Sunday, February 14, 2010

Macquarie Dave - bad timing or bad behaving?

Except that we happened to see it and Macquarie was humiliated by it, Dave hurt no-one. So what is really so terrible you ask? Dave was in clear breach of company policy. It was not work related, it was clearly of a sexual nature, it had the capacity to offend, humiliate and intimidate. What were some of the arguments used to defend him apart from him being miserably "unlucky"? (Really? Successively opening and closing three separate photos?)

Yes, some women dress inappropriately for work and managers should not be so gutless about counselling them on professionalism. I'm certainly not asking for a double standard. Yes, open plan offices are cheap and not private so might we not moderate our behaviour according to the environment in which we work? Yes, companies do allow some personal internet use but why does that automatically have to be without limit? And sacking Dave or otherwise does not preclude any action against whomever sent him the Miranda Kerr photos (unless it was a friend and the responsibility lies only with Dave for having opened the file and not the friend who sent it from home).

We are Aussies, we have a sense of humour and the vision of what happened was kind of funny until you think about it. Life can be cruel so we desperately don't want to think the world as we know it, is over. But for all those who enlisted in the Save Dave petition, spare a thought for his camera hosting employer who pays his wages, think of the women in his office who wonder if he ogles them too, think of his wife if he has one and think of those children in detention centres whom none of Dave's new mates petitioned for. On a scale of 1-10, Dave is not a paedophile or a rapist but can we not defend the indefensible!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday-itis - all year long

In speaking with clients, friends and acquaintances toward the end of the holiday season, it became apparent just how many of them articulated feelings of misgiving about returning to work after the break. What was so interesting about this was that each of them has always appeared 100% committed to their work and clients and would never ordinarily strike me as being challenged to get their heads "back in the game".

I think this says something about the pace of life these days, the enormous demands on people at work, the guilt that can accompany parents and partners who struggle with the juggle. But just as much is the longing people feel to achieve some sense of "flow".

How much harder might it be for staff who aren't engaged, are under appreciated, who work in an environment that is either emotionally unsupportive at best or toxic at worst. While the economy is looking up, some unhappy employees will elect to wait out the time for access to their super, hoping someone will offer them a package in yet another restructure or go through the motions of the “bare minimum” hoping they'll escape workplace detection.

Everyone deserves to feel worthwhile, to make a meaningful contribution, to be appreciated for what they bring. Yet I often provoke clients who bemoan their situation by reminding them that to stay where they are, doing what they do, if it is unfulfilling, is itself, a choice. I derive enormous professional satisfaction from provoking and encouraging clients to take control of their situation and exercise alternate choices.

If your enthusiasm for the challenges and opportunities of 2010 is “sub-optimal”, what are you prepared to do about it? Let’s seize the day, evaluate our choices and make 2010 an intentional experience; typified by clarity of outcomes to be achieved, disciplined pursuit of the strategies to get there, the emotional intelligence to cope with some inevitable disappointments and the resolute determination to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and go again.

Having taken time out last night to sit with family and watch the final of the Australian Open Men’s Final, I was struck by the true meaning of resilience and the key to sustained excellence. In some parts of the match, Andy Murray played with a defensive mindset and hoped Federer would make mistakes to let him in. Federer understands his destiny lies in his own hands and victory will only ever come off his racquet.

A new year, a fresh start and greater business optimism. How are you going to win your first grand slam in 2010?