Is it my job to make you happy?

ID-10089760

Stress is part of the job, so grow a pair.
Courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

It has come to my attention that I have created an unhappy person in my team, due to my constant pressure for getting results.  Or in other words that-thing-managers-have-to-do.  This poor soul has gotten to the point of contemplating resignation as a result.  F#ck him.

There are a few things you need to know about me, I love my kids.  I love my wife more.  I like to take photo’s.  I love to write.  I hate slackers.  I have a built-in intolerance for incompetence.

Work = pressure.  If comes with the territory.  When you’re in a war and you’re expected to shoot people, if will be very difficult for you to achieve results when you suddenly start growing a conscious or go to your commanding officer, crying over the reality of war.  You’ll end up in shit so deep, you probably would never be able to clean yourself again, ever.  So the choice is obvious, if you don’t like killing, then don’t become a soldier.

If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen because you’re in my way.  Don’t talk about running with the big dogs, when you still expect mommy to wipe your nose, and you still piss like a puppy.  And for heaven’ sake don’t blame your own inability to perform on unhappiness, because the boss, that’s me, were mean to you over the phone.  (As I am typing this I am actually still in shock due the fact that this could come out of the mouth of an educated, twenty-something adult)  What did he expect?  It’s not kindergarden anymore.

Another interesting thing about me, is the fact that I am not perfect.  Weird, I know.  When I am confronted with a new situation, highlighting one of my apparent flaws, I actually consider the viability of the claim being true.  Case in point, being an unreasonable manager.  Do I make people unhappy?  It is my job to make people happy?  If not, who’s job is it?

Happiness is a concept most of us understand.  It’s not just the excitement of Christmas morning, or the thrill of packing for the summer holiday.  It’s a feeling of content, in inner peace that makes you smile for no apparent reason.  A blissful glee.  I have that.  I am blissfully happy.  Why wouldn’t I be?  Awesome wife, great children, amazing friends.

However

Happiness doesn’t make me soft or allow me to drop my standards.  Happiness makes me an effective human being, not necessarily a nice one.  As a corporate manager I have a duty to ensure results.  I am being paid to make sure my team perform on an expected level.  Granted, when you’re unhappy it might cause you to be less effective in your responsibilities, but who’s job is it to make sure you’re happy?  In a corporate environment where pressure and stress is synonyms for efficiency, is it my responsibility to dry your tears when you’re having a bad day?  It is my job to make sure mommy packed your lunch and it’s not peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday?

I am trying my best NOT to sound like a heartless bitch.  There are obvious times when sympathy is required, especially if I know the person is in a zone where days are dark and friends are few.

The problem I have with ensuring other people’s happiness is that I don’t think one can.  I believe happiness is something we have to achieve ourselves.  It’s a goal you have to chase on your own.  Bad things happen everywhere and to everyone.  No-one is spared because in each life some rain must fall.  But being happy, that is your own responsibility.  It’s your choice, it comes from within.   Only YOU can make YOU happy.

Would I change my behaviour now that I know that my actions makes someone unhappy?  Probably a little.  Would I release some pressure on an individual knowing that it makes him unhappy?  HELL NO.

If you feel your unhappiness stems from the fact that I am driving results too hard, then it’s not only unfair, but plain bull shit.  Please note dear unhappy employee, your failure to achieve results is making me unhappy too.  But I am trying to do something about it.  Maybe you can learn something here.  Grow a pair  and stop running around like a little girl complaining about your own right to happiness.  Stop blaming other people for your failures.  Stand up and proof me wrong.  For that’s what I would do.

I am not your mother, I am not your therapist, I am definitely not your guardian angel.  I am your boss.  So accept that or resign.

(Whilst typing, the writer hears the cheers and clapping echoing from the bleachers, where all his colleagues are sitting, whom are sick of hearing the complaints and tired of having to carry dead weight.)

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16 thoughts on “Is it my job to make you happy?

  1. I’m not in corporate management. I help run a little hotel, but I’ve had my fair share of this same dilemma. I think when it comes to your career, you should set out to have some pride in your job. Producing the results management wants should bring about it’s own amount of happiness. If he’s not fulfilling his potential and bringing about the results, then his unhappiness in his position is a reflection of the work he’s putting into it, not your management. I think it’s great you’re not allowing your own level of standards be lowered at the sake of his inability to rise to your expectations. It sets a poor standard to the others who are.

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    • Thanks for dropping by and leaving a great comment.

      My challenge now is to make him understand that by working harder and achieving the results, he will become a happier person. It’s about accepting responsibility for your own destiny in a way, don’t you think?

      Wish me luck.

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  2. I’ve been on both sides. I have worked with people who were complete slackers and would not contribute to the workplace. I have worked with people who were just out of their depth. I have worked with people who were just plain in the wrong job – their personality just did NOT fit the job they were required to do.

    I have also been in horrendously stressful jobs where the boss was a contributing factor. There was no understanding of the work requirement in what I was being asked to do, and every cry for assistance was completely ignored. In one case my supervisor went off on long term stress two weeks after I started and I was expected to pick up all his work as well. I had no clue about the systems and ended up asking DAILY for time with the manager to work out what I needed to be doing and HOW. In the meantime I was being bombarded by the work coming in from customers and enquiries from the shopfloor. Was I unhappy? Yes. Was it caused by my manager? Yes. Did I quit? Hell yes. And unbelievably he was surprised when I quit – despite daily emails requesting help copied in to HR and the MD!

    But I did a damn good job as far as I could.

    Sometimes we as managers have to take responsibility for the WELFARE of our staff, but this does not mean we don’t hold up high standards; nor does it mean that anyone gets cut slack just because they are ‘having a bad day.’

    Sometimes having someone quit just makes it easier all round. And as long as we are covered for ‘constructive dismissal’ we are OK!

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    • I love that you are seeing both sides of the coin. I sincerely appreciate your comments and take note of each one. I have to admit his resignation has given me food for thought in how I deal with people reporting to me. I think I am probably going to be more sensitive to their situations as well.

      OK fine I’ll try.

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      • Yes, having BEEN on the other side (twice. And the other place PAID me to leave quietly. Ahem.) then I am very VERY strongly of the opinion that managers have responsibility for the welfare of their staff. Note, I said welfare and not happiness! If you don’t LIKE the job? Tough, it still needs to be done. Am I holding you up to high standards? Yes (but I tell you what they are, and give you the tools to meet them.) Is it my job to make you happy and enjoy your job? No. Is it my job to get the best out of you and to make the most of your talents? Arguably yes, but it is secondary to getting the business results that are needed to keep us all in a job!

        I have just completed a qualification in business coaching and it was eye opening. If you are truly interested in looking at managing in a different way and learning more tools to help your staff meet the business needs then I recommend the following book as a very good primer: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Manager-Coach-The-New-Results/dp/0077140184/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1372970932&sr=8-1&keywords=manager+as+coach Quote from the blurb: “How do you manage performance? If you come across as too directive you may get a reputation for harshness. If you are too nice you risk being known as a gullible and easily outmanoeuvred. Neither approach works.”

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