Blinder Wearers - Employee Behaviors Managers Hate #2

"That's not my job."

If you've ever been tempted to utter those words in the workplace, take my advice and don't.  They are the hallmark of the second most hated employee behavior -- Blinder Wearers.

When I was managing, I tolerated this behavior in hourly workers, dispised it in professionals, and fired managers who were afflicted with it.  Blinder Wearers make little to no effort to understand how what they do contributes (or fails to contribute) to the overall success of the business.  Or perhaps they intentionally avoid understanding -- at least that is the way it often looked to me -- a purposeful misunderstanding of the big picture, usually in order to minimize personal workload, and avoid responsibility.

Blinder Wearers seem to believe that at the heart of the company lies bureaucracy.  If you believe bureaucracy should run the company, I suppose you might also conclude that every minute action that must happen for success can be laid out in incredibly detailed job descriptions and targets.  That your goals can be set at the beginning of the year, and that it is the responsibility of management to provide everything you need to accomplish those goals, and achieve all the details in the documentation.

In fact, the blinder wearer seems to think that everything outside of a well defined (and almost always tiny) box is the responsibility of management.  If management could actually operate this way, they would have to outnumber actual individual contributors in the business by ten to one.

Note to blinder wearers:  Nobody knows how it is all going to work out in advance.  Nobody can build a durable bureaucracy of the type you appear to want in today's rapidly changing world.  Nobody can define the boundaries around your job the way you seem to need them too.  And even if they could -- no for-profit company is going to expend the resources to do it!  They would collapse under the weight of their own administrative costs.

Managers are looking for employees who understand (or at least try to understand) the big picture.  They are looking for people who can step into a situation and handle it, not hand it off to someone else, and let the resulting failure be attributed to the white spaces between job descriptions.  They are looking for employees who can roll with the changes.  In short, they want employees who don't waste their time, don't get hung up on trivial details, and can figure out what needs to be done and do it.  All on their own, or at least with minimal guidance.

To employees everywhere -- don't be a blinder wearer.  Get informed, get involved, and become a part of solving your organization's problems.  Only then can you become a highly valued contributor and a candidate for promotion.



To see how the corporate environment can nurture politics, crime and violence, check out my novels:  LEVERAGE, and INCENTIVIZE.