Posts Tagged ‘power’

How important is how important you are?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I was listening to Professor Michael Marmot talk today.  He is an epidemiologist and studies what makes us ill / adversely affects our well-being, and to his surprise, discovered that they are one and the same thing. In seeking to find out what caused stress etc in the civil service, he discovered, against all his presumptions, that far from it being tough at the top and the stress of high powered jobs making more senior civil servants more ill, that the lower down the greasy pole you worked the more likely you were to suffer from ill health.  In other words, your well being was in direct proportion to your ability to control your destiny.

In a workplace that is growing increasingly more competitive due to the economic downturn, it means that more and more people are forced to take jobs on terms that they would otherwise not accept and this will in turn adversely affect their health.  For the individual the consequences are obvious, however, for the company, it means lots of hidden costs in terms of disruption and efficiency when they force people into doing things that they are not really best suited for or not interested in.  

So whether you are a boss or a minion, it is directly in your interest to ensure that you work in an environment that enables you to have some control over what you do.  Think about it, companies like Google encourage its employees to spend a day a week working on projects of their own choice, as a mean of encouraging original thinking and innovation.  The fact that it also boosts morale and well-being is just another plus.

From Yes Minister:-

Humphrey: Minister, a Minister can do what he likes.
Hacker: It’s the people’s will. I am their leader. I must follow them!

The Devil you don’t know

Monday, August 10th, 2009

I wrote the other day about what happens when Life overtakes you.  Today, is the other half of that story.

We were able to reformat the blog, but I learnt a bit more about the ‘back end’ and now know what bit needs protecting during updates.  I called the Revenue and got to speak to someone helpful who explained there could be no penalties if you didn’t owe them anything, so I just need to write in and explain what had happened and the systems would be overridden.  So today I’m feeling much happier. 

However, this little walk on the ‘wild side’ reminded me how bad it feels it be powerless and uninformed.  I probably have a worse reaction to this than most but it certainly never brings out the best in folks.  That is why communication is such a big deal these days, however, for all the money spent in this area, it is seldom done very well.  I have yet to work with any team that feels its needs are fully met in this area.

Today would be a the very best day to let someone know exactly how you feel, where they stand and help them feel more powerful, because knowledge is power!

“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.”  John Naisbitt:

“Trust your hunches. They’re usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level.”  Joyce Brothers


A tale of two rivers

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

I was lucky enough to be out walking twice this week; the first time around Petworth, in West Sussex, and today in New Alresford in Hampshire.  South of Petworth we had to cross the River Rother, beautiful, but thick with mud and cloudy.  I love rivers of every colour and complexion but it hardly looked inviting.  Today, we walked along the River Arle, a typical Hampshire chalk and gravel stream.  It ran fast and shallow.  One could see the fish, perch, trout and pike in it.; I can’t tell you how beautiful it was or how uplifting I found it just to walk beside it.  The main difference between these two rivers is really just a bit of mud in suspension but oh what a difference!

It may seem a bit of jump, but this put me in mind of what is going on in a social network that I belong to. A popular and active member has been suspended by the management for who-knows-what transgression.  There has been a huge upwelling of support and sympathy for them and yet the management has yet to respond or justify their actions.  It puts me in mind of the muddy river. 

I think that when we are dealing with others it is so much better when our actions / decisions are transparent and clear.  That way, even if others might not agree, at least they can understand them.  In business, it is essential for those in positions of power to be as open as possible.  They might not have to explain their actions, but if they choose not to, there are consequences.  They may be the leaders, but we choose who we follow….

“There is no persuasiveness more effectual than the transparency of a single heart, of a sincere life.”  Joseph B. Lightfoot

“Clarity, clarity, surely clarity is the Most beautiful thing in the world, A limited, limiting clarity I have not and never did have any Motive of poetry But to achieve clarity.”   George Oppen