Hopefully, you got something out of Part 1 of Very Wise Stuff I Say (that I pinched from other people). This is Part 2.
11. It’s not your job to teach another adult how to behave. ~ Dr Phil
I am notorious fixer. And a lifelong educator. This is a bad combination, because I have the uncontrollable urge to educate people who behave badly. And by people, I mean men I have dated. I am getting better at kyboshing this urge because people (and by people, I mean men I have dated) learning their lessons on my time just doesn’t do it for me anymore. In recent times, I have also extended this notorious fixing philosophy to people I work with (and by people, I mean my managers) and I am kyboshing that urge too. Unless, of course, I am paid gazillions to be a fixer/educator.
12. Make trouble. Question everything. ~ Noam Chomsky
People get away with as much as they are allowed to get away with. And they get away with it because no one asks – or wants to ask – questions. Questioning what people do – as well as their motives – lets them know you are onto them. Plus it’s irritating for them, and amusing for you, particularly when they start squirming.
13. Before you start the journey of 1000 miles, talk to the person with the bloodiest feet. ~ Chinese proverb
Experience matters, particularly when someone has done the hard yards. If you want to know where the pitfalls of anything are, speak to someone who has been there before you. Never ever presume to know anything about anything if you haven’t actually experienced it. And never ever ignore the stories of people who have.
14. There are no business problems, just personal problems that manifest in a business setting. ~ Morrie Schechtman
Generally, by the time people are adults, their behaviours are set in stone. And people tend to be consistent in how they behave. So an aggressive bully at home is highly likely to be an aggressive bully at work. A sociopath with a narcissist personality disorder will probably not be an empathetic team-player in the workplace. Someone with a messy desk and sloppy personal appearance is unlikely to be a tidy operator with excellent attention to detail. You get the picture.
15. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants. ~ Justice Louis Brandeis
Dark deeds – think bullying, harassment, intimidation, abuse, corruption etc. – are dark deeds because they remain hidden and secret. These deeds fester and gain their power from a shroud of secrecy, fear and shame. Where light is shed by honesty, openness, accountability and transparency there cannot, by definition, be dark deeds. Where there is light, there is no dark.
16. You never know what’s coming for you. ~ Mama, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
You can make all the plans in the world, but there are many things in life that you cannot possibly anticipate or foresee: war, famine, love, loss, poverty, fame, wealth, disease, success. They are like plot twists in the narrative of our lives. As a human, death is the only thing that is certain: it’s the how and the when that are question marks. I’m a firm believer that our time on earth is predestined and finite, and when your number’s up, your number’s up.
17. Never get bitten by the same dog twice. ~ Chuck Berry
Generally, no good comes from giving people a second chance or the benefit of the doubt. I’m here to tell you that nine times out of ten the person who dumped you/dissed you/stomped on your heart/took advantage of you etc. once will dump you/diss you/stomp on your heart/take advantage of you etc. again. It is inevitable. I know this is not what you want to hear, but it is true.
18. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. ~ Lt Col Carlos A Keasler
Running a Twitter hash tag campaign when your brand is less than salient is probably not a good idea (#qantasluxury, anyone?). That blog post you wrote that exposes workplace dysfunction? Just because you can press the publish button, doesn’t mean you should. And just because you are in a position of power, and you can recite a Christmas rap that disses your colleagues and peers, or tell that inappropriate tale about your university days at a work function does not mean you should. Restraint, people.
19. You’re either a player or a piece. ~ Ralph Charrell
Strategically speaking, you either get played (by others), or you’re the one doing the playing (of others). I know which I’d rather be. In a workplace, you may not have power, but you can certainly be clever: use your smarts to stay three steps ahead of the politics and power games. And pick the ditch you want to die in.
20. Pick the ditch you want to die in. ~ Carlien Coultate
You can allow yourself to be dragged into all sorts of battles, particularly if you are a fixer (like I am). Choose your battles wisely. Make sure that the battle you are about to fight really is worth fighting – and dying in a ditch – for. Most of the time, they aren’t. One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is: sometimes doing nothing is the best possible course of action.