I was thinking today about how many phone calls I get from friends from all chapters of my life complaining about their jobs. While the number one requirement for any friend is to be a good listener, I also can’t help thinking of how so many good people are comfortable blaming someone else for their professional frustrations rather than realizing that the real power is in their own hands.
If you don’t like your job, my next question is why? It can’t be that a person does not have a good manager. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I have been in leadership roles for 36 years and during those times I had only two managers who stood out as mentors. The vast majority of managers in business are great people and do good jobs, but that doesn’t mean they will necessarily be life changing pieces of your world. It is not on your managers to change your life; they are in fact charged with making you successful in that particular role or function.
Employees need to constantly reinvent themselves and that action ends up doing a couple of very important things. First, it allows employees to grow as individuals and contribute more to their team and to their organization. I have seen employees not evolve their roles at all and are essentially doing the same things that they were doing 10 years ago and then blame their lack of progress on their manager. This is what I call the victim mentality.
That behavior misses the entire point of life in my opinion. We all have a fundamental choice to either just go through a job and not make an impact or we can look to improve ourselves in all phases of life. Read more, exercise more – look to learn more things within your current job. When you improve yourself, you add more value to those around you and often have a direct result in making your company better. That alone may not get you a promotion at your current job, but can make you more marketable for the next job.
My feeling is that each person is accountable to their own life and they must take complete responsibility for that life. I have never put my life in the hands of a manager who I reported to, but rather understood that it is completely up to me to make me better. I do not want to be at the same level in my job month after month, year after year. In fact, I can tell you as a manager in my own right, I can tell the employees who don’t improve over time and they become stale. The technology around us constantly changes. The industries, economies and clients’ needs all evolve. Just doing the minimum in school generally gets you a “C” and is in fact average. Retaining clients, bettering yourself and your team requires consistent improvement and evolution.
I can’t tell you how many people are incredulous when they don’t get the promotion, get laid off or sit idle while the latest growth opportunity goes to another teammate. They don’t or can’t see what they themselves could have done to evolve independently of how effective or ineffective their manager performs. The moment a person gives up their own evolution is the moment that they are left behind. If you find yourself in a position where that growth can no longer happen, then you have the power to look for a new job. That constant improvement that you undertook likely will land you that new job.
If you don’t evolve, then you stay in the exact same job doing the exact same thing and you ultimately watch yourself become irrelevant in your organization. The only person to blame for this unpleasant irrelevancy would be yourself. A person who is your manager at work would almost never stop your growth because they can’t. If the worst case scenario happens and your manager does stop your growth, you are empowered to leave.
As CEO of iFrog, I encourage each of my pirates on staff to evolve their positions on a consistent basis. Our clients need that continuous improvement and that commitment is what gives them a sustainable competitive advantage. True, at iFrog our artificial intelligence and machine learning along with our single technology stack powers our marketing and transforms our clients’ businesses. Our proprietary software built in iFrog Labs is extremely innovative and can dramatically change a business or an industry. However, the real secret of iFrog is our people and their commitment to continuous improvement in their current roles and in their lives. That commitment is what makes this pirate ship very special.
As always, please don’t hesitate to hit me up 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be a pirate, have a great day and own your evolution! #ifrogmarketing, #ifrogtechnology, #pirates, #PiratesForChange