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Nick McCormick’s new book, Acting Up Brings Everybody Down, is subtitled The Effects of Childish Behavior at Work. McCormick’s favorite piece of advice is “Don’t be a Jerk” which summarizes the contents.
The book examines how workplace behavior often mirrors what you would expect to see in a child’s playground and tells us to get up. Take responsibility for your work and how it is done, and let go of the playground tactics. McCormick writes:
“Not surprisingly, a lot of the childish behavior displayed by adults and explained here results from fear–fear that they will lose their job or lose out on a promotion. Face the fear head-on. This is the best way to conquer it. Start planning for the next job if you are afraid of losing your job. Learn something new. Do something positive, rather than wallowing.
It’s a positive book and I think it’s better than his last book, Lead Well and PROPER: 15 Successful Strategies to Becoming a Good manager. The lead characters from Lead Well, Wanda and Joe are back. However, this book is less about the story and more about how to become a good manager. It’s easier to read because the characters don’t get in the way of the advice.
Every chapter contains opinionated advice about being better at work.
“What a difference it would be if… we stopped trying to build empires and stomping on those that “get in our ways,” if credit was shared…if anything!
This is something that your mentor should tell you because no one else will admit to this behavior. While most of this is common sense, sometimes we need to be reminded that we are not always acting in this manner. This resonates with you?
“The fact that employees are being asked more and more to perform more tasks gives them many options to replace the ones they don’t enjoy. The average worker seems to always have time for activities other than work, regardless of how busy they are. America Online and Salary.com conducted a 2005 survey that found that American workers spend 2.09 hours per day, not including lunch. The number one time-waster was surfing the Internet. People are more busy than ever and still have the time to check the scores from the last game or download music from iTunes. Why? Because checking the Internet is more enjoyable and has a higher priority. And why not’stick to the boss’ since she now has me doing two jobs. ‘”
McCormick takes a look at the office environment and challenges readers to think differently. He urges us to focus on the important things. No matter what is going on around, do what is right for the company. The book is a call to end hidden agendas, but also a request to you to improve your game.
You must complete all five things if you sign up for five. Broken promises can ruin all your efforts to please, show values, and the like. It is not clear why so many promises are broken. However, it could be due to the fact that there is usually no penalty for failing to honor commitments and no reward for doing so. The bar has been dropped. It is no longer expected that employees will honor their commitments. It is now considered exceptional… I ask these people, “Are your ideas confident enough to borrow from your 401K [U.S.-type pension-type] to make them happen?” Let’s say this is your money. Would you rather replace the ten-thousand-dollar printer or work with the one you already have for a bit more productivity?
McCormick’s advice would have made offices more friendly if everyone followed it.