I’m not the “official” boss at Hypenotic. The bald guy at the big desk gets that honour. But I am the boss of me.
Likewise, you may not be the boss of some big important company like Hypenotic. But I can assure you that you are the boss of your life.
After reading Dan Pink’s Drive, I have to admit I’m doing a pretty poor job of being the boss of me and I’ve either got to fire myself (but who would replace me?) or give myself a serious review and make some changes.
The premise of Pink’s book is the management world needs a new operating system that reflects what science figured out long ago; Thinking, creative people need more than money to get them to do good work. People want to be self directed, experience the joy of mastering skills and see that they’re connected to a higher purpose.
By adopting a management style that allows for mastery, autonomy and purpose, Pink argues, you create “conditions for people to do their best work.”
So, I ask myself: “As the boss of myself, do I create the conditions for me to do my best work?” No sir, I do not.
Autonomy, according to Pink is the essential to the new management model. In short Pink tells us to stop using management as a euphemism for “controlling people” and instead use it as a tool to “reawaken” employees’ “deep-seated sense of autonomy.” For Pink, autonomy means “acting with choice.”
As the boss of Jodi Incorporated, I don’t act with much choice. I rarely unglue my butt from the chair to get a glasses of water, I often avoid fraternizing with my co-workers for hours on end because of self imposed time pressures. In short, even though I’m in a fun, dynamic workplace I’m stuck in an old management style where I treat myself as a ”human resource” rather than human being.
What will it take for me to become a better boss? Here are a few ideas, but I’m looking to you for more:
- I will go for walks. I will remove the imaginary seat belt that keeps me tied to this desk chair and I will go outside and breathe oxygen. Sometimes I will come back with herbal tea.
- I will drink water. The problem with drinking water is that it’s such a huge time suck. You not only have to walk the 20 feet to the sink, but then afterwards you have to go to pee. It’s such a drag. But I find I get some of my best ideas in the quiet of the bathroom stall. I will use that as my excuse to drink more.
- I will work from the Gladstone. It may just be the caffeine, but I swear I’m out-of-my-mind-happy when I decide to work outside the office . I am so productive it’s crazy. Why do I make myself toil away at my desk when I don’t have to? I’m liberating myself to leave this place and go to my favorite café down the road. Once a week at least.
So how about you? Are you a good boss when it comes to running your own show or do you need to modernize your work style when it comes to being the boss of yourself? I’m seriously looking for some ideas here.