When Your Values Require You to Take a Stand Sometimes, some situation really offends your values or sense of self. You feel the urge to speak up. But, if you can, spend a few minutes before you do so, deciding whether to go ahead. Who are you doing it for? There are a variety of reasons to confront a perceived wrong. Are you taking a stand on behalf of: The company? You may see or participate in some event which you know will damage the compa...

The Wrong Way to Confront an Issue As I mentioned in the last post, sometimes you need to take to confront an issue. It takes guts to do so, but it also requires some skill if you want to minimize the damage to your career. Let’s take another example of taking a stand where You had the courage but not all the skills. The hot water way to confront an issue Josh: Erin, your report says the quality has dropped seven per cent.   You: Because it ha...

What is Taking a Stand? In previous posts, I have discussed situations where taking a stand was an option. Whether it was trying to get a fair division of holidays (Intro), confronting a jerk boss (Power), refusing to maintain a lie (Lying), or trying to challenge groupthink (Groupthink), there can be times when you feel the need to speak up. Let’s do an example of what taking a stand might look like. What taking a stand looks like Amanda is y...

My Boss Plays Favorites What it is As I mentioned in other posts, your boss creating an in-group is not unusual and even to be expected. Except when he plays favorites. He: Gives plum assignments only to them Re-assigns a project if a favorite wants it Gossips, you suspect, with the favorites about other employees Allows the favorites leeway no one else is given, like getting in late, slacking off, ‘business’ trips. What it looks like You: Ton...

My Boss is on a Power Trip What it is This one is pretty easy to spot although not that easy to deal with. A boss on a power trip tends to: Take credit for others’ work Uses ‘I’ a lot not ‘we’ Blames others for his failures Is never wrong Makes unreasonable demands Is a control freak Spends more time brownnosing the big bosses than on his job What it looks like Lisa (your boss): You made me look bad in front of the VP! The prototype burned out...

Introduction to the Dark Side
/ November 7, 2017

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you`ve been blind-sided? That is, something has happened at work, often to your detriment, and you didn’t see it coming. Might be that you expect to get the promotion and it went to another guy, much less able than you. Might be that you were telling like it is and find yourself on the outs with the rest of the team. Or even find yourself going along with a group decision even though ...

Manager Stream
/ November 7, 2017

If you’ve read the Introduction to The Dark Side, you know that if you can’t manage these undercurrents well, your career will stall and you might even find yourself slipping back. But a manager has a dual role. You are both manager and employee It’s no news to you that in some situations you are the boss with the responsibility to lead your team and in others, you are your boss’ employee, tasked with implementing her directions. The...

Employee Stream
/ November 6, 2017

If you’ve read the Introduction to the Dark Side, you know that you need to pay attention to the undercurrents which operate in every company. The Employee Stream has two audiences: Workers who are individual contributors and do not have any one reporting to them Managers who are employees of their bosses, and are subject to the same stresses of an employee as any other. Managers have a further challenge to manage  undercurrents in t...

All about me
/ April 29, 2016

All About Me I have long been fascinated by what I call the Dark Side—the undercurrents of power, lying, groupthink, and others—which are present in all organizations but are rarely acknowledged or even recognized. I worked for many years in a large corporation and then for twenty years consulted with large corporations. In all this time, I saw where the favorite and not the best person got the promotion; where you knew enough to kee...

The Honest One
/ August 4, 2015

About This book is both a novel and essays about work life. In the novel, David is a young man intent on moving up in the company, Protech, which designs security systems. To do this, he steals an idea for a new product from a junior employee and sells it to senior management as his own. The idea takes off but David has to constantly having to do questionable things to keep his status as golden boy. He spies on another colleague for ...