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, » Read more: Working Too Hard? Don’t Let it Be the Reason You Get the Shove!