My First Butt Chewin’

As many of you know I still have a day job while I am growing this coaching business. There is a lot of learning that I need to go through to grow my coaching business. Also, the day job gives me an opportunity to learn as I get paid, interact with the people I am most interested in helping (the folks on the front line of manufacturing that no longer want to be cogs in a machine), and it helps me to try different things to better figure out what my skills and passions are.

Last Friday I had an interesting heart to heart with my boss. Actually I am lying, I got my first official butt chewing. Boy this was hard to take; and it has been on my mind all weekend. I have all of these thoughts of “has this been an ongoing problem”, “am I going to be put under performance review”, “am I going to get fired”, “have I not been meeting my boss’s expectations for a long time”, etc. Obviously this has created a lot of stress.

Even though it has been hard to do I have had to get out of this what I could. Even though I wanted to just say screw it I needed to keep my head about it.

Through the chewing I was pushing my emotions down and taking notes about what he was saying. The next step I followed was to return to my office and calm down so I could actually use my full mental capacity.

The second thing I did was realize that I do not know my current boss very well and I do not know his management style. I then went to find couple of people that have worked with him in the past to ask them about his management style. This really enlightened me to how he thinks.

The next thing I did was reviewed the gripes he made during the chewing. I then started thinking about them in the bigger picture and realized what he said was right.

The key take aways from his gripes (I did not realize what I needed to do until 2 days later) were:

I cannot do everything yourself

I need to delegate some of my work

I need to just go do, not ask for permission, just go and do , and do the best you can.

I cannot do everything, I need to pick a handful of projects and follow them to completion and understand that some things will have to wait.

I need to go and see the people I am making something for and not just build it in my ivory tower and then unleash it on them without explaining it.

When I find a problem (this time it was pointed out I was the problem) my brain starts looking for solutions. I have been reading Linchpin by Seth Godin and it was like certain passages in it were speaking to me to help me solve my problem. Specifically I need to create my art and I do not need to ask for permission. If my current employer does not agree with my art then I need to go somewhere that will. If I am not willing to push the boundaries and create my art I am working under fear; that is nowhere you want to be; you will never be fulfilled.

I was not doing art, I was working under fear, I need to start pushing the boundaries of what can be done. My next goal will be to do that.

I know this post has been about me but I want you to reread it and put yourself in my shoes and see if you can follow my example or even improve on it. The 2 important points I want you to remember is that you need to ask what you can learn from criticism and you need to go and create your art as Seth Godin defines it.

Finally, If you do get a chewing at work, remember that we are all people not just cogs. We all have emotions and bad days. Do not take it personally (as hard as it is not to do). And do not think your boss has it out for you.

5 Replies on “My First Butt Chewin’

  1. A good boss will give you honest feedback, even if it stings. That is how you will grow. Many managers never communicate their concerns with their employees yet treat them poorly due to their own internal (unspoken) frustrations.

  2. Josh, you’re awesome!

    How humble of you to share this with all of us! So many people would not be willing to be so introspective after a getting laid out like that.

    Thanks for being so humble. It’s a rare quality!

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