To be loved and valued: Priority Management

On Friday I posted my three tips to managing a work deluge. Today I’m going to talk about how to avoid the deluge in the first place.

There are two types of work from your employer’s perspective. Work that is loved.  And work that is valued.

Work that is valued is work that organizations are willing to put resources behind, work that will be considered when a supervisor evaluates your contribution.  And then there is work that is loved. Stuff that is cool, interesting, fun, exciting, it has potential, it is novel and unique.

The kind of work we want to do is the work that is both valued and loved.

The kind of work we have to do is the valued not loved stuff. The boring, everyday stuff that makes the business run. For university professors, this type of work consists of committee work and grading papers.  No one wants to do it, but it is essential to the organization.

The kind of work we want to avoid is the stuff that is loved but not valued. Why? because although the organization will encourage us to do it, we’ll drive ourselves nuts trying to do it with no resources. We also divert our attention from the stuff that is valued and we’ll get very little acknowledgment for our efforts when it comes to performance evaluation.

One of the ways that you can manage your workload and stress level at work is to do the stuff that is loved and valued.  Avoid the stuff that is not valued by the organization. It’s hard to do this, because the stuff that is loved is stuff that we all want to do, because it is exciting and interesting.  It creates meaning for us. But in the end, if it is not valued, then you will consistently bang your head against a brick wall.  And that’s not lovely.


9 replies »

  1. This one disappoints me because I think you missed the mark. Here you had a chance to push the passion and instead you backed the mediocre. If you don’t love the work you do then I would hazard a guess that, at best, you are doing a mediocre job. The point of view is not the corporate need for you to fit into the next cog, instead should it not be how you can build the next wheel. If you want to be of benefit to your employer, whether its a 4 person widget company or a multinational steel company, then you had better take on the job that you love. Somewhere there is a position that values what you love to do and if you can’t find it create it.
    Life is about passion and if you aren’t following your passion then you aren’t living your life to the fullest and that’s boring.

    • I think you might have missed my point. I was talking about whether the organization values and loves something, not whether you as an individual love it. I completely agree that you have to have passion about things to get past the mediocre and the boring.

      The problem is when everyone has passion, and the organization wants you to do something, but provides no resources to do it then you are caught in a trap of trying to make something happen that you desperately love, and the organization loves, but the organization doesn’t believe enough in to provide the resources to make it work.

      So my recipe, you want to do things that you love, but that the organization both loves and values. That way, you’ll be more likely to be successful.

  2. Actually, I agree with you from the point of view of the organization’s needs and motivations. I simply contend that I need to be the point of view to me. If I work for an organization that will neither value what I do creatively nor put resources towards it then I need to move on. I can’t get hooked on becoming something I am not for the sake of the organization anymore than I can expect the organization to change for me. Somewhere there will be a match out there and I will be valued.
    Oh, did I mention, I make no compromises only collaborations. I don’t believe in win-lose scenarios only win-win.

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