Corporate Peon: As the Blog Turns...

Thursday, April 21, 2005

As the Blog Turns...

....moving now from the delightful scene of SingleVille and the surrounding towns of Marriage and Realistic Expectations...

I loved reading what everyone had to say about the prior two posts. Marriage, single, dating, we can't define those and what they mean, but we can express ourselves. Thanks for doing so.


I heard a really interesting speech yesterday. It was titled 'Wills & Skills,' and it was given by someone who used to be my boss's boss.

The speaker started out by telling us we are employees in one of the biggest - if not THE biggest - IT shops in the area. We're major league, folks. Big time ball game here. And while we each may have been the best of the best in our previous lives, the company as a whole has such good people that we're now each average. (You following? It's not as depressing as I made it seem. You take a big fish in a small pond and put him with other big fishies, and everyone is now on par with each other.)

So, how do we 'compete' with each other? How do we, as a company, compete? Two ways: Wills and Skills.

Wills being our attitudes. Skills being our talents.

I don't think I'm particularly talented at what I do. Sure, there are some requirements of my job that I possess skills in. I'm extremely diplomatic, I communicate well, and I form relationships and coach/mentor well. That's all very important in my role. But any scmuck can have those skills.

So how is it that I get ahead, and get recognized often, and am so well respected?

Yep. It's my attitude. I have a 'can-do' attitude. I'm not all 'rah rah rah,' I'm not a kiss ass, and I don't have unrealistic expectations, but I'm cheerful and helpful and willing*. And that goes a long way.

However, there's a difference between having a good attitude and having others perceive you have a good attitude. I definitely fake it a lot of the time. I know that I can't be all negative and unhelpful and derogatory at work, if I want to get anywhere, so I'm not. But do I believe the positive-ness I spread? Eh, to a point. But again, a lot of it is faked.

There's a matrix model to look at: high skills, high wills - upper right quadrant. Low skills, low wills - bottom left quadrant. I see myself in the low skills high wills section - upper left quadrant.

Not to say I'm not skilled - I am. But I can't rely solely on my skills; there's a lot I don't know. 'Low' might be a relative term; the speaker yesterday equated it to having average skills (back to the fish pond). I rely on my attitude - my will - to complement my skills and push me to above average status.

Total value of an employee is the sum of attitude plus skills (per this speaker). Interesting concept.

* This statement is true at least 90% of the time. I'm not perfect, ya know.

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