Heart and Soul: Influence
I actually did learn a few things while I worked all those precious years (that I’ll never get back… ever… while I was there… for a very, very long time… aw crap, now I’m all depressed). One of the things I learned was, I knew I didn’t want to remain working there for the rest of my life, as good as the pay was, and needed to use what I was given to set the course for my future. It did take a few years to catch on to this concept, but it did finally pay off. I could have chosen to be miserable, or I could be a person who would influence those I worked with, as well as those whom I worked for. Those lessons were some of the most valuable.
I’ve always been a bit goofy in the head, but it’s a valuable asset when used in the right way. Now, I always did work hard first, and that always opened the door to opportunity, but I also loved to liven up the day by doing goofy things to get people to smile (and torment the boss a little during the process). I would do things like, show up Monday morning and tell the foreman, “Man it’s great to be back! I missed this place so much, I just love it here!” Or, when pay day was happening (before auto-deposits) and the foreman would bring me my cheque, I would say, “Oh, no thanks, I don’t need the money, I just work here because I love it so much… the people are great, it’s a privilege to be here!” I would get the best responses (and looks).
Once, he was complaining just a bit about not doing quite good enough on a job I was doing, while training a new employee. The only thing was, I was doing my own job as well as training the new guy, so I grabbed the foreman by the shirt and stapled him to a load of lumber and began moving it down the line with him attached to it. “Have a nice time in Panama!” (That’s where the lumber was being shipped). I was a hero the rest of the day in the eyes of the new guy. “I can’t believe he stapled the boss to a load of lumber!” The other guys just said “we do that all the time around here… no big deal.”
I was able to combine a good work ethic with being able to affect the atmosphere in a positive way, which in turn opened the doors to some of the best jobs that people with higher seniority couldn’t get. It’s always a good thing to be able to learn how everything works together in the workplace, as that makes you more valuable, as well. If we would take the time to educate ourselves and take a little initiative, doors get opened that you would never expect. Even your boss doesn’t have all the answers, and appreciates those who work for them to be the solution to problems, instead of being the cause.
I was able to pull off some of the goofy things I did, because I always had a good working relationship with those I worked for. I always made sure that I did the best job I possibly could, even if I hated what I did. This speaks volumes on your behalf, more than talking ever does, and it will always create the opportunity to speak freely, when you’re finally given the chance to.
So if you find yourself in a place where you feel there is no future, begin looking for solutions. The best way to do that is to quit looking at the problems through negativity. I hear people complaining that the boss never does any work. Only people who have never managed people say things like that. Try being a leader in the work place, through humility, meekness, wisdom, and integrity.
You’ll find your world changing very quickly! Proverbs says, “A man who is skillful in what he does, will stand before kings.” Seriously… this works!
Have a great week!