Monday, June 20, 2011

If You're Waiting to Be Asked You’re Waiting to Be asked to Leave.

I’m seeing interesting trends about employment and opportunity in a lot of what I’m reading nowadays.

The trends are showing continuing high unemployment, increasingly tighter budgets in a lot of organizations (especially government agencies), and the hopes that we can spend our way out of this mess or have entrepreneurs save us are not going to work.

That’s the bad news.

Here’s the good news…at least for some of us.

I’m seeing an increasing understanding that the people who are willing to step up and say, “I’ll be responsible for that,” are the most valuable. It’s not the ones who shuck and jive and BS and actively disengage from their work (because they are close to retirement or have a special relationship with the boss).

As some of you know, I read Seth Godin’s blog EVERY DAY ( Today, he talked about giving more than is expected; calling it “A path on the way to building a reputation…(and) an excellent way to be the one people seek out.”

Every Monday morning I get the Monday Morning Memo from Roy Williams (no, not the UNC coach), the Wizard of Ads (

This morning he wrote about self-selection, saying, “To be self-selected is to volunteer. No, that’s not it. To volunteer is to say that you’d be willing to take action if it were asked of you. But self-selection doesn’t wait to be asked. E.W. Howe (1853-1937) understood self-selection perfectly, I think. “When a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.”

In today’s work world you must self-select yourself to be a high performer. If you're waiting to be asked you’re waiting to be asked to leave. It’s that simple. I do not believe there has been a more important time since WWII to do more than is expected of you.

What will you do today that you can give 110% to?

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