You hate that people consistently show up to meetings late. You find your company’s maternity policy woefully inadequate. You think the company’s IT system is out of date. It’s normal to be bothered by work issues like these, but when do you move from complaining to taking action? How do you decide which battles to fight?
What the Experts Say
One thing is certain — you can’t take on every problem at work. Each person has a finite amount of political capital. “If you make a huge fuss over something silly, you may not be able to get your way when it’s something really important,” says Dorie Clark, a strategy consultant and author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future. Even if you’re certain that the issues you want to tackle are critical, your reputation may suffer if you take them all on at once. “There’s a line you cross from being seen as an observant problem-solver to a being Debbie Downer,” says Karen Dillon, author of HBR Guide to Office Politics and co-author of How Will You Measure Your Life?. It’s important to figure out where that line is. Lois Kelly, co-author with Carmen Medina (see case study #1) of the upcoming book, Rebels at Work: Befriending the Bureaucratic Black Belts and Leading Change from Within, says the smartest people carefully calculate what’s worth their time and energy. Whether the issue is minor or fundamental, here are five principles to help you decide whether to take on a challenge or leave it alone.
Via The Learning Factor