Ducks in a Row: a Different World

Ducks in a Row: a Different World

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess

In 2006 I wrote a post detailing a VP’s discomfort after finding out that the wife of one of his senior reports had cited verbal and physical abuse as grounds for a divorce.

The VP said the information was coloring his opinion of the manager.

At the end of the post I asked, “If Ron should continue to manage and evaluate Terry based on Terry’s performance and leave Terry to manage his own personal life.”

The responses, including one from Liz Ryan, all agreed that what goes on in someone’s personal life has nothing to do with evaluating their worthiness or value on the job and the VP should ignore the information. (Both the VP and I agreed with this.)

Fast forward a short six years and consider how that has changed.

Evaluating personal actions via social media when hiring and regarding postings and social commentary as reasons to fire are common.

Just as work has leaked and flowed into personal time, so personal choices, from healthy/unhealthy habits to how you spend your time off to the internal workings of your relationships, now color bosses’ attitudes and evaluations.

The question, ‘should they’ hasn’t changed, but the world has, so the results of personal choices are similar to the ripples that radiate when you toss a stone into a quiet pool.

No matter how passionately you believe and push for a world where personal choices are just that you would be wise to recognize the reality in which you live.

There is a great middle ground between sharing nothing and sharing everything.

Social wisdom is a matter of thinking ahead and choosing your battles; doing worst case analysis and making sure the ones you choose are worth fighting for and that you are willing to pay the price of the battle.

Flickr image credit: Don DeBold

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