More freedom and fun less outside determination: Get rid of the bullshit jobs

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Text comes from: Der Arsch geht auch vorbei: Wie Sie sich gegen schlechte Chefs und andere Zumutungen des Arbeitsalltags wehren können (2018), Keinen Bock mehr? Mehr Spaß und Motivation im Management (2012), Der freche Vogel fängt den Wurm: 7 überraschende Führungsprinzipien für mutige Manager (2010), 11 Managementsünden, die Sie vermeiden sollten: Wie Führungskräfte sich um Karriere, Verstand, Ehepartner und Spaß bringen (2009) of Klaus Schuster, published by Münchener Verlagsgruppe (MVG), Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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External determination is a troublesome evil, especially for managers and doers. 3 tips that show what you can do about it in your job.

Best of HR –®

Here writes for you:


Klaus Schuster is a manager, management consultant, executive coach and management trainer.


From the author:





Have fun at work

Does God enjoy working? But hello! He is almighty! He can do whatever he wants. If that's not fun! It is therefore a mystery why you are still here at all: you are a manager! Almost almighty. Ruler of life and death. You can quit dozens of people with a snap of your fingers - or keep them busy for mercy.

You can do whatever you like. So it should be easy for each of us to organize our work in such a way that we have enough fun doing it. Are you already holding your stomach with laughter? Me too. Because that's how Lieschen Müller imagines the world with the milk can. In fact, the real world is completely different: Lincoln freed the slaves. He has forgotten the managers, doctors, teachers and housewives. That is why in the morning, at half past six, managers call me from the car, on the way to the major customer or to the office and say: "Oh Klaus, that makes me so sick today!"

External control is a super fun brake

I often ask deliberately provocatively: »But why then? You got it all the way up! You have power, influence, success and every entrepreneurial freedom! «And then the manager says softly, with or without a bitter laugh, while the noise of the rush hour rages outside:» What freedom? Our products are defined to the icing on the cake, the prices are fixed, the budgets are approved, the markets are saturated, the supervisory board puts pressure on me, the building authorities have been blocking our new building for weeks.

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And the customer I am about to visit is waving a huge order, but because of the huge amount of money, it also dictates when I can go to the toilet. I'm on paper as Chairman of the Board, but in fact nothing better than a branch manager. ”We all more or less do the same. These damn constraints! And the man on the line or the machine looks at us enviously and thinks how good we have it. The man has no idea:

You have to be free to enjoy your job!

As I said: Whether you say joy or fun or something else is not important. You know exactly what I mean by this: the positive feeling at work, which is why we take the whole thing on in the first place. The manager doesn't see much of this positive affect these days. It is largely externally determined, which incidentally, according to occupational medicine, is the biggest stressor in managerial life - and not the much-touted overload. What shortens a manager's life and ruins health is not stress, but compulsion.

And not just in management. Although we enjoy tremendous prosperity in the western world, a lot of people spoil the foreign day for the work day: those who are on the chain do not have much fun in life.

You can also handle your cell phone properly

For example, I worked on a photo shoot for an advertising catalog with an industrial photographer whose cell phone rang every five minutes. It was maddening: he could never really delve into a shot. He was getting more and more irritated, the model was already getting nervous, the illuminator had already dropped a lamp. Slowly the quality of the pictures began to suffer. I still thought: "The fun can be lost so quickly even with a photo shoot with a model!"

The photographer turned out to be an emotional leader. The next time the phone rang, he took it out of his pocket, looked at it briefly, and then threw it in a high arc into the lake, against the picturesque backdrop of which we took pictures. He could have turned it off. But he's an artist. He wanted to demonstrate with a great gesture: This is how I eliminate constraints! At first everyone looked horrified, then everyone laughed. Everyone understood: that's how you have to do it. The fun was back. The pictures after that were great. The prospect sold really well. Didn't you dare to throw a cell phone? That's the whole point!

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Crash coaching: 3 tips against external determination

First, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What limits you?
  • What robbed you of freedom?
  • What chains are you hanging on your leg? Make an honest inventory. We cannot break chains that we displace. Only those that we deliberately put in the crosshairs.
  • What are you targeting? And then?
  • How do you unlock chains? With the mouth. The manager who called me out of the car at half past six in the morning did it right: he called.

And then make yourself aware of the following points and implement them.

1. Talk about your fun brakes

Emotional leadership begins with articulation. I can only manage what I can talk about. This is as trivial as it is often difficult: with whom? If the manager who called me at half past six then complained to his wife, what would she say? He knows it. Because she already said it to him. Multiple. Namely: »What do you have? You have a great job. We have a nice house, two lovely children. Don't always be so dissatisfied! ”No wonder the manager doesn't come home before eight in the evening. If his own family doesn't even understand him. If his own family not only does not want to free him from his chains, but also beautifully praises the chains. So he just talks to his coach or best friend or to his secretary. This also solves the riddle why so many bosses do something with their secretaries.

Not because secretaries usually look great - they Chef-Wives usually look at least as good and much more expensive. Rather, because the secretaries are often the only people in the world who can even understand and have a say when the manager talks about shackles that no one else can obviously see except him. Why is it so good to talk to the secretary? If we can only reasonably talk to someone for five minutes, we usually come up with the best ideas to break our chains.

Checklist: How talk will help you

So before people eat all the shit inside themselves, drag around with them, get an ulcer from them, let themselves be eaten by them and finally lose all joy at work, they should talk to someone.

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  • You need an understanding and experienced interlocutor for the exchange at eye level.
  • Find one. If it is not a family member, colleague or mentor, it should be a coach.
  • Don't just talk to him / her when the poop is steaming.
  • But once every one to two weeks. Doesn't have to be long - but intense.
  • There is hardly any other measure that will improve your life so much. If the coach is good. But that's a matter of choice

2. Fight bullshit jobs

Nobody should take bullshit for granted. Your boss is not God. Even God lets you talk, as you hear. Emotional leadership is the opposite of resignation. So Manuela talks to the new area manager. The division manager says: "I didn't know you were doing this for the third time!"

He makes a few cuts in the status requested. That brings back some time and joy. But that's not enough for Manuela. She continues to fight the shit job. Although it creates the requested status, it largely uses the last status report and only updates some data. Gained even more freedom! In numbers: three days less research work, which would have brought nothing in the end anyway. What if the supervisor finds out? Then you can still talk about it. It is important that you (ager) make an election decision:

You can always choose between cadaver obedience and emotional leadership. God grant that we all have the courage to make the right decision when the time comes again. Because: The normal manager groans at bullshit jobs and then does them well. The emotional leader first creates the necessary freedom of action - only then does he do the job. Don't you dare? Good point. Many people, even powerful managers, crouch and only muck in front of their hands when they get stupid jobs or their freedom of action is otherwise restricted. They send e-mails back and forth behind the back of their boss: "What an idiot!" Or "How all this is upsetting me!" That is understandable. The emotional leader does it differently.

Checklist: How to fight bullshit jobs

An exchange at eye level liberates and awakens solutions. It works perfectly with normal jobs and it works even better with bullshit jobs.

  • Are you restricted in one task?
  • Use time, creativity and energy to reduce the restriction as much as possible.
  • At least as much as the completion of the actual task.

3. Fun takes courage. Courage to take something out.

It takes courage, for example, to throw customers into the lake for an afternoon. God knows it's not easy for us. But as the photographer said: »Tomorrow I can apologize to customers who did not reach me today. But tomorrow I can no longer take the pictures that I have to take today. «This decision is brave first and second ... what? You guessed it: setting priorities.

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Whoever throws away a cell phone does not throw away a cell phone, but sets correct priorities: the current task is more important to him than any call for the moment. This prioritization brings back the joy of work, gives energy and delivers top results: Because it is focused. You cannot experience joy when you are bogged down. Where do you get the courage for this focus? You didn't really ask that? Because that's a stupid question: Managers are naturally courageous - otherwise they would never have been promoted to a management position. You just have to rediscover your courage every now and then - and use it to set clear priorities. Then the fun comes back.

Checklist: How to gain more courage at work

Everyone has to make decisions every day at work. And that means: be brave!

  • When was the last time you just switched off your cell phone?
  • Do that more often.
  • And: Look at the mailbox at most two to three times a day at fixed times.
  • Dare to talk to your supervisor about changes.

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