The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace


reality Know what boasts your value, kills your chances and will make you happier

By CY Wakeman (2013)

This book is very interesting as it reveals a formula for measuring current performance, future potential and the biggest detractor, your emotional expense.

Your Value = Current Performance + Future Potential – 3X(Emotional Expense)

I think in terms of current performance and future potential, I do score positively. However, the 3X emotional expense has killed me already leading it to negative.

To be valued, you must move beyond simply performing against the old standards. Your lack of raises can’t be blamed on the economy. There are a few questions asked in each section to determine current performance, future potential and emotional expense, and the author lets you get your number based on those questions asked.


A. How to raise number in Current Performance

If anything is less than 3, focus immediately on making changes that will improve your performance. Even if your boss has been inflating your rating and don’t yet see the gap, you know its there and you own it to yourself to correct it before someone does it for you. The day of reckoning is coming, as organizations work to close the gap between individual performance ratings and the outcomes they are experiencing. So your performance score needs to be solid and sustainable.

Here are 5 questions to ask to keep, high, truthful and sustainable performance numbers

1. Who are the top performers to emulate? Find out who are the top performances. Study them! Hang out with them whenever and however you can. You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose wisely.


2. What are your goals? Get clear on the expectation of your position. Your job description represents the bare minimum expectations for your position – not what you need to do to succeed, but what you need to do not to fail.


3.Where do your goals fit into the big picture? Make sure you understand your organization’s goals, challenges, industry, environment, and how your goals fit in. What is the SWOT analysis – Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats for your company? What are you doing right now to take advantage of opportunities the organization has identified and to mitigate the threats and risks it faces?


4. Why keep your eyes on the prize?  Review your goals often, don’t put them away in a file. Out of sight, out of mind. Have a visual reminder to check whether your actions are consciously focused on your gaols. Leave nothing to chance or surprise during yearly review.


5. How will you reach your goals? Make a plan for how to consistently exceed the daily accountabilities. Take each goal and map out your path to success.



B. How to raise number in your future potential

1. Get Reflective.
Make a list of where you’re falling short. How do you compare to people applying for similar jobs to your own right now? Don’t be afraid to ask anyone for advice. Feedforward is focused on what you will do in future. You set a goal for yourself and you go ask as many people as you can find who have achieve that goal for two suggestions on what you can do to achieve it. Invest in yourself and your future.


2. Get beyond the baseline
If you are offered extra training by your company, consider it part of your education – show willingness and really put that opportunity to use. Before any course, set yourself a goal for what you intend to take away from it – the way you intend to change your behaviour. Even as you take advantage of this extra training, know that it only represents a baseline, the minimum requirement to keep your head above water. Many people are required to attain a minimum number of continuing education credits per year in order to maintain their licenses or professional status. And they mostly do just that – the minimum.

To truly get ahead of the curve – or to become and remain a curve breaker who adds great value and avoids the pain of falling behind, you must get zealous about learning and growth. Zealous learners do more than take classes. There is this 70:20:10 model- 70% development comes from on the job experiences, 20% comes from others, through feedback, mentoring, and coaching. The remaining 10% is for class.


3. Get Challenged

Complacency is one of the biggest risks to your future potential. Your future potential depends on your learning agility and your passion for your own evolution. Be the type of person who enjoys learning and exercises those muscles often.


4. Get Connected

Don’t just learn the new company new system. Learn how to learn systems. Improving future potential requires not only tech savvy but an important related element : how much you’re interacting with the world of pop culture?


5. Get Multigenerational
Refuse to retire while you are still working. If you stop evolving now, you are headed for a tough ending to a great career. People with great future potential aren’t just learning continually – they also teach. Hoarding information will not safeguard your position – quite the opposite. Instead, become known for bringing people with you, whether they are on your level or below. We all have to start somewhere.



B. How to lower number in your emotional expensiveness

Rule 1 ” Your level of accountability determines your level of happiness, so don’t hope to be lucky. Choose to be happy.

Too many of us live in a state of learned helplessness, believing that none of our problems is our own fault. We have no influence on our circumstances. Personal Accountability cannot coexist with learned helplessness.

Personal Accountability is comprised of 4 factors :

1. Commitment : The willingness to do whatever it takes to get the results you desire. If you want to show commitment, focus less on your job description and more on your larger role in the organization.


2. Resilience : The ability to stay the course in the face of obstacles and setbacks. When you are resilient, you feel calm, purposeful and confident in your ability to produce results regardless of circumstances. Resilient people are great, proactive problem solvers.

3. Ownership : Unwavering acceptance of the consequences of your actions, with zero blame or argument, whether working individually or collectively. When you are feeling true ownership, you’re able to give the gift of your work unconditionally. You don’t look to others to validate your efforts or to give you the motivation to do your job. You must learn how to accept feedback, without ego or defense.


Your colleagues and managers own you the truth and vice versa. But you can’t expect them to be up-front with you if you react emotionally. Stop taking everything personally. Feedback is about your work and your approach, not about you.


4. Continuous learning : Using both success and failure consciously as fuel for future success.

Doing great work is not about never making mistakes or failing. It’s about making sure those mistakes have the minimum impact on those you serve, and that your failures inspire and inform new strategies in the future. If you are tempted to complain or slip into a victim mentality, watch your language. Practice speaking in an accountable way by using the pronoun “I” in short, simple sentences. The longer the sentences you are using, and the more you talk about “they” and “me” instead of “I”, the deeper you are likely sinking into reasons, stories and excuses.


With Personal Accountability, you will look for opportunities, create better results and more good things will happen to you. To the uninitiated, it might look like luck. Bottom line : Victim mindsets do not lead to success and happiness. Accountable mind-sets do, and luck has a much smaller role to play than most people believe. You will be creditable in your business to the extent that people see you as Personally Accountable. If you want people to listen to you and invest in your future, this is the firmest foundation to stand on.






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