Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Giving it all away: Steps to success?

Cheer leading our way through dystopia.

As the corporate landscape become bleaker and bleaker with the winner take all CEOs, COOs, and CFOs grabbing up the vast majority of the retained company profits.  The corporate Napoleon Hills are having to work harder at finding ways to keep their nose to the grindstone so that they can get ahead.  With the reality that, within the corporate world, unless you are on the upward track within 2 years of corporate world arrival, you have about as much chance of getting to the top as you do finding the winning lottery ticket on the sidewalk.

Giving isn't the secret
Mathbabe, 1 April 2013 (hat tip: NC)
The latest idea, is "strategic giving."  Selflessly giving of yourself so that people will notice and appreciate you and move you along to where you want to go.
In other words, [Adam] Grant (NYT link)... is selling us a message of working really hard with the underlying promise that it will make us successful, especially if we do it because we just love working really hard.
First, it really matters what you work on and who you are helping. If you are not a strategic helper, you end up wasting your time for no good reason. How many times have we seen people who end up doing their job plus someone else’s job, without any thanks or extra money?
If you work really hard on a project which nobody cares about, nobody appreciates it. True.
And if you aren’t a political animal, able to smell out the projects and people that are worth working on extra hard and helping, then you’re pretty much out of luck.
But let’s take one step back from the terrible advice being given by Grant and Sandberg. What are their actual goals? Is it possible that they really think just by working extra hard at whatever shit corporate job we have will leave us  successful and fulfilled? Are they that blind to other people’s options? Do they really know nobody in their private lives who found fulfillment by quitting their dead-end corporate job and became a poor but happy poet?

As Yves Smith noted, it's a lot like the networking meme.  The idea of getting to know people only for what they can do for you.  What was once thought of as rather creepy, is know thought of as an ideal.

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