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"You're Not My Father!"


by Glenn Shepard
July 21, 2015
Category:  Management


North Platte, NE July 28
Kearney, NE July 29

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The deadline to submit your nomination for the 2015 Glenn Shepard Leadership Award is September 1st.
     You can nominate your employees, your boss, your customer, your family members, or even yourself. Anyone is eligible.
     This year's winner receives the new Surface Pro 3, Microsoft's hottest new innovation that combines a tablet with a touch screen laptop

Click here for contest rules.

Dear Glenn,

I have an employee who wants a month of unpaid leave to have cosmetic surgery.
   Her timing isn't bad because this is our slowest time of year and it would save me some money.
   But I'm personally opposed to that kind of vanity and don't want to be part of it. What do you think?

Denis in Albuquerque

Dear Denis,

I can't be objective on this one.
    I had very large earlobes that classmates would thump then when I was a kid, and was always very self conscious about them.
    About 15 years ago, I had them reduced. The surgeon asked for permission to use the photos to teach med students at Vanderbilt University because it was the largest reduction he'd ever done.
    To have something that bothered me for so long remedied so easily and  inexpensively is something I'll never regret. So without knowing the details of her situation, I can't fault her for asking. Nor would I fault you for saying no.
    This is one you'll have to use your gut instinct on. Thanks for your question

- Glenn in Nashville, TN

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The Virginia optometrist I told you about in my last article needed to define who the Alpha Dog was in her business.

If you’re a dog lover like I am, watch Animal Planet for a controversial maneuver called the "Alpha Roll". (Don’t try it at home because it’s dangerous, but it is amazing to watch.)

A professional dog trainer will use this maneuver when she needs to establish dominance with a defiant dog. She’ll roll the dog over on its back and pin his paws down. She’ll then put her face in the dog’s snout and scream, “I’m the alpha dog. You’re not!”

Watch what happens when the dog gets up. He’ll hunch his rear end down to the ground like he’s been physically beaten. This is metaphorically what the optometrist had to do with her employees.

Another method aggressive employees will try is to challenge the validity of your authority with comments such as “You’re not my father/mother!”

If you ever find yourself in that position, here’s your response to that comment:

"You’re right; I’m not your father/mother. I’m your boss. And just as your father/mother was an authority figure in your life until you left home, I will be an authority figure in your life until you leave this company.

You had the option to leave home anytime you decided you were no longer willing to recognize your father/mother’s rules. You also have the option to leave here. You may not like my rules and you don’t have to. You only need to accept them. You are still here, so obviously you have chosen to accept them.

You can count on me to always be firm, fair and consistent. I will expect you to be respectful, cooperative and productive. I want you to remain a part of this team. The question that has to be answered is 'Do YOU wish to remain a part of this team? ‘Your future with this company is in your hands."

The good news is that while your employee is challenging your authority, he isn’t being totally defiant. He would have cursed in your face and walked out the door if he were.

He’s testing you, and you have now clearly defined the dynamics of the relationship and reaffirmed the boundary.

To Your Success,

P.S. If he violates this boundary again in the future, then he’ll have to pay the piper.

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