Tuesday, 10 August 2010

The Eight Habits of People Not Achieving Much.

Introducing the first in an occasional series of business-minded articles encouraged to take the pro out of productivity.

Habit 1: Do Not Have Personal Goals

The best way to stop worrying about hitting personal goals is not to have personal goals. Seriously, what’s the point. Oh, in five years, I have to be running Marketing – North and Midlands or I am so out of here. See that guy leaving early, grinning at the thought of a night on the piss. Guess what, not only is he not going to get that job either, he doesn’t give a fuck about it. If you're going to miss out on a personal goal, you’ve got two choices. Either work really hard, engaging with all the right contacts, widening your circle of influence only to be screwed over at the interview stage when they give the job to the MD’s daughter-in-law with the amazing ass or you can go to work late most days, never go the extra mile and always keep Sunday evenings free as another opportunity to get wrecked.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

In his pile of shit nonsense manual, Covey says you should consider your own death. What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? How will you be remembered? Hey, he was an amazing Head of Human Resources. Whoo. Build a statue. We all love administrators, right? Fuck that, my friends. Consider this instead. Tomorrow you could be on the way to work, hangover stamping in your head like a roomful of toddlers in Gary Glitter stack heels, thinking of how you could just murder another nineteen hours of sleep and maybe just a bacon sandwich, and guess what – that selfish terrorist next to you has blown you to fuck. We can die anytime, life is precious, and if you want to waste it working your tits off just so you get a parking space outside the office, well more fool you. Do you know the majority of people killed in 9/11 were people ON TIME? Promptness kills, people.

A lot of successful athletes use visualisation techniques. I do. I get to my job and I imagine myself on Friday, smashed with some friends watching Sean Connery’s Medicine Man on DVD and sniffing pretty much anything I can find in the bathroom. Oh yes, visualisation helps me achieve my goal. Who are the nation’s favourite sportsmen? Is it Gary Lineker or Jimmy Greaves? Stephen Hendry or Alex Higgins? Who needs a trophy when you can have the love of the nation and a taste for mid-price cognac.

Habit 3: Shit That Needs Doing Will Always Be Done By Somebody Else

You’ve all seen the film. There’s this hopeless military or armed robbery situation and basically some guy has to throw himself onto the grenade or into a shitstorm and get himself killed to save his friends. Don’t be that guy. Yeah they’ll remember you forever but being remembered isn’t as good as remembering.
Put into the context of work, it’s simple. How many times on a Monday morning have you gone “Ah shit, I forgot to compose that spreadsheet full of the February accounts.”

Again, you have a choice, eithgo into a panic, do a half arsed job and get shouted at. Or you can phone in sick, text an ambitious colleague saying “Yeah they’re on my desktop but IT had a problem when we had that crash on Friday, could you see if you could make a start on it for me. I’ll finish it tomorrow. Got to get it done by tomorrow afternoon cos Sir Doug wants to see it and it’s a chance for me to shine. Typical I should go down with the flu...”

What happens? Your colleague does the job for you, twice as well as you ever could have, saves your arse, raises his profile and everyone’s happy. Even better, it’s now quarter to eleven, the cricket starts in ten minutes and the pub is open.

Habit 4: The Customer Is Always The Customer

The customer is King. How many times do you hear that from some fucking idiot? “Ner, ner, ngggh, I want to speak to your manager because I was promised chicken and liver risotto/the February accounts/a working wheelchair” The Customer is King is a) sexist because women dig being equal and stuff, b) Shit. The Customer is just like you, a human being. So what if they don’t come back. Good. You don’t have to put up with them anymore. But what if we all behaved like that, I hear you cry. Well, nobody would complain. That’s got to be progress.

Habit 5: Listening Is Not The Same As Hearing

Blah blah blah. Sixty two percent of communication is physical. Whatever. The reason listening is not the same as hearing is this. If I wanted to listen to your fucking soul destroying quarterly management brief about the roll out of the Devon and Cornwall Synergy Map then I wouldn’t have invested in these practically invisible headphones for my iPod. No one cares. Well, I don’t.

Habit 6: Synergize

What is synergy? Simply defined, it means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
I have no idea what that means but I think that roughly it equates to - the company couldn’t give a fuck how many extra miles you do, it’s a great lumbering shit monster with the heart and soul of an enthusiastic gasman at Auschwitz.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Just as a machine will wear out quickly if not properly maintained, the same is true for your own personal productivity. You must take care of yourself. Stay in practise. That guy with the eye on your boss’s job, what are they like when they come out on the town with you and the gang. That’s right, they’re the one puking everywhere after a couple of drinks and boring you all shitless with work talk. Fucking loser.

Your body is the machine. Just as you can’t pour diesel into erm a thing you know a car that doesn’t need diesel, so equally you can’t spend your week drinking hi-energy smoothies and ristrettos like the boss does and then expect to hold your own at drinkies. Anyone ever take a photo of everyone writing reports? No. Anyone take a picture of you all holding drinks that are ON FIRE in the air? All the time. Stay sharp, like the saw, and you too can stay in the picture.

Habit 8: It's not Laziness, it's Altruistic Career Advancement

See, when I fuck up, delegate or just plain don't do something, it gives you the humble wannabe the chance to shine. If we were all determined and dedicated, nobody would get anywhere, nothing would happen. For every Neil Armstrong, there's a million guys in burger stained t-shirts sitting in bars telling anyone who'll listen that they could have got a shot at the Moon if they hadn't fucked up their knee playing drinks golf that one time. It's not that I'm lazy or that I don't care. Alright, it is those things but fuck it, I'm presenting you with the chance to shine. One man's delegation feeds another's dedication and all that.

Next week, in Business Seminars, I'll be showing you the Nine Thought Streams of Barely Solvent Kings of the Bar.

1 comment: