In today's workforce, people are increasingly becoming members of the "Party of No," choosing to be resistant to change all the while offering few, if any, options for how to move forward and progress as an organization. Using this approach at work will be disastrous, not just for your organization, but also for your own career.
The problem with this resistant mentality is that it rarely translates into results, which are exactly what organizations seek to reward. Business leaders are growing tired of trying to both produce results and keep entitled employees engaged. They're becoming clear about what types of employees add value and are steering clear of those who are considered a drain on resources and emotionally expensive. Leaders today are more willing to play favorites with those who stand out against the crowd and work to produce results, which is exactly how it should be.
In order to become an indispensable asset at work in 2011, consider the following:
1. Get Real
Step out of your deluded thinking that all businesses should be democracies. The most successful businesses today are benevolent dictatorships. To run a business like a democracy is to assume that democracies are efficient and always lead to the best decisions and outcomes. Democracies are not efficient and do not help companies that wish to compete, so even though it may sound like a good idea, don't expect that of your organization.
Another thing to keep in mind is to resist the urge to deliver your opinion at work. Instead, conserve your energy to implement decisions and achieve amazing results. Your job is to deliver results, not opinions.
2. Be Willing
Keep in mind that you were not hired to review all requests and determine whether they merit the gift of your support. When asked to do something ethical and legal, there is only one appropriate answer: "yes." You may need to overcome some challenges, do some problem- solving, and figure out a few things—but that is your job.
To respond to a new decision or initiative with a "No. It won't work," is not helpful to the organization. You are not doing anyone any favors. Such a response is simply code for "I am unwilling" and "I would rather not change."
Just say "yes!" Saying "yes" keeps you in a position to continue to learn and influence. Rampant success starts with willingness.
3. Get Rewards
Want more than your share of the power, benefits, attention, and rewards this year? Just say, "yes." In the event you do have some legitimate concerns, view them as risks to mitigate—rather than reasons to resist or stall—and succeed in spite of them.
If you are unable to get on board, your rewards will soon match your value. Trust me, the rewards being offered to those who offer only resistance are diminishing quickly.
Oh, yes, joining the "Party of No" is easy and tempting. It is far easier to say "no," providing criticism and absolving oneself of any responsibility or accountability. But resist the temptation, and you will see the rewards.
Cy Wakeman is a dynamic keynote speaker advocating a revolutionary new approach to leadership. Her groundbreaking ideas are featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and SHRM.org. Her book, Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, & Turn Excuses Into Results (Jossey-Bass, 2010) is available for order at all major online book retailers. For more information, visit cywakeman.com.