I have often asked coaching clients to list the detailed aspects of the job they were hired to do in the organization. The response is always interesting for various reasons.
- Some are very able to provide a highly detailed list of their job expectations and dedicate themselves to being able to get it all done
- Some can respond in very general terms and realize that they don’t have a detailed understanding of all aspects of the work they are charged with handling.
- Still others see their value as being their flexibility in being able to do anything thrown at them and thus, don’t recognize any real structure to the expectations.
Regardless of how one views their job responsibilities, for that matter, as long as those in positions to manage them are good with how one executes the job, it doesn’t necessarily create any issues/problems. However, there is one ‘responsibility’ of all that is worthy of consideration.
Perhaps you know of Mark Cuban. If you’re a basketball fan you know that he is the owner of the Dallas
Mavericks. If you follow the list of billionaires, you have seen/heard his name. And if you are a fan of TV’s ‘Shark Tank’ investment show you know that he spends a lot of money investing in businesses in which he believes. Yet regardless of how you know him, he is a very successful business person and judges the value of people within his organization on the basis of one attribute.
“The people that tend to work for me a long time, not only are smart, not only are driven, not only are learners, but they understand that the greatest value you can offer a boss is to reduce their stress.” As Cuban sees it that is the role they have.
How simple and how interesting. And yet I have never heard one person, regardless of their position, include this ‘responsibility’ … reducing the boss’s stress … on their list. And in fact, in following Mark Cuban, this is the one thing that determines one’s longevity in his organization.
It has been determined stressed workers , bosses or not, are also more likely to make errors, arrive to work late and miss deadlines. Plus, they can spread their stressful feelings to co-workers. With all this in mind, it makes sense that Cuban seeks employees who can make his life easier and alleviate some of that day-to-day tension. “Anybody who reduces my stress becomes invaluable to me,” he says. “I never want to get rid of them.” He adds that the employees who “tend to think that they are invaluable are typically the ones who create the most stress, by creating firestorms and creating drama and making things more difficult for me.”
To win over your boss and show that you’re a valuable employee, Cuban suggests following the three Ws: Always communicate …
- What you’re doing
- Why you’re doing it
- When it will be done
Summing up his philosophy, the billionaire offers employees this simple piece of advice: “If you are a stress reducer, you’re going to do well. If you’re a drama creator, you’re not going to do well.”
There are numerous articles written about how a leader can reduce stress for the employee. This is a great goal. At the same time, thinking of your job as doing it thoroughly so as to keep the boss out of it absolutely will minimize any stress that comes from the boss’s feeling the need to jump in to do any part of your job. It’s important that we all know and understand the responsibilities that go with our positions. Being driven by the intention of reducing stress for our leader means that we will do all that we are both expected to and capable of doing leaving the boss free to drive the organization to its’ intended destination or their job.
In my own travel company each person had a job description that detailed the work they were expected to do. And at the bottom of each one, it ended with “and anything else that is requested of you for the benefit of the organization”. I can now see that it should have said “and anything you can do to reduce stress for the boss”. Do you see any opportunities when you add this to your known responsibilities? Just asking.