Buckley Blog Bits – May 26, 2017

  • I’m not a huge fan of the UFC making a lot of interim title fights over the past year (personally, I don’t even consider the interim title to be a real title; I look at it as a number one contender label), but I do like the UFC scheduling Yoel Romero versus Robert Whittaker. However, I really would’ve preferred to see Romero fight Gegard Mousasi, but that wasn’t going to happen with Mousasi currently exploring free agency and reportedly being unhappy with the UFC’s latest contract offer.  Hopefully the UFC keeps Mousasi, and fellow free agent Souza around, otherwise both of them would be major coups for Bellator and would leave the UFC’s middleweight division looking pretty thin.
  • I love the idea of UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson defending the title against ex-bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw. With the exception of Ray Borg, Johnson has practically cleaned out the flyweight division and I think someone like Dillashaw would be a great challenge for Johnson and this really would be a superfight in my opinion, even if it’s not a champion versus champion affair.
  • I’ve been reading the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and I’m really enjoying it.  So much so that I received the book 4 days ago and should be able to finish it tonight.  While I don’t want to give away too much in order to be fair to the author, I’ll say that this book has really shifted the way I think about people who are successful.  Furthermore, it also supports the idea that I’ve had that successful people really aren’t that much better than the rest of the population – they just had a certain skill or trait that separated them from the rest of the pack, which gave them an opportunity of which they capitalized on.  When you really think about it, anyone can be successful, it’s just a matter of finding that unique opportunity.

Buckley Blog Bits – March 15, 2017

Today’s articles that I read on Psychology Today pertained to humor in the workplace, and why we shouldn’t fear failure.  I’ll start with the article that discussed humor in the workplace (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ulterior-motives/201703/cracking-joke-work-can-have-surprising-payoff ).

I hadn’t really given much thought to humor in the workplace before reading this article, nor had I thought about how it can help to elevate your status within the organization.  I once had a supervisor several years ago comment on how he appreciated my ability to “bust his chops” on occasion and that it brought positive energy to the department, so I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised that it doesn’t hurt to bring some humor to the workplace.

Personally, while I wouldn’t exactly promote or retain someone at my organization simply because of their ability to be humorous, I might be more likely to retain or promote them if they can demonstrate an ability to bring a positive energy to the workplace in addition to their quality skillset.

In my own work experiences, I’m only sarcastic or humorous with co-workers who have previously established that sort of communication style or relationship with me.  Personally, I think that humor in the workplace is just like humor anywhere else in life: there’s a time and place for it, so just exercise good caution when engaging in it.

In the second article (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemporary-psychoanalysis-in-action/201703/why-we-shouldn-t-fear-failure ), the author describes failure as “just bumps on the road to success.”  I recently accepted a promotion at work, and before I started my new boss told me “I expect you to fail at some point, but I won’t let you drown.”  There was a point in time where his remark would’ve pissed me off because I wouldn’t have understood why he expected me to fail, nor would I have understood why he would have promoted me if he felt that way.  But now I understand more how failure really is just a bump on the road to success.  It’s normal to “fail” or simply not be as successful as you want or expected to be the first time you try something.

But you can’t let the negative consequences of failure, such as losing the desire to try new things, to weigh you down.  The fear of failure can be pretty paralyzing, so that’s why it’s important to have the mindset that failure often leads to success because it allows you to learn what you need to learn along the way.

As Duke Roufus, the renowned MMA coach said on an episode of The Evolution of Punk, “if you’re not winning, you’re learning.”  In the end, it’s your resiliency and ability to persevere that determines how successful you’ll ultimately be.

Narcissism and Leadership

I read an article on Psychology Today entitled “Do Narcissists Make Better Leaders?” (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201610/do-narcissists-make-better-leaders), and while I don’t necessarily feel that narcissists do make better leaders, I wasn’t surprised by a few of the key points that I read in the article.

Your income and your ability to get promoted at work often come as a result of your self-promotional skills.  In my opinion, that’s why a narcissist would be promoted to a higher ranking position and/or makes more money than the average employee because of their ability to promote themselves (While it’s great to have quality self-promotional skills, I don’t recommend exaggerating your skillset, but rather I’d suggest putting your skillset in a valuable and positive light that highlights your strengths and value to the company).

One thing that I was happy to see was that the author pointed out that there’s no such thing as someone being a “complete narcissist” or a total “non-narcissist” and that there’s a narcissist continuum of sorts that exists.  It was nice to find this in writing somewhere, because I’ve felt that there’s a continuum for a lot of things in life, not just in regards to narcissism but for all sorts of personality traits.  Furthermore, someone’s personality is all based on your own individual perception.  For example, I’m sure that for the most part most those close to me would tell you I’m not narcissistic at all, but I’m sure I could find a handful of people out there who’ve taken my sarcasm out of context and think I’m actually a massive narcissist.

In the end, narcissists do have some traits that leaders should have, such as being sure of themselves and being persuasive (I use this term ambiguously…I don’t suggest having to persuade people into following your lead, but rather I suggest being able to properly sell them on your vision and ideas).  But where narcissists go wrong is that often times they’re not genuine, and their arrogance and lack of true confidence gets exposed.  I can speak from experience, as I’ve worked firsthand under several narcissists in the past.  While I appreciated their self-confidence at first, in the end I lost respect for their leadership once I recognized their arrogance and lack of true confidence in their own leadership abilities.

When it comes to leadership, you can’t “fake it til you make it,” but rather you actually have to acquire and earn the confidence necessary to lead others.  It sounds corny, but at the end of the day the best version of yourself is the most genuine and authentic version of yourself.

I/O Psychology and the Blue Jays Clubhouse “Issues”

I was reading through the Toronto Sun at work this morning, when I came across Steve Buffery’s article entitled “What’s going on inside the Blue Jays clubhouse?” (link: http://www.torontosun.com/2016/09/29/whats-going-on-inside-the-blue-jays-clubhouse )

So since this was a rare opportunity for me to get to discuss two of my favorite things, I/O psychology and baseball, in one great blog article, I figured I’d jump at the chance and share my “hot take” on the matter.

The line in the article that really jumped out to me was “does a team with confidence bother with crap like that,” in regards to the Blue Jays’ players apparently having pictures of a pair of reporters on their clubhouse wall with a caption that says (something to the extent of) “do not grant them interviews” and turning the music up real loud when interviews are being conducted.

I don’t necessarily disagree with Buffery that the behavior is unprofessional of sorts.  I know I wouldn’t appreciate that sort of behavior, at least in regards to publicizing my co-worker’s enemy list, on a wall in plain sight at my workplace.  But I wasn’t there when whatever prompted the rift between these reporters and the Blue Jays happened, so I can’t necessarily say if this punishment and public shaming is absolutely warranted.  But if this is the sort of workplace culture the Blue Jays want, and it helps them perform on the field, then I don’t have an issue with it.  Then again, is this public shaming any different than a pizza place that puts the bounced checks of past customers on a “wall of shame” to embarrass them until they pay up?

It’s unfair for the media to overlook the human emotion aspect of baseball, and quickly jump to conclusions that perceived juvenile and unprofessional behavior implies a lack of confidence.  I’d like someone to explain to me how this behavior implies a lack of confidence, or even a lack of leadership.  Who’s to say that leadership in the clubhouse didn’t decide that it was best for the team to ignore the two media members moving forward? Who’s to say that those two media members don’t provide bulletin board motivation?

One line in the article said “the New York Yankees would never allow (this) in their clubhouse.”  Who cares? The Blue Jays aren’t the Yankees, and obviously their work environment isn’t going to be the same as the Yankees.  Not all work environments are cookie cutter, even in the non-sports world.  Just look at the way Google operates in their workplace culture.  Who’s to say that the Blue Jays can’t be the Google of baseball when it comes to work environment and clubhouse culture?

So in a nutshell, are the Jays acting a bit unprofessional when it comes to dealing with the media? Sure, maybe a little bit.  Do I wish the Jays would treat the media with some more respect? Sure, I enjoy reading player quotes as much as the next person.  But much like how professional athletes don’t owe fans anything, I don’t think they necessarily owe the media anything either.  Yes, it’s great to build your own personal brand and be accessible, but not at the expense of being disrespected in the process.  I’m a firm believer in treating others how they treat you, especially if you’re being disrespected, so if a player on the Blue Jays truly has been wronged by a media member, I have no issue with this “unprofessional” behavior.

The fact of the matter is that this is a tense time for the Blue Jays, and they would feel that tension regardless of their confidence level.  I think the author of the Toronto Sun article needs to realize that having confidence doesn’t mean you’ve eliminated fear and nerves, but rather you’ve learned how to allow those emotions and find a way for them to energize you.

Knowing When To Quit Your Job

Being an I/O psychology, psychology articles about the workplace definitely intrigue me.  I was reading an article on Psychology Today earlier entitled “5 Signs It’s Time To Quit Your Job” (link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201609/5-signs-it-s-time-quit-your-job?collection=1094185).

I completely agree with the first two signs on the list, that being working in a toxic environment and being the target of workplace bullying, and I can speak from personal experience.  Simply put, a previous employer of mine was terrible.  My boss was very moody, and it seemed as if she would go out of her way to be mean and negative to employees.  After a few months working for the company, she offered me a better position with the organization which I would have loved to have taken because the increased salary and the better sense of job security would have been much appreciated.  But I turned it down because I couldn’t stand working for her any longer.  I couldn’t tolerate her personality any longer, and I didn’t feel comfortable at work on a daily basis.  I dreaded going to work (this was all unfortunate, because I did like the job itself, and there were times she could be really nice…but those days were very few and far between).  So, I decided to leave altogether.

Two of the other signs on the list, which were being stuck in a dead end position or having no chance to grow and further develop are also a pair of critical signs that it might be time to move on as well.  It’s frustrating to feel that you’ve plateaued, and that you’re no longer getting better at your job.  Imagine going to the gym, bench pressing 150 pounds, and then working your way up to 180 pounds, and then….being stuck at 180 pounds, regardless of how hard you were working.  It’d be pretty frustrating, right? The same goes for your professional career.  Plateaus are frustrating, and I’ve left an employer in the past because I felt like I had stopped growing professionally, and that I wasn’t going to be given the opportunity to further develop under their guidance.

So in my own personal experience, I can say that the signs on this list are all very valid reasons to seek employment elsewhere.  If you feel like you can’t get along with your co-workers or your boss (side note: conflict is bound to happen at times regardless of where you work, but it’s how it’s able to be managed that makes the difference), or you feel like you’ve hit a professional plateau and don’t see any end in sight, then it’s time to look for employment elsewhere.

Work is important, and that goes without saying, because of what it brings us in terms of financial support.  But we spend at least half of our waking lives at work, and do you really want to be miserable for half of your waking hours, and even feel a sense of dread during the waking hours you don’t spend at work because you hate your job? I think not.  It’s not worth the sense of frustration.