Ideas that will not die

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Monster movies are cool. I especially like the ones where the monster is riddled with machine gun bullets, pounded with artillery fire, subjected to tactical nuclear weapons and keeps on coming. The monster will not die!

There are ideas like that. Here are three that continue to wreak havoc in lives and careers.

Happy workers are productive workers. One of my favorites. Look around you. There are plenty of people who are happy as can be and devastatingly unproductive. And there are people who hate their job, but who do great work because they have that “work ethic” thing.

More realistic: You’re more likely to make people happy by helping them become productive and successful than you are to make them productive by making them happy.

As a boss, you have to choose between being liked and being respected. Rubbish. It’s not either/or. If you’re friendly and sociable and don’t play favorites your team members will probably like you. If you know your stuff and keep your promises and help the team and team members succeed, they will probably respect you. If you do both, they will probably like and respect you.

More realistic: This is one of those situations where you can have it both ways and lots of good bosses do.

Do what you love and the money will follow. This could be the idea that has brought more grief to more people than any other. Look, you can love something to death and be horrible at it. A personal example for me is singing. I love to sing. I sing enthusiastically. And I sing very, very, very badly. You may love teaching third graders, but the odds of having fortune follow that bliss are slim indeed.

More realistic: Find something you love to do that you can make enough money doing. “Enough” varies from person to person.

That’s all for now. Have I missed any of your favorite “Ideas that Will Not Die?”

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