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Keep Your Purpose in Mind Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, December 14, 2009 11:22 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Keep Your Purpose in Mind






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Post #834314
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:53 AM


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Great article Steve! One of the most accurate articiles I have read in recent history about IT management's attitudes in the work place. Also, I think a lot of this depends on where the manager worked at before coming into the IT industry. For example, I worked at an IT department for a private contractor at the Kennedy Space Center for years where almost all of the managers, as well as many of the project managers were hired directly from Air Force logistics retired non-comms who had already done their 20 years in the Air Force and was simply picking up a second paycheck at KSC. Their primary career was already behind them. We called them "double dippers" and the last thing on their mind was what the technical staff thought. Their military mind set with the technical staff was very simple "just do it and don't ask questions". Also, I worked at another IT company that the majority of their managment was hired in from a fast-food restaurant chain (Burger King). If you have ever worked at a fast food restaurant in your past you can quickly understand why management treated their employees the way they did. It was almost a universal mind-set that was very difficult for them to overcome even though they were now dealing with people that had good educations and technical expertise. I have met many managers in the past that tend to talk very condescendingly to most IT people like they are stupid. Sometimes, I think it is simply a power issue kind of like "I don't care how many people in this department think you are the smartest thing since sliced bread, I am going to show you who is in charge." Others, I think it is more an issue with just being kind of "technophobic" too at times. When you have come from the fast-food restaurant industry managing teenagers right out of high school, sometimes it is very difficult for them to now relate to brilliant educated professionals and/or technical consultants like Paul S, Randall for example, fixing your on-site million dollar corrupted databases. I once had a manager that had a very simple mind-set "I am not interested in knowing what you do or what you want to do. I am only interested in you filling out your needed paperwork and timesheets on time and doing exactly what I tell you to do, period." You would be very surprised how much of this "neanderthal" management attitude is still very prevalent out there in the IT industry. Like I said, alot of it depends on the environment of where the manager came from. A good friend of mine went to her manager once to discuss her career growth and path since she had been doing the same thing for over 5 years. She was not even 5 minutes into the meeting with her manager when the manager abruptly interupted her and said quite succintly "What keeps you here at this company? If you don't like the way things are here you can leave anytime." Well that pretty much took care of that conversation, and she did ultimately leave six months later. The thing to remember here is that some, not all, but some management is not always on the same page as their technical staff. Some of them could care less what we think. I am not saying that all managment is like this in the IT industry. All I am saying, it is a lot more prevalent than you might think. :) Travis.

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Post #834382
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 7:12 AM


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One of the most important roles in any group dynamic is keeping the people involved locked onto a target or purpose or goal of some sort.

The odd part is, everyone understands this when it comes to sports, but very few seem to when it comes to business.

When everyone is oriented around a purpose they agree with, the group will be much more effective, and much, much more fun. It'll make more money, too.


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Post #834474
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 7:16 AM
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If there is one people type I like to work with it is military. I never was military myself but I would say i have a similar work ethic to many. If you are tasked with something or there is an opportunity you take it. The ones who already are retired from the Military and have a pension are there to work. The paycheck seems secondary. This means there are no hidden agendas. Whereas there is another type of person that I have grown to dislike in several of my previous careers. That is the person who is belligerent and pushes back when asked to do something by anyone but the boss. I look at work as a team environment where we are all in it together. Of course everyone has different roles and tasks but it takes everyone pitching in and having similar goals to be a successful group. Yes I have flubbed my duties at times and yes they have too... but it is important to forget those and strive toward helping each other. If someone asks a question give them your honest opinion but don't belabor them with useless forks in the road. Ok enough rambling.

At least once a week i remind myself that EVERYONE is replaceable. It keeps my mindset in the right place. It is easy to go down the road of 'I am important and gosh darnit people like me.' But in all reality you fill a role that someone before you likely filled equally as well and someone after you will also fill equally as well. They may have or will even do better.
Post #834478
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 7:34 AM


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Everyone is replaceable, but not easily replaceable and I'd like to think that most people have value at their jobs. If you treat them as if they are easily replaceable at any time, you'll get low quality, easily duplicated (and breakable) work.







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Post #834495
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 7:41 AM
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What I've noticed is that management have lost respect for their work force. When the time comes to downsize someone they become a post or a role and not a person. If you know anything that is remotely hard to duplicate in the company you are a "silo". Not only is that something bad, but now it is your faultnd you are viewed as a risk. You cease to be a person and are now a thing like those pepperpots the armchair generals move around their imaginary battlefields.


Post #834499
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 7:55 AM
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I thank the powers that be every day that I managed to land at a company that really treats its employees well. The benefits are great. Upper management truly communicate with us all about the state of thebusiness so there are no surprises. IT management strive to let everyone know that we are appreciated and valued. I couldn't be happier.
Post #834519
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 8:14 AM


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I Enjoy your daily musings. This one, as do many, rung true.

The bureaucratic culture does not easily allow for a "let's all pull together" environment when so many of those in charge are constantly empire building.

I watched a documentary the other day discussing a test used to determine the level of psychopath someone may be. It threw out stats of 1% of the population are true psychopaths and only 5% of those are incarcerated -- and they commit 80% of the violent crimes. In the USA that leaves approximately 3,000,000 psychopaths on the streets.

The program showed how many managers -> CEOs had psychopathic tendencies. Foremost among these is the lack of guilt for their actions. You couple that with an environment where getting ahead can be very individualistic and you can see why front-line employees can end up not being respected, thousands of seniors can have their life savings vanish and scores of employees can be replaced. It also stated that a management career was a natural draw for psychopaths.

The system rewards individuals, and those who know how to play the game at hand will be well rewarded. To keep the reward large means that the individual must not allow it to be diluted amongst large numbers - the team can't be recognized.

And yet, everywhere you see how companies state that employees are important, and that the team is the true strength behind success. I think there are two teams in most organizations and only one of them has any say. There are exceptions; typically these are companies with strong founders who have a good moral compass as opposed to those run from the Ivory Tower.

Hopefully everyone finds employment in a company with a culture of respect because every living person deserves respect. I know I work harder when I'm respected and having fun at my job - and my employer benefits from that. It can be win-win.
Post #834541
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 10:03 AM
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I found that working with a small organization leads to more respect. A large company tends to regard their employees as "resources" and not as individuals.
Post #834623
Posted Tuesday, December 15, 2009 12:43 PM
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Spot on ! And Thank you it is very helpful.

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Post #834715
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