Never Say “That’s Not My Job”

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Hi. I’m Blake Repine and welcome to Strategy, Leadership and Impact.

Hi everybody and welcome back to Strategy, Leadership and Impact. I’m your host Blake Repine.

Again, thank you very much for listening to the podcasts, the last episode actually was just under a thousand downloads so, I’m very happy with the progress, the making, and how it’s being picked up and the listenership and how this has been the rising so, I’m very impressed with that actually, hopefully pretty soon here we’ll go over a thousand downloads per episode, that’ll be great.

Anyways, it’s been a very busy couple of weeks lately, I’ve been travelling for one of the board roads that I am on, and also I’ve been doing a lot of different projects and things so my full-time role that has kept me very busy but it’s been a very productive time.

A couple of things coming up again, on the thirteenth of June, I’ll be speaking at the State Conference for the Australian Human Resources Institute for the Northern Territory Conference, I’m really looking forward to that, there is a great line up of speakers and if you are around the Northern Territory during that time, June thirteenth, make sure you come along and enjoy, it’s going to be a great day.

Change “your job” mindset.

I guess on to the topic for this episode, so what I really want to talk about is something I’ve heard some people say lately and is that “that’s not my job” phrase, and when I hear things like that it’s quite interesting the approaches, sometimes the perspective that people have around this, and some things I’ve heard is “It’s not in my posi…position description” and well, a posi… a position description – I’m having trouble talking today –  a position description is just that it’s descriptive, it’s not going to be every single thing that you’re going to do day to day, and if you only work to that you’re limiting yourself.

The more you do that, the more you keep saying that “that’s not my job” “that’s not within my position description” eventually you’ll just get marginalized, it’s going get to push you in a corner, “OK these are the things you’re going to do”, and “that’s all you’re going to do”, and you’ll never go anywhere.

Embrace the growth in your career

Also, as you grow in an organization, so couple, couple of things you think about too if you think that’s not your job: One, as you grow in an organization and you start rising to the top, everything becomes your job. Whatever comes across your desk or whatever you encounter, that is your job, and there is no real set task, so be open to that, realise that if something comes your way that is your job.

Now, if it is something that you may not necessarily be able to do or may not have the resources to do, then it’s up to you to go find help, you know, or get a hold on those who that do have the resources that could help you out, or potentially pass it out to someone who it would be a better fit for.

Don’t limit yourself in your workspace

And there is something else too, talking about fit for roads and things like that, there are going to be tasks that come out within your organization and your supervisor or whoever may be that you report to, sees this task and they are not, it’s something, maybe something new because of course, roles are always changing, companies are always evolving and they are trying to find the best place where that task sits, so when they bring it to you, it may be something new, take it on, hit the head on and if you can’t take it on and if you can’t do it, be open and honest with your supervisors and let them know “I can’t do this because of XYZ”, not so because you don’t want to.

In a couple of the reasons to it’s also the leader’s responsibility to communicate this to people, whenever those things don’t fit clearly into one area that they’re, you know, I believe it’s best suits with you, something else,  they may be giving you newer or different tasks to bring you out of your comfort zone or challenge you in order to develop you and that’s something that they should be communicating to you as well and say: “look I feel like you’re capable of a lot more, I’m going to start giving you more a little bit responsibility, a little bit more authority to do certain things” and they are going to give you different tasks and things to help develop you along with your career and someone is in a very kind of – I would say – directive way.

If someone tells you to do something that you know, your supervisor and it’s legal at the code of moral, then that is your job to do that, whatever it is that you are told to do. 

Learn to say “No”

Now, going back to that  legal ethical moral piece, if something isn’t legal at the code of moral, you have the right to say no, that you won’t do it, and I explain to them: “I shouldn’t do this, or I can’t do this because it is illegal, unethical or immoral”, whatever maybe, now a supervisor  gives you something to do and it violates one of those, and you do it anyway, and you say: “well the reason why I did it was because my boss told me to do so, I had no other choice”, that is not an excuse, blind loyalty or blind discipline is not an excuse for doing something that is illegal, unethical or immoral, so always do that in regardless of the dynamic within the relationship between you and your supervisor, if they ask you to do something illegal and that’s immoral, say no very time, always stick to that, and again I mentioned this in previous podcasts, you have to be able to sleep at night , you have to be comfortable with what you did, and if you are not going to be comfortable with that or you feel like you shouldn’t be doing that, then you need to say something.

So again, the only – we’re going back to this it’s not my job, that’s not my job– your job will continue to evolve, your job will change and if it doesn’t I really question where you are at, you sit in your role for five years, ten years, whatever, I’ve seen this before, and you’re doing the same task every day, day in, day out, week after week, year after year, you are not developing, you are not challenging yourself, you are not getting better, you don’t have five years or ten years of experience , you have one year of experience ten times, that makes sense.

One of the only constants in a role is change. Companies change, jobs change, tasks change, be willing to change in order to be successful, and if you are not willing to change in order to be successful, so you are not willing to take those tasks outside of your position description or outside of your… just a little bit, or maybe it’s just a higher level task, if you are not willing to take those on, you’re not probably willing to develop yourself.

So, be willing for that, you know, sometimes you go out and not say “that’s not my job” but the complete outfit says:  “well…I want that higher level of responsibility, I want the hard task, I want to do these things that are a challenge for me in order to develop myself”, and  again going back to the weight lifting analogy , a lot of you know that I’m a weight lifting coach, you have to increase the weight little by little every day in order to get stronger, same thing in your work life, in your jobs, you have to do tasks that bring you out of your comfort zone, that are a little bit challenging for you, so you can learn, and as you learn those things you’ll get better at them, and you’ll move out to change over the hierarchy  within the organization, things will get easier and you’ll get better and your life will succeed and you’ll get to accomplish a lot more.

So again, thank you very much, I hope you all have a great week and I’ll talk again soon. Thank you.

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About Me

Hello There! I’m Blake Repine, an experienced Executive Director with a passion for leadership, inspiration and results.

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