Remember the good ole days when to be a “good student” all you had to do was raise your hand?
Have a question? Raise your hand.
Have the answer? Raise your hand.
Have an idea? Raise your hand.
Have to go to the bathroom?? Raise your hand.
Yes, maybe our arms got tired, and maybe our bladder felt like it was always going to burst, but at least we knew the way to our teachers heart.
And then we graduated…
And suddenly there were no more teachers, and “good students.”
Instead, there were bosses, and “go-getters.”
And what happened to all of us? All of us that thought the right way was the patient way?
Suddenly we became the nudnicks.
Our bosses didn’t want us to just sit around with our hand up waiting. Our bosses didn’t want to have to stand there calling on us one at a time.
They expected us to know, not ask. Expected us to do, not wait.
Times change, but change itself is hard. So what do we do? Here’s my two cents for this week…
One of the biggest transitions from the classroom to the office is understanding the goals of a teacher vs the goals of a boss.
Teachers teach to educate. Bosses lead to make sure shit gets done.
For a teacher, a well-behaved classroom is king. Students sitting and patiently waiting to be called on is exactly what they want and need to maintain order in the classroom so that they get their educating on.
For a boss, on the other hand, a well-oiled machine is king. Workers sitting and patiently waiting to be called on = bottlenecks. Those bottlenecks = dead weight.
To succeed in the workplace you need to learn not to be the dead weight - the drag that pulls everyone behind.
What you need to learn to be is the freaking wind that’s blowing things forward.
Back in the classroom the teacher spends so much of his energy pushing and pushing, trying to make sure everyone understands. In the workplace though, the last thing the boss wants is push and push just to make sure things get done.
What a boss is looking for is a team that can manage itself. A team that will ask questions, give answers and come up with ideas on their own with as little effort needed from the boss. So long as they are getting things done, the boss lady/man is happy.
What does that mean for you?
Take initiative. Put your hand down and get your ass up. Be the force, not the drag.
What do you think?
Are you sinking in the “good worker” boat, playing by the old school rules of being patient and polite, but not getting ahead?
How do you feel like the rules have changed and what are you doing about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.