“Don’t Allow Anyone to Confine You to a Box,
Disabling Your Growth”
The workplace, as we know it, is becoming more and more unbearable. There are so many hidden personal agendas impeding workforce productivity. Many organizations are filled with contaminated, dishonest leaders who treat employees with a lack of human regard. These same leaders take every opportunity to confine certain employees to a “box” in an attempt to inhibit their professional growth. When you find a manager striving to confine employees, that manager is personally and professionally unfulfilled with no clue as to who he or she is. When a manager exhibits self-confidence and self-assurance, utilizing their time and efforts to destroy others will not be a part of their workplace behavior. In life, only a fool says whatever is on their mind, all the time.
I am a proud, strong, African-American, divorced mother of five when I rise in the morning and when I lie down at night. I am fortunate to parent five amazing children who are unique in every way. The genesis of Halo-Orangees’ Brand:Helping Advocate Longevity of Organizations by Obtaining Objectives through Redefining Above-Board New Generational Guidelines for Employer Employee Standards was inspired, developed, and birthed from my reaction to an unethical manager with whom I, B. L. Brown, had the pleasure—that is, in making me stronger—of working for. My executive director, Melvin Booker, had perfected the art of insulting staff members on a daily basis. I could only surmise that this leader saw the entire group of employees as confined to a small shoe box. In a one-on-one meeting with my executive director, he made the statement that another employee, who held the same title, was better than I was. In response, I informed him that this employee was not better than I was, nor was I better than she. I also asked him to explain the basis for his statement. He stumbled, stuttered, and finally replied that this employee was better than I was because she held two master’s degrees. In my opinion, a leader should never let anything like this come from his mouth. A leader who would say this to an employee likely has low-esteem and should not be hired to lead a team. When a leader possesses low self-esteem, they are not strong enough to lead a team in achieving organizational goals and objectives. In retrospect, the employee who the director believed to have been better than me, after nearly two years on the job, was still relying on me for assistance on otherwise simple day-to-day operational tasks. As the director and executive leader in command of managers and employees, what is the central theme of putting frontline team members down?
This leader was well-known for insulting and verbally attacking employees, attempting to confine us to a “box” by expressing his opinions of how no one met departmental standards. Note that our department had no written standards, policies, and/or procedures in place. The only policies and procedures that existed were the ones written by the employees from their own knowledge and self-training. This department also had no training or employee development period. The employees’ training was based upon trial and error. Neither my director nor any member of his management team, with the exception of two employees, could log into the system or outline the basic fundamentals of the day-to-day operations without calling on frontline employees. I often asked myself how he could label the team as not good enough.
Another glaring example of the lack of respect and appreciation for employees was when a department manager put another director’s request for a hard copy of a report on hold for forty-eight hours until a specific frontline employee, who oversaw that reporting system, returned to work. The manager had system access to run this report; however, he did not know how. It can only be surmised that he felt “That is what the staff is for.” If frontline employees resign and the department only consists of managers, the day-to-day operations will halt because the managers will lack the know-how to effectively use the department’s systems.
As a leader, it is counterproductive to belittle employees under any circumstance. It is an extra slap in the face to insult employees and then excuse poorly performing managers who fail to perform their own job descriptions, as if the requirements do not exist. Is it fair to allow managers to be a part of the weekly payroll when they route their duties to other employees, basically forcing other employees to perform their tasks while the manager earns the credit and pay?
Self-awareness is being mindful of who you are, the good and the bad. Self-awareness in a leader is a critical component because when a person has a clear understanding of himself or herself and recognize negative characteristics, they are encouraged to make a positive change. In the workforce, when a person identifies negative things within him or herself, he or she can quickly self-repair and begin to redirect his or her energies towards the organization’s goals. Inner belief is the awareness of knowing who you are as an individual and believing in who you have the power to become. It is your inner valuation that determines who you are. In life, it is of the essence that all human beings know their self-worth, both personally and professionally. In order to obtain any form of achievement, you must know who you are as an individual. An innovative leader self–assesses by analyzing their own performance and, subsequently, raises the standards and expectations for themselves.
Everything we do in life requires some form of communication. In the workplace, effective communication is indispensable. Managers who lack leadership skills are becoming a regular fixture in the workplace. There are so many organizations with managers who confine their staff to a box, stifling employee success. What is the benefit of this? Is it possible for a leader’s self-esteem and confidence to be so low that he or she would purposely create a negative working environment, thereby decreasing the productivity in the workforce and interfering with the organization’s targeted goals for success? When a leader labels and inhibits staff, they are destined to fail.
Halo-Orangees Daily Meditation Moments
Life is filled with workplace leaders whose self-esteem is so low that, in an attempt to lift their esteem, they make every effort to tear down skilled employees. In some companies, leaders overlook their talented employees and draw in unskilled employees, forming an alliance so that they can feel better about themselves. The unskilled employees in these work environments “kiss up” to managers, telling them how great they are, in exchange for having their lack of knowledge overlooked.
What is confinement in the workplace? Why would a leader confine or hold back skilled employees? When leaders confine employees, aren’t they disabling the organization’s growth? Aren’t they crippling the financial bottom line? Is there any value in confining staff members, disabling their success? Does a leader’s attempt to confine employees to a box, with no growth potential, demonstrate an intent to intimidate these employees? When leaders in the workforce maliciously mistreat you by attempting to stifle your success, put on your inner shield of strength, ethics, and excellence—then rise above it. When you are forced to work in an environment such as this, look to the future, plan your destiny, view your current situation as a test of endurance, and show your true character, because the doors of opportunity are sure to blast open. Exhale; the best is yet to come. The upcoming days will be brighter. Don’t ever allow anyone to define or confine you to a box, stifling your growth by forcing their negativity and lack of self-assurance on you.
You are the only one who defines you, so don’t ever allow anyone to tell you who you are, or that you are not good enough. Don’t ever allow anyone to attack your self-esteem, kill your passion, or tell you that someone else is more worthy than you. Don’t ever allow anyone to disrespect you or make you feel ashamed of your rate of pay. Don’t ever allow anyone to isolate you into workforce confinement or knock you down and claim defeat over you. Don’t ever allow anyone to make you angry by imposing his or her workplace ignorance into your world. Don’t ever allow anyone to bring you gossip (unnecessary and unproductive comments) against you by your boss. Don’t ever allow anyone to break your spirit of peace, control your mood, or suppress your workforce existence, making your tenure in the organization a horrible experience. Don’t ever allow anyone to slaughter your character or blackball you in the organization—rather, always address issues such as this head-on.
Don’t ever allow anyone to destroy you in the workforce, forcing you to turn to antidepressant medications in order to survive. Don’t ever give anyone the power to impact your actions or allow anyone to know they are impacting your actions. Don’t ever give anyone the right to verbally abuse you or tell you that another employee deserves more organizational support than you because their title ranks higher than yours. Don’t ever allow your boss to dominate you, bully you, abuse their authority over you, or create an inequitable environment around you.
As you journey through this book, you will experience a multiplicity of real life work encounters from Halo-Orangees team members. It is my hope that you will find yourself in this book and use it as inspiration to rise above the confusion, condescension, and disdain that your current or past employer has created in your workplace. Confinement is not a part of your destiny. Your life purpose is to take the totality of your negative experiences, roll them up into one, and use them positively to lay the foundation for your destiny. Think of your negative workforce encounters as grass seeds entering the ground, planted and watered, especially designed for you to walk on as you enter a new path into your marvelous future. I look forward to seeing you at the top.
B. L. Brown
CEO and Founder, Halo-Orangees
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