Workplace Rights

Weekly (6/9/14)

Topic of the Week  Mojo Killers: Remaining Effective at Work

  • DO Support your boss
  • DO Accept reality at work
  • DO Ask questions when getting a new assignment
  • DON'T Feel locked in by what is

Ever have a great weekend and which left you practically whistling as you walked through the door to your job on Monday morning? Only to discover that your inbox and voice mail were chock full of headaches and nightmares, with a crisis thrown in for good measure? We've all been there, and speaking of mojo killers, did you hear about when power was cut to 6,000 electric customers in Maine? A utility official said the source of the problem was when an osprey dropped a branch that was intended for his nest and it took out a power line. 90 minutes later the line was repaired and power restored. Other utilities have also faced this challenge, but they avoided the problem by created nesting platforms for the birds away from their power lines.

If it were only utility companies that had to deal with energy shortages and blackouts, most of us have had to deal with these at work. Energy challenges that rob us of our spirit and our dedication, that's why I've included three Do's and one Don't for flying high at work despite the challenges. For more, check out Marshall Goldsmith's book, "Mojo" (Hyperion, 2010).

DO support your boss. Until a fairy emerges over your desk to anoint you the new boss, you'll have to survive with what you've got. Rather than bashing your boss, look for ways to make your relationship successful. Explore ways that you can get on the same page and find projects that you can both be passionate about. If you can't support your boss, start looking for one that you can.

DO accept reality at work. I once worked on Capitol Hill as an intern for Bella Abzug. I remember walking into the office one morning and seeing everyone crying. Apparently no one could explain to the Congresswoman why she couldn't be in two places at once. Bella isn't alone, I've seen many workplaces paralyzed by bosses who couldn't accept reality at work. I'm not saying that the facts can't change, but until you accept what you're dealing with you won't get any traction in addressing them.

DO ask questions when getting a new assignment. Duh. There is a way to only bite off only what you can chew, but it involves asking your boss what they'd like you to put less effort into when they toss a new assignment on your desk. Sure it's risky to challenge the boss in that way. But it's even riskier to get spread thinner and thinner, and watch your work quality go down the drain in the process. That's why it's so important to ask tough questions when new assignments start sticking to you like Velcro.

DON'T feel locked in by what is. Just because a lot of time and money has gone into a particular project, it doesn't mean that it should continue to go down that particular drain, or rat hole.

Follow these tips and you'll keep your juices flowing with nary a blackout in sight.

About The Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via

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