Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Head of the House

My husband is the head of our house. Now before you get your feathers ruffled or go all "women's lib" on me, let me explain my viewpoint.
My husband knows he's the head of our house, because I told him he could be. I have no doubt that any decisions he makes for our family, take my best interests to heart. Does that mean that I don't make any decisions? Hardly. Anyone who personally knows me, knows that I make a ton of decisions. Does that mean that we always agree? Of course not. Sometimes, I even need to remind him of factors he may not have considered.
Have you ever tried to "co-manage" or "co-chair" something? And either no one wants to make the final call, or both people want to make a different call? Isn't it frustrating? Have you ever noticed how much easier it is when one person takes the lead? And the other takes a supportive (but equally important) role? That's exactly why my husband is the head of our house.
Having a good relationship with anyone takes 2 important steps: choice and compromise.
Choice - we first need to carefully choose who we go into business with, who we make babies with (men and women), who we trust. All too often, we leave choice to "chance". Don't be afraid to ask tough questions. Taking extra time up front can save you a life-time of problems later. You have to be confident that the other person will live up to your expectations.
Compromise - Once you've made a good choice, compromise can keep you in business. There are very few times that any decision is life or death. Extending an olive branch can go a long way toward a good relationship. Sometimes, it's nice not to be the one making all the decisions. It can be a lot of stress to handle the pressure alone.
Will these 2 steps change the world? Probably not. But could slowing down and taking time to make good decisions and looking to the other person's point of view change your world? It might.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Rules

I am a rule follower. I like rules. I think rules help to avoid a lot of problems. They provide clear expectations for appropriate behavior. They bring a certain civility to life.
That being said, I think I'm a dying breed.
Almost every day I see people breaking traffic laws (texting, running red lights, causing grid lock, speeding through school zones). These things are illegal and downright dangerous. And don't even get me started about how awful people are when dropping off and picking up at school.
I have recently had conversation with a couple people who are dealing with bad employee behavior. The employees do not like some changes that have occured within their respective companies. (On a side note- companies often have to change due to economic or industry factors just to keep their doors open.)
Instead of adjusting to the changes or forming a plan to make the changes work in their favor, they have chosen behaviors that are unethical and damaging to their company and, ultimately, themselves. Some of the actions include coming in late or leaving early (but not changing their time card), not waiting on customers in a timely matter, taking extended lunches & smoke breaks, trash talking their company, complaining to co-workers...the list just goes on.
So what do they accomplish by breaking the rules their company has set? Customers will not want to frequent the business. Sales go down. Commissions go down. Morale goes down. Ultimately, the employee will quit and blame the company, or they will be fired for not doing the job they agreed to do (and blame the company).
Do you not like your job? Then do something different! No one is holding a gun to your head. That may mean go do something else, or it may mean that you have to come to terms with the expectations and step up. Either way it is NOT okay to do a bad job or break the rules because you are not thrilled with the situation.
"The time is always right, to do what is right." Martin Luther King, Jr.