Posts Tagged ‘business and economics’
I came across this list when Bob Sutton, another leadership and management “guru,” discussed it in his blog here. Gardner’s ideas go well with some things I read in the book Generation on a Tightrope (you can see my notes on the book here), specifically the parts of the book discussing where a university needs to make a stand. At a time when a lot of people view universities, at best, as glorified vocational school and, at worst, as wastes of time and money, I think this list makes a good reminder of what is really important. Sutton’s discussion is worth reading as well.
So, according to John Gardner, the university stands for:
- things that are forgotten in the heat of battle.
- values that get pushed aside in the rough and tumble of everyday living.
- the goals we ought to be thinking about and never do.
- the facts we don’t like to face.
- the questions we lack the courage to ask.
I think in large measure these values are why I enjoy working in higher education. I think they are also values that librarians share and should be embracing. We should stand for truth and have the courage to ask the questions others will not ask. We should then seek out answers where they may lead, and we should help others do so as well.
By the way, Sutton does not mention the exact source of Gardner’s words, but I did a little searching. They come from the following book:
- Gardner, John W. (1968). No Easy Victories. New York: Harper Books.
Once I left school teaching and graduate school, I embraced the philosophy of leaving work at work at the end of the day. Once I walk out the door at the end of the day, work stays there. My home time is exactly that: mine and at home. Besides, the bosses do not pay overtime, so they are not getting anything extra. One has to learn to keep a life balance and boundaries.
Via Lifehacker, this short video of a talk by Pam Selle is a must watch (link to post with the video). A little FTA: “Time is money. When you work extra hours, you’re earning less money.” In other words, unless you get overtime (and even then, be selective if you choose to go for the overtime), they are not paying you for it. So tell them you are going home. Do your work at work (don’t slack much), then leave work at work.
The video itself, from YouTube:
This is basically a link dump post of items that I have found contain useful information related to work, career, and professional development. In essence, these are links to things I want to remember for future reference.
- This was written mostly for PhD students, but I think it is applicable for anyone who may have been in academia for a long time and now needs (or desires) to find a job outside of academia. It is a given you may have to reinvent yourself in such a situation. So, via Escape the Ivory Tower, remember that “they don’t know how awesome you are.”
- Barbara Pachter provides some pointers on how to stay in touch with former bosses or other professional colleagues. Networking is always important for your career growth, but you also need good manners.
- Via The Bamboo Project, here are “Six Positive Professional Development Strategies for the Toxic Workplace.” In my line of work, contrary to what a lot of celebrity blogging librarians would have you believe (at least non-pseudonymous ones), libraries are not little slices of heaven on Earth. Some are nice, and others not so much. If you happen to be stuck in one of the toxic ones, you need to take care of yourself. You still need to continue your professional development regardless of whether you choose to stand and flight or send out your resume to get out of town. This article offers some small places to start a more positive process for your professional development.
- Also via The Bamboo Project, “Tough Questions for Your Professional Development.” These can serve as a good reflective exercise.
- On a related theme, via Dumb Little Man, here is some stuff on “How to Deal With a Job You Hate.” Again, not everything is Eden on Earth. When it is not, you need to find constructive ways to deal with things and still keep on growing.
- And to pick something in librarianship, here is In the Library With a Lead Pipe. They have an article offering a Q&A on Professional Development. This is mostly geared to library school students, but there are still some useful things for those of us already fortunate enough to be out in the field.
- Via Hack Library School, a post on “The Skills You Don’t Learn in School.” That refers to library school. This is a topic a colleague and I often talk about, and I suppose it could be a topic for a longer post over at the professional blog. But for one, I don’t really feel the inclination nor the time to write that longer post up. But the post on skills does offer some food for thought.
- Idea Sandbox offers a nice diagram on the “Magic of Thinking Big.”
I came across a couple of items about bosses. One of them is a serious checklist, the other one may be a bit more tongue-in-cheek, but it still has some insights.
- Bob Sutton has a checklist. He writes “Is Your Boss Horrible? A 10 Point Checklist.” This is a good list that I would say candidates out on the job market should keep handy and ask at least some of the questions in order to determine if they may end up working for a bad boss or not. I know I wish I would have had it when I was in the market for my first library job.
- On a bit lighter note, the blog Retail Hell Underground has a list of “13 Lessons Every Boss Should Know.” If you read closely, there are some good lessons here that bosses likely need to mind. The second lesson on the list is pretty good: “If your employees are kicking ass on their own, don’t screw with them, especially if you don’t offer perks or don’t pay them shit.” So, bosses, don’t micromanage, let us do our job, especially when we are already doing it well. And especially if we are doing it very well in spite of the low pay, so on.
Bob Sutton recently wrote a column in the June 2011 edition of the Harvard Business Review entitled “On Stepping Down Gracefully.” It is a small piece giving advice to managers and CEOs on how to step down from their high posts with grace. I found it interesting since I always say that a big mistake a lot of dictators make is that they do not know when to quit. I’ve joked with friends that, if I ever became a dictator, I would certainly not overstay my welcome. Once I’ve set up a nice nest egg in some nation without extradition treaties and good tight banking, and I’ve left the country in pretty good shape, I am out of there.
But joking aside, managers often do not know when to quit. And even when they yield to a new manager, they persist in hanging around and imposing their shadow on the new guy or gal. Mr. Sutton has some advice for those folks: don’t. In the end, when it is time to leave, people will remember how you left your organization, how you made your exit. As Sutton writes, “will you be remembered as a selfish narcissist or a selfless steward?” If you are a manager, you may not be able to fix any bad things you did during your tenure, but you can decide to leave in a good note and thus be remembered with some dignity and positivity.
Sutton was offering a free PDF of the article via his blog (there were only 100 copies. I managed to snatch one. By the time of this writing, they may be gone). However, you should be able to still find the article via your local library.