Don’t be a Todd
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
Nobody Likes a Todd
While the Trixies of the world can be incredibly annoying, they are actually not as destructive to a company as someone who complains about and undermines every decision made from above. Every job I’ve ever held had at least one of these types in the ranks; let’s call these collective “underminers” something easy to remember like “Todd.” (Why Todd? Why not?)
The Todd in your office has a problem with authority and ideas. There are no good ideas unless they are Todd’s ideas. Moreover, even if Todd and his supervisor are aligned on an idea, Todd will find fault in the execution. You would think that Todd just doesn’t like being told what to do, but you’d be wrong. I’ve heard a Todd complain when he is instructed on how to do something and the same Todd complain when he is empowered to make his own decisions. Todd is the one who continually predicts the demise of the company if X happens or if Y leaves.
By the way, Y is usually Todd. Despite their lack of productivity, the Todds are absolutely certain the company will implode without them. I have witnessed the departure of a dozen Todds, and in each case the company was always better off than they were before.
Could I Be a Todd?
If you’re afraid that you are a Todd or might someday become a Todd, here’s a quick hint: Todds do not read books like this. They already have all of the answers and they know more than the rest of us; so why would they need to read something someone else wrote about how to be a better person?
It’s easy to realize that not every decision that comes from above is perfect; however knowing that you do not have the same evidence, perspective, or goals as those making the decisions will help you accept the ones that seem a bit counter to what you would do if you ran the whole show.
Try to gain and maintain an awareness of your company’s overall goals; and then a thorough understanding that you cannot correct everything everyone else does that takes you further from these goals. Your job is simple: to grow “your” business. That is, you are tasked with growing the business in your little world.
Worrying about those areas of your company or industry where you have no control is worthless; it is a waste of time. The best result about not being a Todd is that when “your” business grows, so will you.
Don’t be a Todd.