Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blowing off unwanted tasks

In today’s edition of the Wall Street Journal there is an article called “The Art of Showing Pure Incompetence at an Unwanted Task” (subscription required). The article talks about how people complain, under perform, or refuse to do tasks that they don’t want to do even though they may be perfectly capable to performing the assigned task. There are several examples of how this gets started in private life by avoiding chores, or claiming incompetence in household tasks. However, the part that surprises me is that this behavior is promoted in the office even for younger, less experienced workers.

I was always thought take on all the tasks that you can to show motivation, work ethic, and ability. With continued effort and performing tasks above and beyond your assigned role you can be seen as a stand out and hopefully receive a promotion. Once you have received the promotion you may be able to delegate the tasks they you do not enjoy doing to concentrate on the work that you enjoy. It just seems silly to try to fail at something as to not be assigned the same task in the future. I was always taught that it was results, not excuses that help people succeed in their careers.

Let me know if you have any examples in your life either examples you have done yourself or things others at your job have done.

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