His radical candor left me speechless.
My boss leaned over and quietly asked, “When’s the last time you threw a fit about something, Marcus?”
Taken back, I shook my head. “Wha..? Well, never. I never throw a fit. That’s what jerks like Shelly or Doug do with me. I’m better than that. I’m professional.”
“Marcus, that’s why they keep beating you. Time after time you’re on the losing end with them. They get promoted, you get called on the carpet. Could it be because you never throw a fit? Because you’re too nice?”
I stared at him. His radical candor had left me speechless.
He interrupted my silence. “I want you to throw a fit once a year. I’ll back you up, no matter what. You need to show them you have a backbone. They need to know you can go to war when necessary.”
The right kind of fit
I’m not talking about a screaming, crying, three-year-old style fit. I’m talking about bringing some honest heat to your conversations. Learning the right way to escalate an issue to a superior, and come away as the winner. Learning how to push back firmly but professionally, for the sake of yourself, your team and your process.
It was hard, but with practice and my boss’s support, I got better at it. In time I learned to play defense AND offense, stopped getting pushed around and started winning for my team. Hoorah!
Go to the mattresses
Are you on the losing end of company politics with other departments, your customers or even your boss? Try throwing a fit.
You might be surprised at what happens. They certainly will be.