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How To Be An Office Hero: 3 Myths, Busted
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SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/28/2014 | 9:41:34 AM
No more Mr. Scott
Myth No. 1: Under-promising and over-delivering is the best way to impress

 


I see this so much in the IT field that it makes me wonder where it all started and how we can end it.  I think of Scotty fixing a warp core breach in record time every other week.  Eventually that over delivering becomes your standard delivery and you get backed into a corner of everything requiring the push that special projects used to get.  It burns people out and it makes you look bad when you give accurate estimates of time and expense of a project because it is suspected that you're padding your numbers.
pcharles09
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pcharles09,
User Rank: Moderator
7/28/2014 | 9:43:45 AM
Some goals are tricky
The exceeding expectations one is good. More often than not, you'll spend time later explaining that you always beat deadlines. In those cases, your boss might even ask you what you're doing with the extra time...
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
7/28/2014 | 11:17:31 AM
So what's the best path?
@dave -- all right on the money. accurate and telling.

Leads me to think "just keep your head down and do your work as well as you can" -- but that's corny and doesn't always let you excel

I fall back on loyalty -- hard to come by and important - loyalty to the boss, and the team

 

What do you recommend, @dave? Never be an office hero? Just a worker bee?
MultiHats
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MultiHats,
User Rank: Strategist
7/28/2014 | 11:33:57 AM
Re: No more Mr. Scott
Scotty also once told Jordi LaForge "never tell 'em how long it really takes. Ya got to add a little padding."
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
7/28/2014 | 11:52:58 AM
Inexpensive perk
Seems like companies could help their employees by running standard 360 evaluations and giving employees access to the results (anonymized, of course). It might be painful at first, but knowing what people really thnk is so important.
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Strategist
7/28/2014 | 12:53:41 PM
People are tricky, bring on the robot bosses!
@Dave thanks for dispelling these three office hero myths. People are tricky. Do you think we humans might do better with robot overlords? They'll be less flexible but won't come with the human social norm requirements...

 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/28/2014 | 1:35:25 PM
Re: No more Mr. Scott
@SaneIT- You're right. It is destructive. And I don't know exactly how it started either. I'm guessing it started with a good intention of rewarding hard work. In hourly jobs you get paid overtime. In salaried jobs like IT, there's the bonus. I'm guessing that overdelivering around bonus time was once a decent strategy. And that led to the wisdom of doing it. But unless you VASTLY under promise you get into the same death spiral you described.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/28/2014 | 1:37:39 PM
Re: Some goals are tricky
@pcharles09- Hopefully most of us have bosses who don't track how long things take every time, but you're right, once you start delivering things super fast, the next time the expectation is that it always takes that long. I think I'm going to start taking twice as long to do things for a while just to reset expectations after all the years i've spent overdelivering. :)
impactnow
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impactnow,
User Rank: Ninja
7/28/2014 | 1:38:43 PM
Likeability factor
Dave I agree likeability cannot be undervalued. If your team doesn't want t you to be successful you won't be successful. So many managers still think that micromanagement and punishment will get their teams to be higher performers while it creates the opposite effect. People work harder for those they like and consequently well like managers are more successful. While you may not be loved by everyone in your organization it's important to have rapport with certain people and certain groups, your team being one of them.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/28/2014 | 1:39:08 PM
Re: So what's the best path?
Well, I think you can still be the office hero by side-stepping these traps everyone else is falling into. While they're busy overdelivering on a project, you go and do ten on time. Be a nice person who gets the social norms and I bet in the end you get ahead.
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