How to Be Brilliant Without Pissing People Off

Brilliance can get you only so far. Just ask Apple’s ousted senior VP of iOS Scott Forstall, or Microsoft’s former President of Windows and Windows Live Steven Sinofsky. Both reportedly clashed with other executives and employees, which factored into their departures.

For rock star engineers on a management track, or talented IT managers, there are lessons to be learned here, especially for people who are aggressive to the point of being difficult. George Hallenbeck, Vice President of Intellectual Property Development at the Korn/Ferry Institute, outlined for me his seven savings graces for such folks to adopt before it’s too late.

Flying High, Landing Hard

To accomplish meaningful change, you need to take three steps before moving onto the 7 Saving Graces.

  • Recognize that people perceive you to have a difficult personality
  • Accept that you do have a difficult personality
  • Be motivated to do something about it

“If you don’t have these three elements, you won’t be successful in turning things around,” Hallenbeck says. “Some people say, ‘I’ve gotten this far and we’ll see how it goes.’ But if they were to look down the road and see how it will end for them [like an ouster], just adding some additional skills to their repertoire could help them do things in an effective manner.”

To those who think that’s an impossible task, Hallenbeck says: “Everyone is capable of change.”

7 Saving Graces

Here are the graces:

  • Listening
  • Approachability
  • Boss Relationships
  • Integrity and Trust
  • Humor
  • Interpersonal Savvy
  • Understanding Others

Adopting these characteristics, Hallenbeck says, “will buy you some forgiveness with people and put a soft focus around your hard edges.”

For example, rock stars, managers or not, who can listen effectively to their peers, reports and bosses may yield more productive results and brownie points than those who lead with their ideas.

“Rather than say, ‘here is the problem, here’s my idea, what do you think?,’ maybe you should start by getting a consensus around what the problem is and then listen to other people’s ideas of how to solve it,” Hallenbeck suggests. “You don’t have to agree with their ideas, but it shows you solicited their ideas and acknowledged them. This way, people won’t feel like you jammed your idea down their throats.”

Another thing that can alienate others is a lack of approachability. There’s a substantial difference between inviting information versus being the one who always asks questions and digs hard for answers. You don’t want to cross the line into interrogation.

“If a product launch slips, rather than say ‘why did you screw up?’, you may want to start the conversation by saying, ‘is my understanding correct on how this was handled? How did you approach it?,” advises Hallenbeck. “This allows people to recognize where they made the mistake, rather than feel interrogated.”

It will also create a culture where the emphasis is on accountability and problem solving, rather than avoidance or finger pointing to avoid the wrath of a difficult team leader or director.

Tips on Managing Rock Stars

Companies that operate with difficult rock stars or brilliant leaders are often in a quandary. They’re addicted to the solutions and ideas that these people put on the table, but they know addiction is a bad thing.

“When you have someone who knows what they’re doing and how to get things done, you have to ask yourself at what cost? What’s the collateral damage?,” Hallenbeck points out. “It doesn’t mean you can’t be results-orientated, but you have to balance that with how you’re managing people.”

“You want to keep their strengths intact, but provide skills that can act as a buffer and smooth over some of the rough edges of their style,” Hallenbeck says. “They may find they can get more accomplished by changing some of their behavior.

Comments

  1. BY Me says:

    Speaking from personal experience, you can have great relationships with coworkers, executives, and clients but if your boss is an insecure git you will be required to kowtow and genuflect or be toast.

  2. BY Fred Bosick says:

    If the company exerts great effort to get these rockstars, ninjas, and cowboys, they should just man up and take it. Be led by the nose and then *fail* when the anointed genius walks away to a higher paying gig.

    Or, maybe, they can hire earnest new people – some of them older – and get collaboration and participation by all.

    Not everyone can be a Zuckerberg, and he wouldn’t have been 2 years earlier or later.

    • BY Me says:

      Not can everyone be Jobs, or Gates, but much energy is spent studying them in an effort to summarize what should be done in order to be the next Jobs, or Gates.

    • BY trothaar says:

      You’ve got a good point. When you hire someone who considers themselves to be a “rock star,” “ninja” or some other such nonsense, you shouldn’t be surprised when that person turns out to be an arrogant, know-it-all jackass.

      • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

        IMO, the commenters so far have not comprehended the essence of the problem. The essential problem is moral. It is the selfishness that is pandemic in modern society. That selfishness does not just produce the jack asses. It also produces the “normal” people whose self esteem is so fragile that they are intolerably threatened by the presence of anyone who excels.

        To organize an empowered team, both sides of the problem must be solved. Each and every person must have a moral foundation to his or her life that enables him or her to see a genius as an opportunity and a wonderful pleasure rather than as a threat. Those few of us who are geniuses must also have that moral foundation so that we can boldly deliver the gifts that have been entrusted to us while never forgetting that we are only UPS drivers for those gifts; the gifts come from God, not from us. The enlightened genius is both bold and humble, and enlightened coworkers welcome such people with sincere joy.

        If all of this sounds like I am describing life on some other planet, that is because contemporary society has gotten off track. In most corporations, it would simply be impossible for things to play out the way that I have described. That is one reason why IMO it is time to work for fundamental change in society.

        I am not writing to hear myself talk. Please tell me what you think about these ideas. Engage me intelligently and respectfully, and the change might begin right here!

  3. BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

    >> Adopting these characteristics

    If you are a man or woman of character, these characteristics are already present in you. If you are not a man or woman of character, “adopting these characteristics” is not going to be possible any more than you can make a wedding ring out of “fools’ gold” (iron pyrite).

    To be a man or woman of character, you must be unselfish. By this I mean that you must be wholesomely connected to other people, to the Earth, and to Higher Power (according to your understanding of it).

    Corporations are filled with selfish people all madly reading self improvement books and articles, such as the above article, without comprehending that integrity is not something that you put on like a suit of clothes. Without a personal transformation, without “being born again in the spirit” as the Christians say, you will only be a pretender, and those who are genuine will continue to drop out of the corporate world in disgust.

    • BY DBG says:

      Wo’o, you have some interesting points. It takes some soul searching to see if you are as off track as I initially thought. My experience has shown that no matter how many so-called saving graces you are capable of, there are too many people on the other side that simply pretend to have them or don’t have them at all. Their fear and jealousy guide their actions. Their goal is to take as if they are entitled, and to tear you down to prove they are better than you.

      I often wonder if God gave me these gifts to be the UPS driver you speak of or if He gave them to me to learn some lessons. I spent half my life making those deliveries, all to the gain of the takers. Now I spend my time enjoying their struggle in their continued quest while only I know what they aren’t getting from me. I am ok with this.

      I agree with Rackmaster. The article is just “feel good crap.” It’s just another way of cutting down highly intelligent people. All you have to do is tell them to work on their personality so they can accept and deal with the demands placed on them by idiots.

      Your planet is next to Ayn Rand’s planet. Neither is possible here. However, you hit it on the head when you said “It is the selfishness that is pandemic in modern society. That selfishness does not just produce the jack asses. It also produces the “normal” people whose self esteem is so fragile that they are intolerably threatened by the presence of anyone who excels”.

      So, after some contemplation, I find that I still disagree with your argument and beleive you are off-track.

      • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

        DBG, your disagreement with me is not mutual; as I read your note, we are in complete agreement about both the nature of this article and the actual nature of the problem. To make the moral transformation possible, add this ingredient: Those who embrace the transformation must then join together and separate themselves as a community from the selfish people. “Let the selfish people feed on each other rather than on us.”

        I have made a business out of making this transformation happen and am focusing my efforts on Mountain View, CA, the home of Google.

    • BY Slynk says:

      I disagree. I’m a very honorable person who genuinely cares about others and I don’t believe in a higher power. I had this argument in my world religions course. It seems Christians think that one can’t be a moral person without fear that their creator would be mad/ashamed of them if they were immoral, but this just isn’t the case. I don’t need to fear a higher power in order to know murder is wrong; this is just intrinsic knowledge. We wouldn’t have survived as a species if we thought murder was ok before there was even mention of a god. It seems you mistake a conscience as a Higher power; everyone has a conscience whether atheist, non-theist, agnostic, or other. Do not assume that those who do not believe in a higher power are lesser people; some of us do a lot of good.

      • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

        Slynk: You can embrace all of what I have said here no matter how you think of Higher Power, and what I have said does not apply to Christianity any more than it applies to Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, or even Atheism. Everyone has a “Higher Power” as I use the term, which is to refer to whatever controls or the events that are critical for your life but that you cannot control. In practical, actionable terms, I am saying that an individual should strive to become literate in and have a thorough mastery of whatever belief and value system is presented to him by the culture in which he or she grows up. There is no essential moral difference across culturally literate people the world over. There is no essential moral difference between an enlightened Christian and an enlightened Hindu or Atheist. On the other side of it, there is also no essential moral difference across the vast majority of people who are culturally illiterate, i.e. ignorant.

        For our present topic, I am saying that the essence of the problem is that you cannot form a company by mixing enlightened, literate people with ignorant, illiterate people. It just won’t work. I would also say that if you want to be a genius, someone who is inspired and “has what it takes” to turn inspirations into products, you simply must have some concept of Higher Power that enables you to be thoroughly and deeply and continuously “wholesomely connected” to Higher Power, however you think of it. An Atheist, for example, must have a deep awareness that he is a part of something larger than himself, and that his life is all about doing his part to promote the interests of that larger thing of which he is a part.

        Finally, in these terms, the article that we are discussing advocates that culturally illiterate people learn to imitate the behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes of the enlightened, culturally literate people in an organization, and that the latter people modify themselves so as to be more pleasant for the illiterate people to be around. My response is that there is no easy shortcut. You can’t pretend to be literate and you can’t expect literate people to dumb themselves down so that their close proximity is not threatening and otherwise unpleasant for the illiterate, ignorant people. The only solution individually is to become literate. Go read the Bhagavad Gita. Embrace the concept of “selfless action”. Then go and live it, every moment of your life.

  4. BY RackMaster says:

    This is feel-good crap for the Baby Generation. Sorry if society rewarded you for participating rather than producing, or mommy told you you were brilliant all your life when you were just average, but this is real life. Instead of forcing the brilliant geniuses out there to change, maybe the rest of the world should meet them half way. I’m sure Apple will continue to produce incredible products without Forstall, but soon he’ll be a free agent to go work for their competitors – or compete directly with them.

    • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

      You said it better than I did. I’ll take another whack. Companies do not produce inventions. Inventions come from inspired lone individuals. Once the inspiration is captured by an individual and turned into something tangible, something that can be explained or shown to others, only then can a company form. Such individuals are like individual gold mines. Those individuals are not produced; they are found. Asking such individuals to “fit in” with the other people who form into a company around them is like asking a gold mine to accommodate workers who do not want to work underground. If the gold mine could talk, it would say, “If working underground is intolerable for you, then you don’t belong in this job.”

  5. BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

    Dawn, since we are ganging up and calling your article “crap”, I want you to know that you did a great job writing it. Your article states and develops your thesis clearly and concisely, and you found a great picture for it. It is your thesis that we are calling “crap”, not your article. As First Amendment jurists have said, a clear statement that is in error does almost as much good as a statement that is correct. Truth emerges from dialog much more than it emerges from the initial speech that launches the dialog. Well done!

  6. BY C Frank says:

    There are a lot of great comments and interesting discussion here. The one thing that I didn’t notice, and that slips away, is that sometimes there are just personality differences (which can be individual-to-individual clashes, or organizational-individual clashes). Sometimes there really is nothing that can be done. In the words of Adam Savage: “Failure is always an option.” In the best sense of things, that’s where people learn. Unfortunately, you can’t force learning — and this is where failure becomes an option in the personality arena. People learn and grow, just like skills, and failed attempts or refinement in writing software.

    • BY Me says:

      Mature individuals accept their personality differences whilst at work, especially if/when in a leadership and/or managerial position, and separate business from personal. Insecure gits allow personal animosity to influence business decisions regardless of the competence, and positive relationships with others, of the person who is disliked.

      • BY C Frank says:

        Mature individuals accept their personality differences outside of work, too. There’s ugly / nasty leadership out there, too. “It’s just business, it’s not personal” is probably one of the more prophylactic comments that needs to go out the door. Businesses are made of people, individuals; and individuals are exactly that inside of or outside of work — whether kept separate or not. THAT comment, in particular, leads to all sorts of nasty / bad attitudes, similar to saying: “I don’t care.” Say that to a client / customer, and see how it goes. Implement that attitude inside of the business, and just wait and see how it reflects outwardly.

      • BY Me says:

        C Frank posted: “Mature individuals accept their personality differences outside of work, too.”

        True, that, but I was speaking only of being at work. I don’t need to socialize with coworkers only to work with them. If I am called on to socialize then I must behave as though I was at work.

        I am well aware of nasty/ugly “leadership” and management. I am equally aware of folks who personally did not care for me but still sought my help because I was extremely capable, open and professional. We were adults behaving like adults and it was good.

  7. BY JWS says:

    Amen, ME! ;)

  8. BY Stimpy says:

    You don’t have to be an arrogant genius to get marked down and eventually shown the door. You can be a capable, affable, introvert who quietly goes about his business … and then gets marked down at review time. Supervisors invariably have quotas to fill of ‘underperformers’ and the meek shall certainly not inherit the earth when it comes to American management. People with salesmen type personalities thrive, but they often don’t bring much to the table with regard to problem solving skills or capabilities. I often felt that my work was ignored and that I was being subjected to a personality test at review time. I’m semi-retired now and free of that BS, at last.

    • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

      If I was a young person reading all of this, I would just get depressed and maybe commit suicide.

      • BY Stimpy says:

        Woo … ah to be young and idealistic. Or maybe you just haven’t had to deal with the realities of age discrimination in the workplace combined with just a really horrible company, whose name I shall not utter. Peace.

        • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

          I am 58 years old. I have devoted my life to organizing for change. Real change. Think of IdeaFarm ™ Operations as “Boy Scouts for Adults” or as the “work within the law” faction of Anonymous.

          Many people think “me” and are just whiners. If you think that fixing the problem is someone else’s job then you are not a man and you are not worthy of the respect of your children or of young people generally.

          I have a plan. It is legal. It is moral. It will work. And it will even be fun. If you are willing to “lift a finger” to help me fix the problem, click on my name and send me some email.

      • BY Stimpy says:

        Oh, and maybe I am drifting off topic, but my biggest problem in the workplace was the with the individual performance review process. Drucker and Deming, considered management geniuses, both despised this review process. They thought that groups, and not people, should be subject to reviews.

    • BY Me says:

      Stimpy wrote: “You don’t have to be an arrogant genius to get marked down and eventually shown the door. You can be a capable, affable, introvert who quietly goes about his business …”

      You can also be a capable, affable, introvert whose name and capabilities are lauded by coworkers, executives and clients, BUT, if your boss is insecure and needs to be the person to whom all genuflect, you will be gone.

      I’ve posted it before, I will post it again: THE most important skill/relationship in career security and advancement is the relationship you have with your boss. A capable, mature boss will reward all that is positive to the best of his/her ability; an incapable, immature boss will wreak havoc on anyone who is not kissing her/her ass.

  9. BY ash says:

    Good article. You either click with people or you do not. It really does not matter who does all the work, at the end of the year, the people with the rock star personality with a big mouth and presence in meetings get the bonus and promotion. It is not to say that the real workers do not get recognized, they do, but only the top few people. This is one of the main reasons that we see most corporate job holders pursuing for the visibility rather than doing any work at all, and we need so many H-1Bs to get the job done.

    To thrive in a job, if your personality matches with the boss, you are all good, else you are in trouble. Nothing you do will make a difference.

    • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

      >> Nothing you do will make a difference

      I ask everyone to reread this entire discussion while imagining yourself to be a young person just starting out in adult life, trying to find his or her place in industry. Many of these postings are negative about the state of things, either saying that the self improvement literature, of which Dawn’s article is an example, is a worthless distraction , or saying that office politics game players take all of the winnings at work, leaving little or nothing to reward those who are intellectually engaged with the work itself and are focused on tracking down the bugs, crafting elegant designs, and taking care to write each line of code without introducing any new errors.

      Is this the kind of workplace that we want to pass along to those who come after us? Was this the kind of workplace that we were given when we were just starting out? Do we not have a duty to stop whining about how things have gotten worse FOR US, and start working for positive change so that things will be better FOR THEM (the young)?

  10. BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

    Dawn Kawamoto’s well written and interesting article and the comments so far give me these thoughts:

    People in today’s multicultural secular society and workplaces do not work well together. This is due to a decline, over the past, say, 100 years, in “moral literacy”. Morally illiterate people can never be organized to work together well without the use of force and fear. The prognosis is even worse if you try to mix moral literates (“givers”) with moral illiterates (“takers”) because the givers will just be sucked dry and burned out and will either drop dead or become takers in order to just survive.

    The solution for the young individual is to (1) strive to become morally literate, and (2) separate yourself, for life, from the moral illiterates. Don’t waste your time with the bookstores filled with secular self improvement books. Embrace the religion and the great literature and the tradition of your ethnic group. Extract all of the wisdom treasure that is waiting there for you. If you are inclined, then turn to another of the great world religions and traditions, and devote yourself to extracting all of the wisdom treasure that is waiting there for you.

    Regarding selfish people (the moral illiterates): Do not work for them. Do not sell to them. Do not buy from them. Do not make friends with them. Do not court or marry them. Give them no place whatsoever in your life.

  11. BY Jimmy Lozano says:

    BY WO’O IDEAFARM | NOVEMBER 29, 2012
    Finally, in these terms, the article that we are discussing advocates that culturally illiterate people learn to imitate the behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes of the enlightened, culturally literate people in an organization, and that the latter people modify themselves so as to be more pleasant for the illiterate people to be around. My response is that there is no easy shortcut. You can’t pretend to be literate and you can’t expect literate people to dumb themselves down so that their close proximity is not threatening and otherwise unpleasant for the illiterate, ignorant people. The only solution individually is to become literate. Go read the Bhagavad Gita. Embrace the concept of “selfless action”. Then go and live it, every moment of your life.

    I want to start my discussion with this comment from wo’o.

    Many people say that: this article of Dawn is some kind of crap.
    BY RACKMASTER | NOVEMBER 27, 2012
    This is feel-good crap for the Baby Generation.

    I’m agree with this comment because if you read only this 3 paragraphs:
    —-”" Recognize that people perceive you to have a difficult personality
    Accept that you do have a difficult personality
    Be motivated to do something about it “”—-
    Practically they want that you confirm “by your self” that you are a difficult person and you need to said it to everyone to be a successful person in this modern society.
    So… I’m disagree with this article from Dawn only with this “Kind of Though” that she expose in those 3 paragraphs above.

    But my problem doesn’t finish here… my riddle is: Why Mr. Wo’o try to explain to everyone that this particular Article from Dawn is good and have good ideas…???
    I’m very confused with your thought mr. wo’o because when you said:
    —-”" You can’t pretend to be literate and you can’t expect literate people to dumb themselves down so that their close proximity is not threatening and otherwise unpleasant for the illiterate, ignorant people. The only solution individually is to become literate. “”—-
    because to me is the exactly THOUGHT that a Teacher doesn’t want teach at their students all your knowledge.
    Ahh… Can you be a little bit briefly with your comments and more specific, please… because like a culturally illiterate person that Am I right now… and… of course I want be a “Culturally Literate Person” like you are… Is very hard and confusing to me to understand “Very Well” all your thoughts when you are using a lot of words and phrases in a single comment.
    And… avoid to tell me that I’m a “Difficult Person”, because Mrs. Dawn Kawamoto told me, several times, in her past comments from her old articles.

    • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

      Jimmy Lozano: Ms. Kamamoto’s article is well written and has served well as a conversation starter. Her article is an example of the “secular self improvement literature”. Such articles sometimes do a good job of describing how to act like an unselfish person. But unselfishness is not something that you can put on like a new shirt. You cannot say, “From now on, I am going to have integrity.” It won’t work. Ms. Kamamoto’s article is like cold medicine. It is designed to treat the symptoms of moral illiteracy. What is needed is a cure for the cause of those symptoms. Rather than treat the symptoms and learn to impersonate a morally literate person, you simply must become morally literate. When you have done that, you will find that the symptoms of your moral illiteracy have disappeared because you have been cured.

      I write at length because I am an elder and have many demands on my time. As Samuel Clements (Mark Twain) reputedly said, “If I had more time I would have written you a shorter letter.”

  12. BY Jimmy Lozano says:

    BY WO’O IDEAFARM | NOVEMBER 30, 2012
    Jimmy Lozano: Ms. Kamamoto’s article is well written and has served well as a conversation starter. Her article is an example of the “secular self improvement literature”. Such articles sometimes do a good job of describing how to act like an unselfish person. But unselfishness is not something that you can put on like a new shirt. You cannot say, “From now on, I am going to have integrity.” It won’t work. Ms. Kamamoto’s article is like cold medicine. It is designed to treat the symptoms of moral illiteracy. What is needed is a cure for the cause of those symptoms. Rather than treat the symptoms and learn to impersonate a morally literate person, you simply must become morally literate. When you have done that, you will find that the symptoms of your moral illiteracy have disappeared because you have been cured.

    I was trying to answer your recent comment, but I found this “little problem”:
    Secular Self Improvement Literature
    I didn’t heard this phrase since my High School years from my Catholic School and right now I got the same problem: SECULAR
    I found this description in the dictionary : not belonging to a religious order; not bound by monastic vows ( opposed to regular ). like adj., but like a non. is equal at Lay
    I want Stop here because to me is very important to clarify this term before to continuing whit my comment.
    Why I need to clarify this word…??? because I want be an Unselfishness person and I want that everybody (not only you and me) Understand very well What is the context of our comments.
    When you are referring this word with your phrase, are you talking at the regular-normal-person without knowledge of religion or without knowledge from the school ?
    Why I need to make this question…??? because is very “easy” with a person with KNOWLEDGE take 1 word with a multiples meanings and say whatever he want FOR HIS OWN PORPUSE AND CONVENIENCE (SELFISH).
    And most important… I want be Integrity, Culturally and Morally Literate, and one of the best way is: EVERYBODY must UNDERSTAND what are the meanings of our comments.

    • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

      You and others are welcome to converse with me via email. To do that, click on my name. A detailed response to your question would be off-topic here; we should stay focused on what Dawn Kawamoto wrote. By “secular” here I mean Dawn’s article and any other book or other writing that gives advice on living that is not drawn from and built upon one of the major world religions or literature traditions.

      I claim that, speaking generally, the secular literature only treats the symptoms, while the great literature (e.g. the Bible or the Bhagavad Gita) treats the cause and provides the cure. Thus, I claim that following Dawn’s advice will not work. It is bad advice.

      • BY Jimmy Lozano says:

        But… Mr. WO’O
        the point here is… when you said:
        —-”" I claim that following Dawn’s advice will not work. It is a bad advice. “”—-
        Many of the comments said is WRONG following this advice, is kind of crap and especially many of us we said: I’m Disagree with this article.
        But when you are suggesting that: the people who are culturally “illiterate” people, without Integrity, without Morally and overall Selfish (no mention secular) are the people don’t want take the advice of this Article… Then… This is a Problem…

      • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

        I am not criticizing anyone here or presenting myself as more “morally literate” than anyone else. We’ve got to stop competing with others in all of our social interactions. Life is a banquet, not a race. It doesn’t matter whether I am more morally literate than you or anyone else. I meet people that are more morally literate, as I use the term, than I am every day.

        Moral literacy is the way to improve the workplace. Dawn’s advice appears to be actionable, but on closer inspection you will see that you cannot actually do it. It is bad advice because it sounds pleasing but won’t actually work, so it will just delay us from considering and doing what WILL work: Moral transformation. Moral reform. A return to cultured living. Christians returning to the Bible and to Church. Indians returning to careful study of the wonderfully beautiful Vedic literature. Chinese people renewing their careful study of, and commitment to, the values and beliefs of Buddhism and Confucianism.

        We who write software don’t always have strong verbal skills. When I say that we must become morally literate, I don’t necessarily mean that you must go out and get a Ph.D. in ancient literature. For most Christians, for example, the best way to do what I advocate is to find a good, sincere congregation and start going to church weekly. Wisdom is freely available for all who seek it. Even people who can’t read can go to church / synagogue / temple regularly and surround themselves with others who are trying to live wisely.

        Do this, and you will automatically become as Dawn says you must be. But as long as you remain disconnected from high culture, Dawn’s advice will be impossible for you to follow.

    • BY The Heretic says:

      Jimmy, your comment about ethics is very well stated. However, today’s modern work place doesn’t promote ethical behavior. In fact, it does quite the opposite.

      It is said the nice guys finish last and that goes double in a dysfunctional labor market.

      When I first started researching IT labor dynamics one of my first observations was the correlation between attitude and income.

      I noticed that people with the same skill sets didn’t necessarily make the same salaries and some consistently get passed over for raises in spite of obvious technical mastery. The reason for this is almost always attitude. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

      It all boils down to visibility. IF you are competent enough to proactively avoid pit falls and none occur, then you are invisible to management. That goes double in management by putting out fire shops. It is the gun slinger primo-donna that commands the higher salaries.

      I find people all the time making $80 k a year who technically superior to almost every one in the industry. It is said that if you want to become really good at something then teach it. About half of the people that teach at code camps are underpaid and the prima-donna teachers at code camps are usually CEO’s making millions.

      What I’ve always found fascinating is the attitudes the prima-donna CEO’s have about their underpaid technical equivalents; distain. As Rodney Dangerfield used to say, “I get no respect.” Oh sure they are cordial to their contemporary’s face, but cross the table to labor rate negotiation to see how they really feel. They are usually the cheapest pricks on the planet paying at the absolute bottom of the pay scale. In a capitalist society, capitalist show respect with money. When you get down to it, where is the respect?

      Primo-donnas don’t normally get along for good reason. They are self absorbed, selfish, competitive, and generally morally illiterate once you peel past the facade. But, most importantly they are rewarded generously in spite of the behavior in the labor market propaganda to the contrary be dammed.

  13. BY Jimmy Lozano says:

    —-”" Do this, and you will automatically become as Dawn says you must be. But as long as you remain disconnected from high culture, Dawn’s advice will be impossible for you to follow “”—-

    I will be glad to hear your definition of “High Culture”
    because, like I said before I’m Disagree with this particular Article from Mrs. Dawn, and for logic, I will not follow it, not because I “Don’t Understand”, is because —-”" This is feel-good Crap for the Baby Generation”

    • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

      I’ve resisted answering your questions here out of respect for Dawn. What follows is off topic. Those who are interested in conversing with me about it should send me email.

      One of my ambitions is to organize people into a nonreligious brotherhood / sisterhood / village in order to promote unselfish living. I define “unselfish living” as being wholesomely connected in three ways: (1) To other people. (2) To the Earth. (3) To Higher Power (according to your understanding of it). “Wholesome” means “good for the whole”.

      Unselfish people are givers; selfish people are takers. Unselfish people think “we”; selfish people think “me”. Unselfish people pursue self interest, just as selfish people do. The pursuit of self interest is the name of the game of life. Selfishness is cheating at the game of life.

      It is a pleasure for me to discuss this, so please do send me your thoughts via email by clicking my name. But let’s not do it here; it would be off topic.

  14. BY The Heretic says:

    One of the worst things you can do for productivity is to promote a jerk to management, but that is what the Peter Principle is all about; promoting them to the level of their own incompetence. The technologically competent are difficult to manage so make them management. The logic is pure genius, take the biggest jerk in the office, promote them to incompetence, and let the other jerks passively aggressively teach them a lesson; productivity be dammed. The problem is that they never leave that position. As the Peter Principle states that is where they stay.

    The bible states, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

    The rat race corporate ladder is all about elevation because it is better to be pissed off then pissed on! This is corporate hell’s version of the concept that it is better to give than to receive. In the world of software development you are either pissor or the pissee. IT is a thankless job generally working for horrible people.

    With wages suppressed there are very few perks left. Being a jerk is one of them.

    Is their a management position in your future? lol

    • BY Jimmy Lozano says:

      Totally true Heretic…
      I’m 100% agree
      No Doubt.
      I think, If everybody in USA following this simple statement:
      “It is more blessed to give than to receive”
      The percent rate of the Unemployed in USA will be 0.01%

      • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

        >> “It is more blessed to give than to receive”

        You put your finger on it. That is indeed the solution. But if you try to do it alone, if you try to be a giver in a company of takers, you will be eaten alive; you will be used up and burned out and then discarded.

  15. BY Jimmy Lozano says:

    BY WO’O IDEAFARM | DECEMBER 1, 2012
    >> “It is more blessed to give than to receive”

    You put your finger on it. That is indeed the solution. But if you try to do it alone, if you try to be a giver in a company of takers, you will be eaten alive; you will be used up and burned out and then discarded.

    Seriously Mr. WO’O…. 0.0

    How can be possible that you can join a group of the persons with this kind of thought without you to be totally convinced that you’re practicing and performing daily, this philosophy or way of life in the society…???
    First at all see you own pebble of the sand stock in your eye, before tell at everybody “they are stuck in a big sandstorm”, and when you do that, you will be realize by your self, that you are practicing BY YOUR SELF (without the help of anyone) this beautiful statement from the Bible.
    After you passes this long process of convincing, you will be part, without any notice or any requirement, of my “High Culture World” where many people are practicing this great philosophy everyday.

    • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

      > see you own pebble of the sand stock in your eye

      I repeat that I am not criticizing anyone here or speaking from a position of moral superiority.

      I meant what I said about “manning up”. There is much whining here in these forums, but when I invite people to stand with me to do something about the problems, no one responds. Not a single one of you have sent me an email (by clicking my name). You are all perpetual children. That and your selfishness (disconnection from each other, from the Earth, and from Higher Power) is what keeps you powerless.

      When things are wrong, a real man will stand up and unite with others to make things right. Real men don’t whine and wait for someone else to fix what is wrong.

  16. BY Gama Xul says:

    The reason why so many people display an aversive behavior toward genius is because they’re idiots. The average individual is a moron that skated through life on either their looks or pharmaceuticals. They’re test subjects for toxic waste. So yeah, they’re pretty dumb. So when someone has even an average idea that benefits the whole, that individual is slammed with criticism because the idiots cannot possibly think that they are not as equally smart, and so, it must be a dumb idea because they didn’t mention it first. In essence, the idiot behavior is a defensive action due to common immaturity or lack of social exposure; they are projecting their fears.

    That is my professional opinion based on years of observation and interaction with the idiots.

    • BY Wo'O Ideafarm says:

      There is much agreement here that there is a problem that I will call a “moral problem”. But I’ve yet to receive the first email from someone here who is curious about my plan to solve that problem. There isn’t enough time to solve it for ourselves, but we can solve it for each other and for the young people who will come after us.

      Does anyone here care about anyone other himself or herself? Does anyone here care about the young people? If you do, click on my name. At the top of IDEAFARM.COM, you will see my email address. Send me an email.

      My plan is legal and moral. It will work. It will even be fun to do. If you have the time and energy to “lift a finger” then you have enough time and energy to participate.

    • BY The Heretic says:

      Heresy you say, well all great truths begin as blasphemy.

  17. BY Smarter then the average says:

    This is great! I totally agree. My livelihood has been compromised because of individuals that are threatened by someone who is personable, intelligent and all around becomes the go to person for answers…. It’s their insecurities that cause problems, not the other way around, but some companies keep, what you would call idiot, which is a bit harsh, I think insecure and immature is more like it.

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