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Corporate America and the Fear of Getting Fired

Time Spent

The motivation to write this post stemmed from a meeting I had with a client where I noticed dumbfounding characteristics about corporate employees. The meeting was about a presentation on which I’m currently working. How can Corporate America continue to be profitable when it seems like not getting fired is the primary focus of the majority of corporate employees.

How do you spend your time? Is your time or motivation being soaked up by gossiping or the fear of getting fired?  I searched Google for “how do I not get fired”. As a result, it came back with 64 million articles, blogs and websites lol. What is wrong with people!

Beating Around The Bush in Today’s Corporate America

Corporate employees literally spend so much time dancing around conversations and trying not to commit. They’re simply trying not to get fired so consequently, they don’t express sometimes pivotal facts and ideas.  I see this more and more and it has become prevalent to me because I come from a “non corporate” background.

While creating a presentation that was consumer facing (for the general public), the presentation had to be reviewed by compliance.  This presentation was for a client in the financial services industry.  The people in compliance kept pointing fingers at each other, rather, and no one wanted to answer my question. They didn’t want to tell me exactly what they wanted. It blew my mind.

As I was putting together this presentation, I had compliance tell me that I shouldn’t use certain phrases that talk directly to an issue. They said that I should instead use words such as, “may we suggest”, “for example”, and “as a suggestion”.  This is instead of just coming out and telling them what you want them to do and what you want them to know.  Pair this with a coworker of mine, who is a brilliant person. He’s much smarter and more analytical than I am and he tells me, “I don’t think you can really say that.  I don’t think you should really put that in your presentation”.

Blending in & The Lack in Motivation

When I got up the next day, I decided to go on a run. I was in Georgia by a river, and doing sprints on the river walk. I thought to myself during my ‘unplugged time’, “Everybody is spending half of their time in Corporate America just trying not to get fired, not having an opinion, and not telling people what they really think. They’re not commenting directly and instead, they’re talking behind peoples backs.” It made me feel sad.

To think that employees can try to work NOT too fast, or work NOT too slow. The employees think, “I don’t want to stick out” and “I don’t want to get noticed”. WTF.  Most of all, blend this slow “Steady Eddy” mentality with all the “water cooler” talk.   They are probably only at 30-50% production for that corporation. Seems like the corporation has a skewed perception of what factors can boost revenues.

I don’t understand this.  Please explain to me how people can get a job and then how that job gets away with motivating them to be “complacent” or lazy!

I can sit down and work for four hours and the only reason I will even stop and get up is because I need to use the bathroom so bad that I could literally pee my pants!!

Misinformation & Deception in Corporate America

I walked into an office today, and met with one prospect but the office had 7-8 prospects that needed to hear what I had to say.  On my way out I ask the office manager, “Do you hold group meetings?  How often are they held?  Where are they held?” and all she could tell me was that they don’t hold meetings.  Which is a blatant lie. She went on to explain that they are NOT part of a larger organization with any sort of hierarchy, furthermore, she does not have a boss. This is all BS.  The company that employed her hired me to help to them lol.  She was happy not help, which meant she was not committing, not going out on a limb, and not going above and beyond. She was just doing barely enough.  It was mind-boggling to me.  It was dumbfounding.

How do you spend your time?  What do you focus on?  How do you treat others?

What’s your working style? Do you stand up straight and walk tall?

What’s your thought process in the workplace? Do you motivate yourself?

Tabata Is Like A Business

Tabata and Business

I took an exercise class with my wife, a class that she takes a few times a week.  The class was a Tabata class.  It was the first time that I have taken a class like this.  For anyone that does not understand Tabata – you exercise for a period time, “You do 20 seconds of any high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 8 rounds (4 minutes total)” and then you have a minute off.  Then you do 4-5 sets of these 4-minute rounds.   You use dumbbell weights, risers – it is high, high-intensity workout.

Never Rest

What I noticed is that there are some people who decided during the in-between (the 1 minute rest) of exercise intervals, the “moment off”, that they would rest.  Then there are other people, who instead of resting, opted to continue their workouts in various manners.  This was fascinating to me and is a lot like business.  There are people that will do just the bare minimum needed in order to get by, who take every single break that they can possibly have – they get excited for the next break, instead of excited for the next job.

Those Who Rest Vs. Those Who Don’t Stop

I found it interesting to look around the room and see the type of people that decided to not work through their break compared to the people that decided to work through their break.  In the Tabata exercise, there are people that held the plank position (if you know what that is – it works your core) when other people rested.

I tried to hold the plank a few times and then collapsed, but it was the choice to try and push yourself. There are other people that decided to start the next exercise early, or continue the last exercise longer through the “minute break”.  You can guess, the type of people, and the physical fitness levels of those people, that decided to take a rest and the ones that kept working during their break – was night and day difference.  That is a lot like business.

Be Too Excited To Take Breaks!

I see a lot of people just moping around, that are slow, that are excited for the wrong things- to take lunch – excited to gossip around the water cooler.  They are choosing  not to be happy with where they are at, and what they are doing.  Then I see other clients who are extremely excited, who are very passionate, who are fired up and who are doing extremely well.

These winners are crushing it in business, and they don’t take breaks.  These people can’t even find time to go to the bathroom.  These guys will sit at their desk. They’ll run around and meet with people for four straight hours before they will even take a breath.

Choose your Time Wisely: Be A Winner

So, just like in Tabata, there is a night and day difference between the winners and losers. Winners are people who choose to take on more. They’re the people who choose to expand their brains, their knowledge base and their comfort zone.  Conversely, there are people who choose to find time to take breaks. They actually look forward to how much less they can do.

What direction do you go?  Do you rest in the middle of Tabata?  Or do you push forward and take it as a challenge to hold the plank position?

You Don’t Get Paid to Catch-Up On Work

Catch Up

I had a meeting earlier this week with a potential client.  When I walked into his office, our conversation went like this:

I asked him, “How’s it going?”

He said, “Busy.”

I said, “That’s great, better than being slow.”

He replied, “Yes, that is very true.”

I responded, “Other than you need some time to get caught up.”

He looked at me and smirked. He said, “You don’t get paid to catch up.”

You Don’t Get Paid To Catch Up

I said that was so true and I asked him if I could steal his phrase.  “You don’t get paid to catch up”.  If you think about that, he is 100% right.  What are you doing today to be as productive as you possibly can?  There are 168-hours in a week.  What are you doing with that time?  Yes, you have to sleep, so we can subtract 58-hours for sleeping and you are left with 112-hours.

How are you going to make those 112-hours the most productive time that you possibly can, and again, just as my prospect – who will hopefully become a client – said, “you don’t get paid to catch up”.

Your Competition Is Passing You By

If you want to get caught up, get through your inbox, try to go to “inbox zero”.  Try to get caught up with all the work that you have to do, your to-do list (Check out this article on the new to-do list- A New Take on the To-Do List) – are you working at night?  Are you working on Saturday?  Are you working on Sunday?  If not, you are getting passed.  Whoever your competition is, they are passing you by.

So, what are you doing in those 112-hours to be the most productive that you possibly can?

I Don’t Have Enough Time vs. That’s Not A Priority For Me

I just read an article that that was very insightful. The author wrote, “I hear the phrase all the time :I don’t have enough time.”  Instead of saying, “I don’t have enough time,” the author suggests that you say instead, “That’s not a priority for me”.

Wow just take a minute and think about that, I was almost offended when I heard that.

Then I thought, that is awesome!  Here are a couple of examples that he sites:

Instead of saying, “I don’t have time to exercise 30-minutes a day”, you should switch that to, “my health is not a priority for me.”

I don’t have thirty minutes to learn something new today; to dive into how to flip houses, to dive into how to make a podcast, to dive into how to do better in my job.  You should re-phrase that and say, “learning something new is not a priority for me.”  “Getting better at my job is not a priority for me.”  “Creating a podcast is not a priority for me.”  And that’s okay if it’s not – that is totally fine.  Then just don’t say you don’t have time..

As a take away; focus on the items that are a priority by switching your brain and stating “that is not a priority to me”, that will help your brain stop and think and say, wait that is a priority to me”.

Make the most of the 112-hours you have, and get fired up!