10 Chapters
Medium 9781626566279

5 Flip Your “Do-It-All” Attitude

Gentry, William A. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

BDL is not going to meet the year-end goal. But what can we do going forward to get the product out and back on track?

Okay, let’s delay the rollout a month. Wait—what? The user’s guide needs more work? Training protocol needs approval? Marketing needs to be notified? Sales sheet needs a revision? Decisions on pricing aren’t vetted yet? Internal communications needs more information? IT needs to be in the know?

There’s no way we can do all this in a month now. How is all this work going to be completed? How can I complete all of this?

If you’ve felt like I did with BDL, an identity crisis creeps in (or has gone full blown). For me, it was running stats, analytics, and writing reports and articles. For you, it can be any number of things that made you special and unique as an individual contributor. Making the most sales. Fixing things right the first time. Providing the best customer service. Writing the best story. Creating the best pitch or design. Being the force behind a patent or product. In the script of individual contributors, that’s how work is defined.

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Medium 9781626566279

Taking the First Step

Gentry, William A. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Flipping your script is hard. But you can do it. This book, the resources on the companion website, and your peers, colleagues, and boss (if you ask) are all there to help.

But to truly flip your script, take that first step. Here’s how:

Step 1: Select the one part of your script you want to flip. You’ve read the book now. All parts are important, but what is the one part of your script you firmly believe will help you be the boss everyone wants to work for? And how can you get your own boss to support you in flipping your script in this one area?

Step 2: Set a goal to flip your script; then share it, and get feedback. It’s not just knowing what part of your script you want to flip. Now, put it into action.

•  Set a specific, difficult, yet attainable goal (like you read about in Chapter 5) that is linked to the most important part of your script you want to flip.

•  Share what that goal is with others (for example, your boss, your direct reports, your team, staff, coworkers).

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Medium 9781626566279

7 Flip Your Focus

Gentry, William A. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

You’ve had some really tough decisions to make. Some pretty small. But there are other decisions that are a little more complicated and distressing. Should you cut that project’s budget over another project? Do you give that piece of feedback to someone even though you know it will be hard for the person to hear? Do you really have to officially reprimand someone or do you let it slide? Do you recommend going forward with a decision that is cost-effective even though some cuts are involved? It’s so uncomfortable. But there’s this quote from a CEO:

“You will be confronted with questions every day that test your morals. The questions will get tougher, and the consequences will become more severe. Think carefully, and for your sake, do the right thing, not the easy thing.”

I love that quote for a couple of reasons. Whether you are an individual contributor, a brand-new boss, or well-seasoned leader, it speaks to where your focus is. Where is your integrity? Your character? How do those come into play when you make decisions? The quote speaks to the difficulty of doing what is right. It’s difficult to do, and even when we try, we may fall short. Mistakes will be made in our careers because we are imperfect people. But what I hope you realize, now that you are a leader, is that your actions and decisions, and the aftermath, may be amplified. It’s not just you who may deal with the consequences; your actions and decisions will affect others too. As a new leader, own it. Now that you are a boss, your focus must constantly be on your character, integrity, and doing what is “right.” Why?

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Medium 9781626566279

1 Flip Your Script So You Won’t Flop as a Boss

Gentry, William A. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

This book provides one overarching theme for new leaders to be the boss everyone wants to work for: Flip your script. I believe you can truly be the boss everyone wants to work for if you are willing to flip your script.

First, let’s be clear on what a script is. Think about a play, musical, movie, or television show you’ve watched. It was scripted. It used written text to guide the performance. And you know those scripts; you can spot them a mile away in romantic comedies, Shakespearean plays, Greek tragedies, thrillers, or dramas. You could probably write the script about these people: the third wheel; the bridesmaid who is never the bride; the party-like-a-rock-star, wicked-funny, good-looking hero; the devious villain; the jock; the nerd who gets the girl in the end; the wallflower who was beautiful all along. These people do what they are supposed to do, act the way they are supposed to act, and live the way they are expected to because of the scripts that are written for them by writers.

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Medium 9781626566279

4 Flip Your Relationships

Gentry, William A. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

It’s still Monday, not even lunch yet. Geez, I’m hungry. And this meeting isn’t helping my appetite either. I really wanted to use my communication and influence skills to help set a good impression as I was introduced as a new leader. I was excited to help set a new course and direction for our group’s work. But then I heard, “You all don’t understand. You all need to do things differently. You all are not providing the things we need.” Wait, did I just hear, “You all?” I worked side by side with these people on Friday, and now I’m, “You all” less than 72 hours later? That was quick. They really see me differently. And, well, they are different too, now that I think about it. Today I’m the boss of people who were peers and friends Friday. What do I do about these relationships?

Mid-morning on Monday, my first day as a boss, that’s what I felt. I walked right into a buzz saw that I didn’t expect. I’ve known these people, worked alongside them. They know me and know what I can do. Why didn’t I get more credit? Why didn’t they give me the benefit of the doubt that I have their best interest in mind?

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