Showing up on time. Sending typo-free emails. Following a dress code. This month, an often-unexpected management responsibility: providing employees with coaching and training on some basic job skills.
This month's audio comes to you courtesy of Ashley Milne-Tyte's The Broad Experience, where I was fortunate to make a recent guest appearance.
And, I don't read many pure business books. This time, some reasons to read one of the few that I actually recommend.
Thank you for inviting me to your in-box.
How To Have a Job
A few Septembers ago, a highschooler I knew sent me an email. It said, "I didn't do nothing" over the summer. Not even some of the basic college prep activities we had planned together in June.
"I didn't do nothing." Pretty sure my hair was on fire.
After calming myself, I realized that that my highschooler's email presaged things I was hearing about new college grads in startups, not-for-profits, and larger firms.
People deciding that they got to make their own schedule, or work from home at will. Failing to meet deadlines, or to keep commitments. Deciding that a CEO's "open door policy" was an invitation for emails about grievances.
I saw how many emerging managers -- and some experienced ones -- failed to coach their team members about about important professional behaviors. To the point where some were willing to label their own team members as Low Performers.
In conversation about what was, and was not common sense, I had begun to tell managers that it was indeed their responsibility to train new grads in these (often unspoken) workplace rules.
In the absence of some coaching, I realized, my own young mentee might be allowed to fail at a first job. Without even knowing why.
I sat down and typed out a list, which I titled, "How to Have a Job." Since then I've shared the list with folks in my circles, and in my workplace.
Here's the list, published for the first time, exclusively for newsletter subscribers. (Use the supersecret password, hthaj.)
What do you think? Is it your job to teach your newbies how to have a job?
This Month's Audio -- What Will 2018 Bring for Women?
I was a guest on Ashley Milne-Tyte's The Broad Experience -- one of my favorite podcasts.
Ashley has been ahead of the curve on so many of the workplaces issues that came to the fore in 2017. It was a privilege to talk with her about what leaders can and should do to make workplaces comfortable for everyone. Among other things!
Syllabus: Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited
I have bought E-Myth Revisited for a couple of company founders over the last few months. It may be my most recommended business book.
- Truth. I don't know anyone who owns a business who can read The E-Myth Revisited without shaking their head, frequently, in recognition of the three conflicting personality traits that manifest in every business owner.
- Utility You don't have to be a CEO to benefit from the basics on how to create structure for the work your team does, even when you wear more than one hat.
- Credibility Millions have voted this book to the top of the business best seller list, year after year, for decades: that's one testament to the book's enduring wisdom.
- Caveats/Qualifications Written in the last century, some of his languaging and analogies might feel a little clunky. Use your imagination.
Business books are rarely enduring; this one is a classic.
What I've been reading, &
- Observation: youth sports happen in networks, not institutions. Gymnastics Sexual Abuse Case Puts Spotlight On Protecting Athletes, Tom Goldman on NPR's Morning Edition.
- Work is increasingly happening in networks, not institutions. The Gig Economy Is Especially Susceptible to Sexual Harassment, by Nathan Heller at The New Yorker.
- If you know anyone who needs more info on How to Have a Job, have them check my newsletter on the topic.
Related, from the archives
- Silicon Valley sex parties? Um. I've talked with Ida C. Benedetto about rules of engagement for meetings, based on her smart work on the design of risky experiences. Here's Ida's commentary on some click-grabbering headlines.
- Last summer, I talked with sociologist and author Lisa Wade about how hookup culture on college campuses might transfer to our offices. Hookups and Startup: It's Time for Some Game Theory.
- Later in 2018, I'll come back to how people grow into good managers. A few years back I wrote about this in National Service, Culture, and the Workplace.
Welcome new readers, especially those who found me via The Broad Experience.
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