How to fail in your career
BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - February 17, 2019 - 12:00am

A  guy goes in for a job interview and sits down with the boss.

The boss asks him, “What do you think is your worst quality?”

The man says, “I’m probably too honest.” The boss says, “That’s not a bad thing, I think being honest is a good quality.” The man replies, “I don’t care about what you think!”

Hmm… the guy has not yet started his career and has already failed. Here are other funny lines about work and career coming from people who would never make it:

1. “Teamwork is important; it helps to put the blame on someone else.”

2. “I’m great at multitasking. I can waste time, be unproductive, and procrastinate all at once.”

3. “I can’t believe I got fired from the calendar factory. All I did was take a day off.”

4. “My annual performance review says I lack ‘passion and intensity.’ I guess management hasn’t seen me alone with a cheese burger and French fries.”

Guess what? If this is your philosophy then chances are you will come across a boss who would say: “I always tell my managers, don’t think of me as your boss, think of me as a friend who can fire you.”

There are things people do that would ensure their career failure. And you better make sure you are not doing these things either consciously or unconsciously if you want to succeed.

1. See everyone as a threat to your career.

Make yourself indispensable. Others are out there conniving and conspiring to get your job or your position and that is why you have to defend your turf at all cost.

Guess what? If you lock yourself into a job, then that is a wonderful way of locking yourself out of other opportunities that may come your way. If you are aspiring for promotions, then be willing to let go of your current position; be willing to train and share your knowledge to others who may even replace you so as to make your role unnecessary.

Leadership is a fulltime job by itself and good leaders do not produce good followers, they always produce more good leaders.

2. Constantly strive for work/life balance.

The word “balance” simply means equilibrium so how do you achieve it? This means you have one foot firmly planted on the ground and the other foot planted too with your weight equally distributed all throughout your body.

Guess what? If this is what you want, then perhaps you should take up yoga lessons or something but the problem with this kind of “balance or equilibrium” is that there is no movement.

A faulty sense of “work-life balance” sets you off to fulfilling ritualistic obligations that fill your day that would not amount to much either at work or at life. Rather than thinking balance we should instead think in terms of “trade-offs.” Success takes commitment and passion.

I have averaged 300 talks, trainings and seminars in a year for the past many years of my life, yet no member of my family would ever complain that I did not give them enough time or attention. There is a way to do this, but you have to attend my Level Up Leadership seminars to get all the details. But here is the key; rather than thinking “work-life balance” we need to rethink this into “work-life harmony” or “work-life integration” as many of my corporate clients are already doing. Why? Because all those work-life balance seminars never worked and would not work today.

3. Do not attend trainings and seminars because it’s a waste of your time.

“I don’t have to attend seminars; I know all these already and it’s a waste of my time.” This was a popular statement of a famous business executive many years ago. Guess what? He was made to leave because he could not function well with other people in the organization.

“There’s nothing new for me as I have heard all those things before.” Granted there are things that you have already heard, know or read about but if you have not taken the time, energy and attention to apply the lessons then those things you have heard before are still new to you.

I must have watched, listened and attended talks given by the author Jim Collins at least four times and he may have presented the same materials before, but I always find it important to be reminded and to be refreshed so as to apply them when I go back to work.

4. Engage in office gossips and politics.

You want to be popular. You want to be the person who gets the interest and the attention of your peers or even your team members, so you bring them juicy “fresh from the box” news and gossips about your boss and other leaders in your organization. Guess what? This means you are idle, and you are not delivering results.

There are times that there is too much drama that happens in the workplace, and you are not obligated to participate in them. Allocate your personal resources (time-attention) to things and activities that would add value to both your personal and professional goals. Just don’t waste time and get yourself into trouble.

There are many other things that would ensure your failure, but you would not want to take part in it. Act like a professional. Behave like one. Be a professional and take your career and profession seriously and guess what? There is even no need to guess in the first place. Just live your life correctly and avoid these career minefields and begin to experience career success you have never experienced before.

Attend the two inspiring days of leadership training with Francis Kong in his highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership seminar-workshop on Feb. 19-20 at Makati Diamond Residences across Greenbelt 1. For registration or inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at

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