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I know some people don't like the term "subordinates" so let's rephrase it as: "If you have people in your life for whom your actions have a direct (and perhaps debilitating) impact on their income and career..."
Want to go back to the word "subordinates" now? I thought you might.
I've had plenty of managers in my 21 years of full-time employment and working several years part-time before that. Probably shy of half have been textbook micromanagers (the type to read that Fast Company article as a how-to manual) and one of my biggest regrets in life is that I was one, too. Only at times... but a character flaw that only shows up when things are stressful is about as major a character flaw as you can have. What made me fail as a micromanager (yes, there are "successful" ones) was that I couldn't get past the reality of tampering with people's lives and livelihoods. I made a smooth and positive transition, with my soul mostly intact.
I've learned over the years that the micromanaging types are the first to dismiss you with "It's just a job." Truer words were never spoken; when they slot you in as a cog in the machine, they'll give you their orders and they really don't care if you're unhappy, unhealthy, or if you just up and leave.
That gets dangerous on a number of levels.
First, an old truism: "The only thing worse than an employee who quits and leaves is an employee who quits and stays." In the union world you encounter the work-slowdown technique of "working to the rule." If you think you have a lot to micromanage now? Just wait until that happens. People can "obey your commands" without "doing their job," and now you've just handed your HR department a mess.
Worse is the volatile environment that unfolds when you have a micromanager working under a visionary. "In order to accomplish our leader's vision of our product installed in every household so pollution is reduced by 90% by 2020, I need you to have your TPS report on my desk each day by 3:00." If you're an employee who sees that happening around or to you, and if your micromanager isn't going anywhere? Get out. Get out, get out. Or accept that your department/division/unit is going to fail and you'll be leaving on someone else's terms.
From the article: "(R)esist the urge to interfere unless they ask for your help or notice something unethical or dangerous. Done good enough by your team is better than done perfectly (does that even exist?) by you."
My micromanager readers will respond, "I'm not interfering! I 'trust their judgment' and I'm just... correcting them and informing them of my expectations." 'Nuff said.
So when I confront the "what's my niche" question... I don't have one. And maybe that's what it is. A non-niche. (That's so meta!
I was introduced to the term "lifestyle blogger" at this year's Minnesota Blogger Conference, and the fact that I'd never encountered that term before now probably tells you something about my qualifications as a "blogger." I explained to those around me that my attendance was "aspirational" rather than... I don't know. "Real"? "Functional"? I don't know what the opposite word would be. I know that I'm nothing like the bloggers who were around me, with their focused themes and editorial calendars and monetization plans
Yet I still love to write, and I regret that I don't do it more
My podcast (Ericast.com) has taken over most of my creative expression these days... but even so, it became "the weekly podcast that comes out about once a month.
My random "minor celebrity" site (which will go unnamed here, but you can easily find it if you click around) has much better traffic than this does. Yet it's there merely as an exercise in SEO and an entertaining experiment in how people click on what's popular. Pat On Purpose wrote something really personally convicting:
If somebody were to ask my wife or my hypothetical child about what I do it must be something that they’re both proud of.I'm not sure I can say that of everything I've put out on the Internet. I'm not sure I can say that of most of the things I've put out on the Internet. It's not that I'm embarrassed by them or think they're immoral. But did they add value to society? No. Did they entertain society? Maybe -- in tiny pockets, at least. Maybe that's enough.
Maybe I should tweak my template and that would make me more motivated to blog... because being pretty counts for something, right?
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