After posting the previous “Spring semester is history…”, I had a conversation with my pal, Facebook Friend, and terrific communicator Michael Gary Clendenin. Michael is with Freddie Mac, where he is transitioning from his role in Online Marketing and Communications serving public policy, public relations, Office of the Chief Economists, and other business areas to a broader, more strategic role in Customer Communications serving Freddie Mac’s Multifamily Division.
Michael has frequently blessed More With Les with his wisdom by posting insightful comments. He had much of value to say to students after the post, “Spring semester…”
“Ohhhhh, students, please do more than listen to Professor Potter. Take it to heart”, Michael says. “If you haven’t learned well before you got into college, learn it now as you head out into the real world. Life is not fair.”
“You aren’t given what you want because you’re a ‘good person’ or likable or smart or even a hard worker,” Michael says. “You’re given what is available in the budget to give a person in your job, performing your role at your level of performance at the discretion of your manager, and the managers and executives above your manager. And the internal politics of the corporation plays a role; I won’t say rightly or wrongly, it just is a fact and part of human dynamics.”
“But the key word in all that seemingly depressing language above is ‘perform,'” Michael wisely points out. “Whether you are likable or not, you stand a far better chance at advancement and compensation if you only just perform consistently. Trust that you will knock one out of the park on occasion, but don’t strive for it every time, because doing so on one project let’s other ‘lower priority’ tasks fall behind and that sterling reputation you desire suffers as a result.”
So before you despair, heed Michael’s words: “Perform and deliver consistently, reliably. Underpromise to over deliver. It isn’t cheating; it is managing expectations.”
“Never whine or complain,” Michael advises. “Don’t resent people for whom you think ‘everything falls in their lap,’ for what you don’t see is all the moving around those people did to get their laps where things were falling. And they deserve what they catch.”
Michael offers a last bit of advice for Millennials who wish for affirmative information: “I’m sure you’re all good, smart people. Now go out and be good, smart, productive people. And never stop learning!”
“You will do well,” Michael says. “And eventually, you will be dispensing this same advice to generations younger than you.”
For more of the world according to Michael Clendenin, visit his blog Just Michael.