Non-Bosses Bossing

Is this happening to you?

bossingJust like the clown post I wrote the other day, it seems like there’s one of these in every crowd too. There are some folks out there who consider themselves a manager though they do not possess the proper title in order to actually manage anyone. Some lines you just don’t cross.

It is one thing when a coworker asks for your help with something, but another if he or she demands it as an order, thus assuming your manager’s role. You should only report to one person, and that’s your immediate manager/supervisor. He or she should know what your work load is and whether or not you can be “lent” out to help someone else.

Some advocates advise assuming a role as a manager in order to actually obtain the position. This hardly means that you start supervising others on your own. You should only assume certain tasks that your current manager approves.

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Here’s to the Clowns at Work

Somebody has to make us laugh!

clownYou know the guy or gal who makes you smile, and laugh out loud. Sometimes just looking at them makes you laugh because you know they could blurt out something funny at any moment. There’s one in every crowd. Remember the kid in grade school who was always in trouble for making funny comments, or funny faces?

I may have written about this incident before, but one of my favorite memories of a class clown was of Scott “Clown” (I can’t recall his last name). He sat a few desks up from us in the back row. We were arranged by height, and I was one of the tallest, so I sat in the back with my smart, handsome classmate, Steve Swatek (His last name I remember.) in the last desk of the next row from me. Then there was Steve Schmidt, another funny kid who sat directly in front of me.

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Associate vs. Employee : Who’s Who and What’s What?

ASSOCIATE-OF-THE-MONTHThe HR Bartender, one of my favorite people, Sharlyn Lauby, asked everyone in Cyber, if they felt that the word “associate” should replace the word, “employee.” There is a poll and I voted not to replace employee with associate.

Further, a few responded, and of course, yours truly had something to say…

The word, “associate” as someone said before me, does imply that the person is somehow vested in a business and able to make some executive decisions as to how an organization operates. In my mind, an associate has more responsibilities and his or her status is closer to a vice president. “Employee,” describes a person employed to do certain tasks and garner a paycheck. “Employee” does not equate to “slave,” though there are some who may argue the point in jest. And yet, I believe this is the very reason why some organizations are calling their employees, “associates” so that they don’t feel like slaves. But that doesn’t have to be the case. And I don’t care what you call employees as long as you treat them with dignity and respect. You can call them kings and queens if you want, but if they are under-valued, and abused, what good are those titles?

I feel that some of my colleagues, or should I say, coworkers, raise an eyebrow when I use the word, “boss” to describe my supervisor. I’d rather use the word “boss” than supervisor, but I think some feel that “boss” sounds “bossy” and therefore rather passé. I don’t say to her, “Hey, Boss! How’s it going?” I call her by her first name. I think salutations depend a lot on the culture of the organization.

What are your thoughts?

Come to HR Summit 2014; Analytics that Impact Business Results



Schedule time on your calendar to visit us in Rosemont, Illinois at the Crowne Plaza Hotel this coming November 4th and 5th as we host our second annual summit, called Analytics that Impact Business Results.

See our website for details!


How Much Notice Should I Give to My Soon-to-Be Ex-Employer?

I quit_oneweek
The rule is 2 weeks’ notice and that time shouldn’t include your remaining vacation days off. Your employer will need someone trained to take your place. From the time you give notice, an ad goes out immediately for your replacement.  If you are asked to do the training, you will probably need a good week to train the new kid. I’m sure this all depends upon the position at hand. Some positions may not need that much hand-holding, and HR will be training you on the rules of the company and hand you any necessary paperwork to sign.

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Working from Home Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

crowds Boy, what a luxury job to work from home in your pajamas every day! You never have to leave your house, deal with traffic, wasting gas, noisy coworkers, etc. You can operate just as easily as you can from your home as you do in the office – provided you work on computers for a living. It’s funny that many of us have dreamed of this kind of working situation as the ultimate working condition, but there’s a slight downside, and it’s called isolation. Most of us humans still need to be in contact with real people once in a while. If you are locked up in the house day in and day out, you’re bound to go a little stir crazy or get cabin fever, regardless of the weather. One of my colleagues who works from his home office in Michigan for the past 3 years, just recently announced his resignation, and only because he wanted to work in an office again with real human interaction. (He lives in Michigan so he needs to work there.) He reported to me that his wife comes home from work and wants to just sit down and relax, but he wants to get the heck out of the house. Continue Reading →

Philosophy of Leadership – A Personal Viewpoint


I found an old college paper of mine on what I felt was the definition of leadership. I thought I’d share it with you, along with my teacher’s notes.

April 11, 1999

The definition of leadership is the ability one has to lead and direct people. Harold Koontz and Cyril O’Donnell state “that leadership is influencing people to follow in the achievement of a common goal.”

Leaders are vision creators and this is not limited to a political or business situation. At one point in our lives, everyone attempts leadership by influencing or persuading others. The situation may be in a business, education, political organization, relationships and families. According to Hersey, Blanchard and Johnson, “Any time an individual is attempting to influence the behavior of someone else, that individual is the potential leader and the person subject to the influence attempt is the potential follower, no matter whether that person is the boss, colleague, (associate), a subordinate, a friend, a relative or a group.” (p. 91)

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What to Do When You Can’t Go To Human Resources for Help

fire_breathing_dragon_by_sandara-d56vmyuSo, you say that your micro-managing boss is a fire-breathing dragon and on your back all day long? You feel like you’re being bullied and you’re this close to telling him or her off and quitting on the spot. But you’re not 16 anymore running back home to your folks announcing you just quit and will find another job next week. You’re much older now with a family to support, mortgage, kids in college, and bills up the ying-yang. Who loses when you walk off the job? Oh, sure, employers suffer having to rehire and spending a couple grand, but they will recuperate. You may not unless you are ultra-savvy in the job market and can snap up jobs quicker than Donald Trump can slip on another gold ring. The majority of us will suffer the consequences of such an irrational move as tempting as it is at the time.

So, walking off the job with a few choice adjectives mumbled under your breath is out of the question. Let’s go to human resources to air grievances! This is the logical and rational approach to getting issues resolved in a calm and democratic way. After all, isn’t that what the rule book advises? Most company handbooks will say similar things such as the following:

Right to Speak:

Every employee has the right and ability to raise issues of concern about the company or about the treatment of an employee confidentially, free from any fear of reprisal.

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When We Build, Let Us Think That We Build Forever

Here is a scanned page from a weathered, termite bitten book called Audel’s Carpenters and Builders Guide #4, first published in 1923 and reprinted in 1947.


It is a practical illustrated trade assistant on “modern” construction for carpenters, joiners, builders, mechanics and all wood workers.

The intro reads:

When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for the present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, “See! This our father did for us.”
– John Ruskin

I found that very interesting, and because I am a romantic, very poetic as well.

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Tip 8 – Act On Employee Feedback

Intro: This blog is written to further elaborate with my own views on the “8 Tips to Engage Your Employees” booklet written by our experts. construction-blueprintConducting a survey without acting on the results is like making blueprints for a house, but not building it. Employee engagement surveys are only worth the actions built around them. When posing survey item, “Management at my organization takes action based on employee survey results,” our global research shows a score of 70% favorable for highly engaged employees versus only 2% for the disengaged. It’s really up to the managers and directors to ensure that the results are communicated to the employees and find solutions to problems and congratulate teams on the high marks. If you can’t find the time to conduct meetings on the results, you’re never going to get that house built!