Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Feet Aren’t Ugly & Other Things You Can Apply to the Workplace

Sometimes, things are just what they seem. But other times, there are interesting surprises lurking underneath. The book, My Feet Aren’t Ugly, written by Debra Beck, a devoted mentor for teenage girls, is targeted toward girls with the objective to build self-esteem. But, the book is much, much more because it also provides important business lessons.

One question posed is, “Do you talk badly about others or treat people badly?” This question can easily be applied to workplace settings. Consider how often co-workers behave in this negative manner. If this type of behavior starts in childhood, then we all must learn to be cognizant of our behavior as adults – and work to improve it when necessary. How can we be role models for children, teens, and young adults if we cannot control our behavior as adults?

Another theme featured in the book is integrity. How often do we question the integrity of others in the workplace? Unfortunately, the answer is too often. Again, this characteristic is molded early in childhood, but something must happen to warp some people’s integrity as they age. In childhood, lack of integrity may result in copying a fellow student’s test answers or lying to a teacher about incomplete homework, but in adulthood, one may lie about co-workers or even embezzle funds. It is never too late to make changes to improve one’s moral compass, but awareness as to the importance of integrity is crucial.

Acceptance and control are other themes. One can expect acceptance from others ONLY after one accepts herself or himself. If you, as an employee, constantly seek acceptance from co-workers or a supervisor or senior leadership, you may wait forever. You cannot control every aspect of your life. You need to do the best job possible each and everyday, and as a result, your talent will be evident – and you will be acknowledged. And your feet will be recognized for not being ugly (reference to the book’s title).

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