No B.S. Coaching Advice

Environments That Support Your Best | Career Angles

I’ve worked in crazy places. You may have, too. There is an impact to beinzzangg in places like that.


I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I’m a coach. I work with businesses, I work with individuals, I try and help people and organizations be more effective.


When I worked in recruiting, as I did for many years, I worked in organizations that were completely dysfunctional. They were, I can’t call them teams, they were packs of individuals who worked as individuals, because cooperation rarely existed, nor was it fostered within the cultures. People went for one another’s throats. I did well financially, I hated the business. It was, I can’t say demanding. I like demanding work, but it was cutthroat. They’d stab me in the back in a second and often did.


Now that’s extreme. Many of you work in organizations that are dead and, by that, I mean there’s no life to them. There’s no passion to them. The group that you’re working with, it doesn’t really matter what you’re doing. You feel like a glorified clerk. I want you to catch that. You feel like a glorified clerk because the organization has created so many systems, you’re like a robot with flesh and blood.


I was talking with someone yesterday who I coach who’s describing in his firm, how they went to this promotional meeting for senior managers and above in the organization. Seehey announced their goal for the new fiscal year and the big number that came up on the board is number two.


“We want to be number two.” He was shocked by that. Like they’re not trying to be best in class. They’re going for number two? Really? It was a shock to him and just completely demoralized him as it does for most people who are used to being champions. You need environment that supports you being at your best.


Now, I want to be clear. The idea is about also having teamwork around you. The backstabbing that I lived with and so many of you live with is the complete antithesis of the way it should be. People need to wind up being in situations where they have the chance to succeed. The environment supports that with tools and resources and relationships that allows them to do it. Onlyf you’re not in a place like that, eventually what happens is the environment wins. It takes you down, and eventually it’s going to drive you out the doors. It eventually did with me in search.


Again, my situation was extreme. Yours may be more subtle than what mine was. I’ll just simply say to you, folks, environments win.  The place that you work at creates a climate, the manager that you report to creates an environment that either supports you or sustains you.


And, when you’re interviewing, they lie. I have to politely say, you do, too, when you interview, and everyone’s posturing for advantage. That said, they’re not presenting the truth of the environment. Everyone always says the same kind of stuff.


“We’ve got a great team of people. It’s a wonderful environment. DidI mention we’re like family around here?” Oh, they always say this kind of stuff, but it’s not true. The only way it’s like family is at the holiday movies where everyone is insane sitting around the dinner table.


Again, back to you. I want to encourage you to always work in places that are “normal.” Not crazy. When you’re in crazy places, eventually they make you crazy and when they’re in normal places where you can be a true best, that encourages that, you will thrive.



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1500 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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