Founded by law professor Philip Hamburger, the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) is a non-profit, public-interest law firm, which engages in pro bono litigation to defend the liberty established by the Constitution. NCLA is a brand-new organization, so don’t worry if you have not heard about it before. It focuses primarily on fighting administrative power and conditions on spending where they systematically threaten constitutional freedoms, including the freedom of speech, jury-trial rights, and due process. Rather than resist administrative power each and every place where it threatens substantive rights and interests—that is, instead of always playing defense—NCLA will target key administrative mechanisms that repeatedly and broadly threaten constitutionally protected rights. For example, NCLA will oppose Chevron and Auer deference to administrative agencies—doctrines that threaten judicial independence and unbiased judgment. Coordinating its efforts with other civil rights groups, NCLA will pursue strategic litigation that promises to curtail the administrative state’s threat to civil liberties.
Archives for October 2017
Last month we talked about why employees lose their hustle. Specifically, we covered three of the six most common reasons people tell me they have fallen out of their groove – lack of challenge, not feeling financially rewarded, and geographic mobility. This month we are covering the other three reasons (which will make last month’s reasons seem like child’s play!) and the big-picture take-aways about how to regain your hustle.
1. Organization dysfunction
Every once in a while I have a phone call that sounds like this:
Bob: Hey, Claire, I gotta get out of here. This place is dysfunctional. It makes the government seem like a well-oiled machine.
Claire: Zoinks. What kind of dysfunction? Is change possible? Can you be part of it?
Bob: Oh, you have no idea! It would take a miracle worker (or a board that is paying attention) to solve these problems.
The sad truth about organization dysfunction is that it is incredibly difficult for any single employee to correct alone. It almost always boils down to senior management problems and a board that either isn’t paying attention or doesn’t want to get its hands dirty.
If you find yourself in a dysfunctional organization and you don’t see any obvious ways to improve the situation, you may want to dust off the resume and start looking elsewhere.
It’s not unusual for me to have conversations that sound something like this:
Bob: Claire. I’m burning the candle at both ends. I’m completely overworked and I feel as though I spend all my time in one endless meeting. I work such long hours that Gretchen growls when I come home because she doesn’t recognize me. I gotta get out of here and regain my sanity.
Claire: Is Gretchen your dog or your wife? In any case, have you told your boss you’re overworked? What did she say about it?
Bob: No, I figured it was obvious. I think half the staff feels this way.
Not so fast, Bob. Your boss may not realize just how overworked and overwhelmed you feel. But before you barge into her office and tell her as much, make sure you think critically about what the problem is. According to the Harvard Business Review article Employee Burnout Is a Problem with the Company, Not the Person, there are three common culprits of workplace burnout:
–Excessive collaboration – Too many meetings, emails, and interruptions
–Weak time management disciplines – An organizational culture that makes it difficult to say no to low-value meetings and other time-wasters
–Tendency to overload the most capable with too much work
Once you’ve identified which of these factors are at play, it’s time to talk to your boss and explain the situation. Make sure you come armed with solutions such as reducing meeting frequency, eliminating time-wasting practices, hiring additional staff, or offloading some of your work on another employee. You might also suggest that the organization employ the use of software such as Microsoft Workplace Analytics, which can track how much time is being spent on meetings, emails, etc.
Of course, this is no easy conversation to have. You may find yourself standing up to a powerful organizational culture that values overwork and excessive meetings. Be prepared for the “You’re not a team player, Bob.” response. If your boss favors the status quo to improving efficiency and production, you know how to reach me!
3. Irreconcilable differences
The phone rings. You know who it is.
Bob: Claire, I don’t think I’m in the right place. My boss and I are like oil and vinegar, I don’t fit in with the organization’s culture, and I’m just not ethically comfortable with some of the tactics our organization employs. Now, I know what you’re going to say: I should talk to my boss, right?
Claire: Bob, you’re a quick study. But, ironically, I don’t think you need to talk to your boss this time. I think you should send me your resume and we’ll explore opportunities.
Bob and his employer are facing what divorce lawyers like to call “irreconcilable differences.” It’s highly unlikely that a conversation (or even 100 conversations) will lead to a situation in which Bob and the organization are on the same page. In circumstances like this, it’s probably best to move on to a place that is a better fit for you.
So, now you know the six most common reasons employees lose their hustle. But what about the big-picture take-aways? I’m glad you asked.
1. You CAN change things!
There is a very real chance you can have an influence on the very things that made you fall out of love with your job in the first place. Your proactivity may help you fall back in love and regain your hustle.
2. The grass is not always greener.
It may be that you just need to hit “reset” in order to appreciate where you are. Remember the Pina Colada song? It’s possible that you already have a great job in an organization with a healthy culture and stellar people. Finding those things in the next opportunity is not guaranteed.
3. Communication with your boss is critical.
If you complain to your friends, spouse, and strangers on the Metro, but you aren’t proactive at work, then you can rest assured that nothing will change. Communicating with your boss can work wonders. And if it doesn’t, then you can move on with confidence in knowing you tried to make it work.
4. Don’t give up on the free-market nonprofit world because of one dysfunctional situation.
There are plenty of healthy, high-functioning organizations out there — many of which would love to hire you! So, think twice before leaving the free-market universe!
Of the six reasons I cited that people lose their hustle, you’ll note that “lack of fulfillment” wasn’t one of them. That’s because I never hear from people inside of our world who are unfulfilled. Yet, I hear from countless people outside who are clamoring to get in! Bottom line: we are lucky to be working for liberty!
Young America’s Foundation is committed to ensuring that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values.
The senior development officer is a member of the Young America’s Foundation’s Development Team which includes staff at the Foundation’s National Headquarters in Reston, Virginia, and at the Foundation’s Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California. Young America’s Foundation has raised more than $200 million in the last decade, and we expect this senior staffer at the Reagan Ranch Center to add to this momentum. The senior development officer will report to the director of the Reagan Ranch but operates under the Foundation’s overall development team led by the president and the director of development.
The senior development officer will play a key role in identifying, cultivating, and soliciting annual, major, and capital gifts—ensuring Young America’s Foundation reaches our full development potential.
President Ronald Reagan’s 688-acre ranch, Rancho del Cielo, which served as the “Western White House” during his Presidency, is the centerpiece of Young America’s Foundation’s Reagan Ranch operation. The Reagan Ranch Center—the Foundation’s 22,000-square-foot facility in downtown Santa Barbara—compliments our Reagan Ranch efforts. The Center features a conference center, classrooms, a theater, a library of conservative resources, an interactive exhibit gallery, and the Reagan Ranch administrative offices.
The senior development officer reports to the director of the Reagan Ranch.
At the State Policy Network Annual Meeting earlier this month, I had the privilege of being on a panel that discussed why we lose our hustle, including lessons on resilience, strength, and creating a career that lasts. In case you missed it (which was a big mistake because we served Prosecco….and the panel started at 3!), I thought I would share some of the key take-aways with you here.
You start a new job bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, excited to wake up every day and git-r-done, right? But as time marches on, you may find yourself lacking the hustle you once had. So, what do you do? Well, first you need to understand why you lost your hustle in the first place. Then, you need to ask yourself whether there is anything you can do to turn the situation around and get your hustle back.
Below are three of the six most common reasons people tell me they have lost their hustle, along with thoughts on whether changing things is within their control. Next month we’ll cover the other three reasons and the big-picture take-aways about how to regain your hustle.
1. Lack of challenge or room for growth
It’s not uncommon for me to have calls that sound like this:
Bob: Claire, I want to look for a new job. I no longer feel challenged at work. I’ve hit a ceiling.
Claire: Sorry to hear this. What did your boss say when you told her how you feel?
Bob: [long pause] Uhhhh. I haven’t told her yet. I guess I should.
Turns out most people get frustrated about not feeling challenged but plum forget to open the lines of communication with their supervisors. So, I like to suggest that an employee proactively sets up a meeting with his/her supervisor to discuss the situation. But I also encourage the employee to come to the table with possible solutions — not just a complaint about the problem. Now, imagine this follow-up conversation:
Bob: Claire, I wanted to update you on my situation. I talked to my boss and suggested that I expand my responsibilities to include some of the items that were weighing her down. Turns out she was relieved to get those things off her plate. Now, she’s happy because she’s less stressed out and I’m happy because I feel challenged again.
Claire: Boom goes the dynamite!
Now, things may not turn out so rosy, but it’s a good thing to try before heading out the door. And if there truly isn’t room for growth at your current organization, maybe it is time to find your hustle elsewhere.
2. Feeling inadequately rewarded
Now, picture this conversation:
Bob: Claire, I’m getting underpaid and want to consider other opportunities.
Claire: Bob, that’s unfortunate. What did your boss say when you approached her about this?
Bob: [long pause] Uhhhh. I haven’t brought this up with her. I guess I should.
Once again, it’s wise to engage in a dialog with your boss before jumping ship. But don’t just walk in the bossman’s office with your complaint. Come armed with the following: a list of ways you have added significant value to the organization, including specific things you’ve done to exceed expectations; empirical evidence of comparable salaries; and your new desired salary.
The follow-up call often goes like this:
Bob: Claire, thanks for the advice! I talked to my boss last week and got the raise I wanted! I’m back in hustle mode, baby!
Claire: Wonderful! You owe me a beer!
I’m a sucker for happy endings, but it doesn’t always end up this way. If a heart-to-heart conversation with your boss doesn’t lead to your desired outcome, you may want to look for an organization that financially rewards you for your performance. And Talent Market is happy to help you find a new home!
3. Geographic mobility
The phone rings. It’s you-know-who again.
Bob: Claire, I want to move back to my home state. So, I’m on the market.
Claire: Good to know. Your boss said working remotely isn’t an option?
Bob: [long pause] Uhhhh. I didn’t ask that yet.
You’d think Bob would pick up on the trend by now, huh? Before updating your resume (and long before packing up the U-haul), have a conversation with your boss about whether working remotely might be an option. If you are self-motivated and have a job that doesn’t require being in the office every day, it’s quite possible you can take your work with you. If your boss is skeptical about remote work, offer to engage in a six month trial period to prove to him that you can create value outside a standard office. And if he says “no”? Reach out to Talent Market!
…..TO BE CONTINUED
Next month we’ll cover the other three common reasons employees lose their hustle and what can be done about them. Hint: think organizational dysfunction, burnout, and irreconcilable differences! Don’t miss it!