking it all the way through.

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The Glamorous Truth About Working From Home (via Success)

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Pictured: Me. Totally.

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Success — Hello. My name’s Jeff, and I work from home. I could be writing this on my back porch, where I often hang out in my fleece PJs while sipping fresh coffee after rolling out of bed at 8:15 a.m. (or was it 8:45 a.m.?).

Or I could totally still be in bed.

But the truth is I’m writing this at my son’s swim practice, happening some 15 rows of concrete seats below me. A coach blows a whistle every 20 seconds, and if you just started imagining the smell of chlorine and pee, you’ve got the right idea.

I’ve worked on my porch or in bed before a couple of times. But this right here, this is what it’s like working from home. It’s not what you see on millennial job boards or in stock art pictures—images of roguishly unshaven guys in T-shirts or women with tousled hair and bathrobes. (Frankly, those people are ridiculous stereotypes. My slippers look nothing like theirs.)

The full story at Success Magazine.

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Why There Are So Many Bad Bosses (via Success)

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Success — Have you ever noticed this about the way most American companies select people to manage others? It doesn’t make a lick of sense.

They take the most skilled employees and tell them, “Congratulations! You’re great at this! So instead of doing it, you’re now going to supervise others who aren’t nearly as talented. Sure, you may not be good at supervising people, because it requires a totally different skill set than the one you’ve mastered, but this is the only way to grow in the company, so… good luck, boss!”

It’s a little wacky, is what we’re saying. And that wackiness may explain this: When you ask people—friends, associates, strangers—for an interesting boss anecdote, very few start with a positive one. Most of us have had a boss who we thought might be, you know, a high-functioning sociopath. Far fewer can say we ever felt truly inspired by a boss. “Companies often choose the wrong people,” says Linda A. Hill, Ph.D., professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and the co-author of Being the Boss. “The criteria for what makes someone a really good producer, salesperson or researcher may not be the criteria that make a good leader.”

The full story over at Success.

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