Reject That Promotion
By Dan Miller
I’m in Chicago this week in the recording studio. While I enjoy the creative process, I’m always eager to get back to the Tennessee home and office that I love. The soft music and sounds of a waterfall and birds chirping just outside my window allow me to think and work productively. As much as you can, I would encourage you to design your workspace to release your best talents.
Check out the Online Radio note on “failure.” If you aren’t succeeding enough, maybe you need to “fail” more. Everyone I know who is extraordinarily successful failed a couple of times along the way. The quotation below talks about dreaming too little. Stretch, fail, and succeed.
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"Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves, when our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little, when we arrive safely because we have sailed too close to shore. Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly to venture on wider seas where storms will show Your mastery; where losing sight of land we shall find stars. We ask You to push back the horizons of our hopes; we ask You to push in the future in strength, courage, hope, and love." —Sir Francis Drake - 16th century English sailor
(Thanks to Ilea Dorsey from Kigali, Rwanda for sending this to us.)
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Promotion? No Thanks!
Getting “promoted” could move you away from what you do well.
The popular little book titled The Peter Principle was written in 1969. After studying hundreds of organizations, the author, Laurence Peter, concluded that in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his/her level of incompetence. We’ve all seen it happen: the great bank teller who gets moved up to branch manager only to leave in disgrace for not being able to sell new business or to manage employees; the sales rep that gets promoted to territory manager but cannot discipline his former buddies; the best construction worker who is asked to be project overseer but leaves in anger because he could not understand the budget forecasts.
The author thus proposed that the best work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence. But isn’t this just a matter of learning new skills and growing in responsibilities? Perhaps. But frequently it is simply taking someone out of what he/she does well and putting them into an area that does not match their strongest abilities at all.
As a business owner, I recognize my areas of incompetence quickly - managing people or budgets are not things I do well. I love to think, write, and be the visionary, but I’m fooling myself if I think I can perform all the functions in our business better than anyone else. I bring in others whose skills clearly exceed mine in many areas.
"Comrades, you have lost a good captain to make him an ill general."
Michel de Montaigne (1533 - 1592)
One of the keys to living out our calling is to be doing work that blends our (1) Skills & Abilities, (2) Personality Traits, and (3) our Values, Dreams, & Passions. Think how frequently we see this violated when someone is " promoted": the quiet introvert who is thrust into the middle of office interaction; the analytical person who is forced to represent the company in a sales and marketing role. The best nursery teacher in the school is not necessarily the best candidate for school principal. A great youth pastor may be miserable as a senior pastor. This isn’t a matter of unwillingness – we have to realize that even “open doors” and “opportunities” can lead us away from God’s ideal path. The key is to know ourselves and see confirmation of God’s preparation in other ways as well.
In today’s volatile workplace, people are often forced to move from organization to organization. In many ways, this is a positive occurrence. Rather than being expected to move vertically up the ranks to a position of incompetence, you can address your strongest areas of competence and again apply them in a new organization or opportunity.
Do you know your strongest “areas of competence”? Are you using those effectively each day?
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More on Launching Your Idea
The No More Mondays stories that are coming in also include very young entrepreneurs, which is always exciting to see. I know I started out young in seeing ideas that could be developed. How about a Lemonade Stand? INC Magazine is running its annual contest to find the Best Lemonade Stand in America. Share your story about building and running a lemonade stand and you could win the grand prize, a $1,000 savings bond and a Nintendo DS. Click here for entry form and inspiration from last year’s winners.
Need a Copyright? I get a lot of questions about copyrights and trademarks. A copyright protects any original work, including books, plays, musical compositions, works of art, and computer programs. You can include the © symbol as soon as you produce any of these materials. The copyright is already implied. But if you want to file it officially, it’s not a big deal. Just go to www.copyright.gov and file there. It’s $35 to do it online.
Need a Trademark? This protects a name, symbol, motto, or other distinctive form of identification associated with a product or service. Examples would include the Coca-Cola script or the name 48 Days to the Work You Love. You can apply directly through the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (www.uspto.gov) for $325. However, there are so many variations that I would recommend using an attorney for this. Mine cost about $1,200 for getting the correct categories set up.
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You'll notice here that question #3 talks about fear because "I failed once." Trust me, you'll hear me say that if you haven't failed a couple of times you are probably playing it way too safe – and probably depriving yourself of the big successes that are waiting on the other side of "failure."
1. I am unemployed and don’t have the financial resources to start a business, but I can't motivate myself to go back to any eight-hour job! I want to be an engagement and marriage coach.
2. How much time do I really need to free up to get my business going on the side so I can make a step rather than a leap in the next 24 months? I am a landscape painter (oil) and currently work for Corporate America! Help!
3. I'm nervous about leaving a secure salary because I failed once. Business is picking up now and I want to start treating it like a real business not a hobby.
4. I figured out I'm supportive and encouraging and half outgoing. I love helping others, encouraging people, and just being there for people when I can. I want to see others happy, to see people rise above their problems, see them come to know God, help kids get on the right path. (Can I make a living doing this?)
5. I am a volunteer youth pastor, I work at a dead-end job making around $31,000 a year, I attend school full time majoring in psychology, and feel like I'm getting nowhere. I really like to write – stuff about God, stuff about politics. I love writing songs and poems, too. I just don't know where to start, and I'm kind of confused. I want to do the youth pastor thing, but I'm broke and not sure what to do. Lots of dreams and no plans or idea as to how to get started.
6. I've begun to write bite-size Christian devotionals for women and I'd like to be able to get them published. I have never written anything for "publication" before, but I feel I have testimonials and encouraging messages to share. I'm writing on my own – not in a writers' group. Can these devotionals actually get launched? Any guidance?
If you have a question, just click on the 48 Days Online Radio link below and you can ask about starting your own business, getting a better job, or finding your purpose in life.
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Know your area of competence ?
The most popular product in the 48 Days arsenal continues to be the Computerized Personality Report. Before you begin seeking a better job or self-employment, you need to be sure you are pursuing opportunities that match your personality style and will fulfill and reward you for a lifetime!
Stay up to date, add your comments, and share your successes at my No More Mondays Blog.
Humor: Fifty Years From Now
Yeah – I can see having this conversation.
Three elderly gents were talking about what their grandchildren would be saying about them fifty years from now.
"I would like my grandchildren to say, 'He was successful in business,'" declared the first man.
"Fifty years from now," said the second, "I want them to say, 'He was a loyal family man.'"
Turning to the third gent, he asked, "So what do you want them to say about you in fifty years?"
"Me?" the third one replied. "I want them to say, 'Papa certainly looks good for his age.'"
Dan Miller is the bestselling author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and a renowned Life Coach specializing in career fulfillment. His weekly newsletter reaches 70,000 subscribers. Dan’s articles are featured here at CBN every Tuesday, and you can find out more about Dan at www.48days.com.
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