Sunday, November 22, 2009

5 Ways Companies Breed Incompetence

Incompetence is a national epidemic. Kids leave high school not knowing how to spell, C-level executives think they can supercede macroeconomic laws, government executives practically sell incompetence wholesale.

Fortunately, incompetence has definable roots. Identifying these roots helps companies peg where they are breeding incompetence, then modify their shortcomings to benefit of both managers and employees.

If you’re concerned about incompetence in your company, check out the five tips below to see what might be causing it–and how to deal with it:


Remedy: Rate performance not by number, but by quality of conversations. Train staff in better technique and measure performance from there.


Cost-cutting is an essential component of survival, but it’s also a quick and dirty way to overburden competent employees, thus breeding incompetence. How many times have you heard the story of such-and-such a manager who, when all her other employees were laid off, was forced to run a department all by herself? Companies need to realize that even the most competent employee can’t, by herself, replace an entire team.

Remedy: If staff must be cut, companies need to make a bigger effort to help remaining employees stay competent. Is there room in the budget for contractors? How about telecommuting, which would take some of the travel burden off the employee? New types of collaboration that would spread the job between multiple people?


This is an onus both of employers and employees. Both parties expect instant performance; when it doesn’t happen, managers grow disappointed and employees grow disillusioned. I’ve seen many bright-eyed employees enter new jobs with gusto, then fizzle and drag after months of not seeing the results they’d hoped for.

Managers who expect employees to know everything from the outset grow impatient when they have to answer too many questions; those who sought miracles from their new employees become wary when progress is slow. It’s the beginning of communication breakdown, which often turns deadly.

Remedy: Unless it’s clear from the outset that the person has to hit the ground running, set scalable performance goals. Print out these goals and have the employee post them on his/her cube wall. Make expectations absolutely clear. Do the same with resources like training managers, helpful websites, etc.

If you’re an employee, clearly communicate your limitations at the very beginning. You can do this without making yourself sound incompetent. Promise a company only what you can deliver. Make it clear that you want to grow with the company, not fester inside of it.


It’s a fact of life that schmoozing often gets you further than quality performance. Unfortunately, some company cultures overemphasize the social aspect, resulting in employees who feel their advancement hinges more profoundly on department happy hours than innovation or quality of service. The result? The aggregate quality of the company suffers, and employees grow overly political or bored.

Remedy: Put a premium on what the employee is doing for the company, not for his/her social network. Don’t mistake personal affinity for organizational benefit. Making performance standards clear from the outset and having an employee report his results on a regular basis are two ways to emphasize accountability.


Imagine you’re a gung-ho new hire employee at Franklin Widgets, Inc. You come into the job ready to make an impact–until you notice that everyone spends most of their time staring slack-jawed at Facebook. After you realize you’re safe from managerial scrutiny, you join them. Why should you work hard if nobody else is?

Remedy: The onus is on managers to create a sense of urgency and accountability. Describing how to do this is beyond the scope of this post, but John P. Kotter’s work is an excellent place to start.

Full article on

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Yesterday I had a very bad case of PMS. My poor boyfie had to face the brunt of my uncontrolled, irrational outbursts, which constituted pointless nagging, careless bitching, fleeting silence and sudden, unexplainable acts of sweetness.

I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or get angrier with how he tried to put up with me. I sensed he was careful and calculated with what he was going to say or how he’d act around. I was too damn oblivious to even care with mine.

Amongst many other things that happened yesterday while we were together, I flared up at the thought that he ordered another meal for our dinner. He was still hungry because he didn’t have a decent lunch, he explained.

Whether I lost my cool because he wanted a heavy meal even when we’re supposed to eat light OR because he paid a part of our meal when he knew that dinner was on me, I didn’t know. I didn’t care that the meal I ordered for him must have been inadequate for his huge appetite. I didn’t understand that he was still hungry (and tired) from a hard day’s work.

I looked at him, leaned a little closer and said “Don’t you ever get sick and tired of my constant nagging? Don’t you ever wish I never nagged at all?

I’ve gotten used to it. I hear nagging from my mother and sisters at home. What else is new?

Well don’t you want to break free from home? (sounding sarcastic) Get a breath of fresh air?” I snapped.

Well, there’s no place like home.”

My mood changed again.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

There goes my mojo!

I can't believe it's been more than a month since I last posted something new here. I guess in the seemingly long while that I haven't blogged I felt that I have lost my mojo. That depressing feeling of not knowing what to do anymore, to the point that I didn't want to do the things I've always enjoyed, including this.

But now I am back with a vengeance. Unchronicled highlights of my life and my musings of the world I try to look back and would have wanted to share with you here, and now I feel remorseful. Moving forward, I must say I now have my groove back. I'm up and blog-giddy.

Hello blogosphere! I am sooo back!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Is being nice to a guy (who has the hots for you) tantamount to flirting? See there is this guy at work who is brazen enough to let everyone in his and my department know that he likes me, so much so that it has roused curiosity about my identity or raised awareness from even those in other departments (who give a fart, of course)

He flirts through office email and tries to do so each time we bump into each other inside the floor. And as far as my Facebook activities are concerned, he’d post casual comments on my wall, if at all, he was interested with my shilly-shally. My reciprocal action rests on curt, lighthearted replies though, to avoid being misinterpreted by others.

I appreciate that someone, other than my boyfriend, likes me. I am flattered that some guys actually notice. In fact, I don’t see any girl who doesn’t. It boosts her confidence and makes her feel prettier than everyone else. Let me reiterate that I have a boyfriend, so flirting with other guys is out of the question. Unless I’m single, I might return the favor. But I am not attracted to him either. If I couldn’t find any good reason to bite the bait, I don’t see how you could, too. Now tell me.

By being plain friendly to someone who appears ‘too friendly’ does not mean you encourage the possibility of something that is more than just friendship to happen.

By maintaining good working relationships with someone who really likes you certainly does not mean you’re returning the favor either, even if he may not understand that flirting through office email is downright cheap or that being flagrantly flirtatious can be annoying or embarrassing.

Some girls are just nice – too nice. I guess I just happen to be one of them.

Just because I am being nice to him doesn’t mean I’m flirting, you know.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Punctuation Matters

I came across this interesting post from my office buddy. See how punctuation really makes a difference when communicating with people. Read carefully.

Punctuation Makes a Difference

I would rather receive a letter like this one.

Dear John:

I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we’re apart. I can be forever happy--will you let me be yours? Gloria

than like this one:

Dear John:

I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we’re apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be? Yours, Gloria

Yet, the only difference is the punctuation.

See? :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Birth of Graysey

I can’t believe I have but started a new blog for the nth time. I have, for a while, wanted to maintain just one blog that had all my rants and raves in it. (I’m guilty of blog clutter – I blog practically everywhere). I figured that this step would be an answer to my conundrum.

Blogging is my other side of narcissism, camwhoring aside. This is where I get to talk about myself, my life and everything else about me – an outlet where I can only be self-absorbed and not give a fart about what everyone else thinks. After all, this is my blog.

I’m pretty sure Cyril has a reason to nag me into blogging more often now, since he successfully fixed my age-old lappy. I hope to keep this blog updated as often as I can. Writer’s block will always be my enemy but I will have to keep in mind that there are other things that can stop me from wanting to write. (think the lack of, or absence of motivation; no Internet connection; busy schedule; or worse, brain loss)

Anyway, let’s get this blog rolling!