Leaders Are Risk Takers, End of Story

16 Mar

It’s going to be hard to keep writing and not get fired from my job.

You see, something pretty cool happened at work this week. I was walking down the hall minding my own business and one of the managers stopped me. I just figured he’d be his usual friendly self and ask about my weekend. Negative. Instead, I got a… “Hey, so I hear you’re tired of Corporate BS”.

Ohh, crap.

As he went on to tell me how he’d found my blog online, I couldn’t really hear anything he was telling me. I was embarrassed? Nervous? I don’t really know what I was feeling but it was the first time that someone from work had brought this up and I was freaking out.   

After I finally calmed down, I realized that he was telling me he liked it! He explained to me that he manages young workers and that yes, there’s a need to understand the way they think, the way they work, their expectations, etc. He told me he found my writing insightful, and I was beyond thrilled to hear that.

That’s it! That’s why I write! If one manager was able to read my posts and see that there’s SOME value to the things that I have to say, I’ve done my job. Mission accomplished. I’m elated that he found my blog interesting and I hope that many more people in leadership positions will continue to take the time to listen to Gen Y.

So that definitely made my week.

But then I suddenly had a thought. This was my thought….

Oh, shit. I’m going to get fired.

Because if this manager found my blog and took the time to read my stuff, how much longer before my boss reads it? How much longer before my co-workers read it? What about HR? Am I going to get fired for having an opinion? Ughhh.

People who read this can respond in one of three ways:

  1. Think I’m kind of cool for being able to say what I have to say (please pick this one)
  2. Think I’m crazy or smoking some really good stuff (which I’m not for the record) or
  3. Think that I shouldn’t be writing about stuff like this/feel insulted (these people take things too seriously and have no sense of humor)

So here’s my disclaimer before I get fired. The purpose of my blog isn’t to insult anyone. It’s not to piss people off. I’m not trying to call people out because I’m bored and have nothing to do. I’m not a bitch. I’m actually a really nice person.

But I’m tired of people looking at people my age and thinking that we’re not capable of much. I’m tired of them thinking we’re lazy. I’m tired of managers that are rigid in their ways. I’m tired of people who don’t embrace change. And yes, I’m tired of Corporate BS.

My goal is simply to present ideas and thoughts that cause people to think. To present a different point of view. Because I do believe that change is necessary. And I can’t keep my mouth shut about it.

And I know that some people won’t always like everything that I have to say. It’s impossible for everyone to agree with EVERYTHING I write about. And guess what?

I’m okay with that.

I remember when I was in 4th grade and the new girl in our class started singing  during Phys Ed. First of all…she kind of looked like this…

Needless to say, she wasn’t the most popular kid because those brutal 9 year olds can be a holes. Like honestly, if you ever think back to elementary school, you realize, wow, little kids were freaking mean.

So anyway, she started singing and my ears almost started bleeding. Good Lord this girl was terrible (not that I’m any better… I’m just courteous and don’t sing in public to spare everyone their lives). To make matters worse, she thought she was AMAZING! So of course, EVERYONE in the class started bursting out in tears laughing at her.

Once she noticed that these people were NOT fans of hers, she started crying. And dude, it would have been so easy to just walk away and join my friends but I didn’t. Instead, I went to go talk to her. And I told her not to cry (because I get so uncomfortable when I watch people cry). And yes, I’m terrible…I lied to her. I told her she was a great singer.

But point is… I knew that in going to talk to her, and befriending her, I was making a choice. I knew my friends wouldn’t be caught dead hanging out with her. I lost all my friends that day. But it’s okay, because they were a holes. I knew my decision was unpopular but I also knew it’s what I had to do. And that’s how I feel about writing. I know that I need to write.

So sometimes in life you just have to say…

Gen Y is coming into the workforce with BIG ideas. And sadly, many leaders are shutting them down. They’re accusing millennial workers of being brash and not thinking about consequences, but people…c’mon…at least they’re doing SOMETHING. They’re creating dialogue…They’re challenging old practices…some that should be left as they are and others that may need to be revisited. There IS value in this.

At the end of the day, true leaders are ones that take risks. And that has NOTHING to do with age.

So if you like my writing, wonderful.  And if you don’t, I’m sorry…that I’m not sorry.

20 Responses to “Leaders Are Risk Takers, End of Story”

  1. Zookeeper March 16, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    OMG I cannot believe this. Here it is Friday afternoon and I am answering your blog. After the day I just finished having it’s beyond me to be doing this I just cannot control myself.
    Anyways here goes…..
    Listen he probably approched you as a result of him finding something in you and what you wrote that he felt he made a connection with.
    It doesn’t have to make sense….
    It just had to happen…
    You know sometimes things have to happen regardless of the reasons, they just do.
    A moth flies into a flame. Does it make sense, no, but it happens.
    Everything in life does not have to make sense and most of the time it doesn’t.
    We percieve it to make sense therefore it does, but it really doesn’t.
    We kind of make our own reality at times.
    I don’t know if I am clear.
    But anyways….
    If this is true you have nothing to be worried about.
    If this “manager” has any intention towards you I am sure it’s only to serve your best intrests.
    I am sure that he is more trust worthy that you can imagine as far as your blog and he will recognize the sensitive material being discussed and will respect you as well as your opinions enough to keep them in their place and allow you to be as creative as you want to be with it.
    The last thing he would want from you is to be distrusted or to stifle your opinions, thoughts or ideas.
    I am sure he thinks of you as intreguing. You’ve probably have captured him with your “evil” ways, your charm and your character and intelligence and ambitions.
    He can’t help himself but to befriend you after that.
    Every rose has it’s thorns.
    We all know that you are opinionated by now.
    But the question is can you be a little less opinionated and a little more trusting.
    You have nothing to worry about.
    He’s probably less of a “manager” and more of, well, a “real” person than you give him credit for.

    • Kayla Cruz March 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      Great to know :D

      • Aspergers Girls March 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

        You are a fantastic writer! Humor and intelligence. Nice combo. I’ll follow your blog as well. Keep up the great work. I remember when I was in my 20’s people didn’t take me seriously, either. You’re a smart cookie—others will figure that out.

  2. mrsroffey March 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    No way, this happened to me. I was soo embarrassed! My boss said he thought I didnt want to stay because I was speaking to him about studying at university around my working hours. I have to say some times I like a really good moan and use my blog like a diary of exorcism. Some of my collegues read it and find it a hoot but I was never expecting the boss to read it. Yikes! I have to keep my letting off steam blogs private now and stick to blogging about what accident Ive had that day (so far none today as yet, but theres still time).


  3. tyunglebower March 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Hopefully, you will not get fired for saying things like this. I’ve suffered the consequences of questioning the status quo many times in my life. You’d think I’d quit doing it. But I don’t.

  4. Jody March 20, 2012 at 9:39 pm #

    Thanks for the follow. Yours looks like the kind of blog where I could find information I would use on my blog. Hope you don’t mind if I share from time to time.

    BTW. I wouldn’t worry about your boss. I have some of the most conservative followers. People like irreverence. My boss reads my blog all the time and my post about bondage was about my two bosses.

  5. I am Reptard March 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    When I used to write about my former retail job on my blog, I was constantly in a state of paranoia! I was always afraid I would be found out and fired. I can sympathize. :)

    Great blog!

  6. Miss Molly March 21, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    Keep writing… the main rules I try to follow when writing are these:
    Is it timely?
    Is it true?
    Is it considerate?
    Does it add value?

    As long as I can say yes to these questions I write… oh, and being considerate doesn’t mean sugar coating or changing things to make them sound better.

    Sometimes I am more successful than others at following my own rules…

    I haven’t gotten up the nerve to write about work yet… I’m not sure my coworkers could handle the “truth”…

    Keep up the good work!

  7. Michael A March 21, 2012 at 2:57 am #

    Well, that was a breath of fresh air! It’s not everyday you come along somebody my age with an intelligent, casual voice who sees the truth about what we as Gen-Yers go through on a daily basis in corporate America. As a recent graduate myself and player of the corporate game for about two years now, I completely agree with the opinion that we’re given a bad rap simply because the media likes to paint us as “lazy” and “entitled.” I’ve seen many colleagues my age work their asses off just trying to land a non-paying internship or a salaried position way under their skill or intelligence level.

    As for the post itself, don’t stop writing about your experiences. It’s heartening to know there are others going through the same trials as I am. Challenging the status quo is good. Change is a necessity of business, and to continue evolving, businesses both large and small are going to need the fresh perspective we can bring to the table.

    Thanks for the follow on my blog…I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on yours!

  8. William Torgerson March 21, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    It’s an interesting story and a good one for me to think about since for the past few semesters I’ve had all my students blogging on WordPress blogs. (with various degrees of privacy settings). Also interesting to consider how a boss finds a blog. I don’t mean just yours, but if it were me, I’d wonder if they were Googling my name or just reading around professionally or happened on it because the company’s name was in the title.

    Interesting story!

  9. B. M. Wells March 22, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    enter the pen name!

  10. steveborek March 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    As an executive coach, I facilitate leadership workshops. There are Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:

    – Model the Way
    – Inspire a Shared Vision
    – Challenge the Process
    – Enable Others to Act
    – Encourage the Heart

    So you’re definitely challenging the process. It’s hard to get people to blaze a new path. They’re use to the path they’ve already created. It’s nice and comfy like your La-Z-Boy or an old pair of jeans. The old path is proven. Ya, it’s got it’s pimples and cold sores but we can cover that up good enough. Fact is, people don’t like change.

    So, what’s a Gen Y’r to do?

    What changes do you want to create?. You first need to inspire a shared vision. Build consensus around what you’d like to see happen. Modelling the way is very important. If you’re a future leader. Kayla, are you setting the example of what’s expected? Is your company providing the resources required to carry out the vision or change? And of course, encourage others and thank them for a job well done.

    I like your writing though would give serious thought to leaving out the expletives. I get it and have a Gen Y daughter myself. You sound like a creative intelligent person. I’m sure you can find other ways to spice up your posts. Think “intellectually intoxicating” and your boss and their boss will really begin to take notice.

    Rock on Kayla.

  11. Doug's BoomerRants March 22, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Perhaps if you “play the game” rather than trying so hard to re-invent it you might have greater success. My generation tried that and all we ended up doing was become that which we hated. By playing the game I am suggesting… if you have an idea then present it succinctly… and sell it right where they wanna feel it.. right in their profits. Talk their language… and show your work. But do it three dimensionally… meaning show how it might affect the next department over (will your idea threaten another “kingdom”?). Gain some allies with your idea and maybe make a unified approach to management. “Championing an idea” (an “old” buzzword from the 80’s) is not meant to be easy. Just a thought. Good post, btw.

  12. julianstodd March 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Great post – thanks for sharing, J

  13. Troy March 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

    Dude…one of the best blogs I’ve found in a while. Speak your truth girl…love it!

  14. gamerorparent March 31, 2012 at 5:32 am #

    I had a similar experience in middle school where I stood up for an unpopular girl I had befriended in one of my classes. I lost a few long standing friends in the process but gained a best friend that I still have today. Worth it.

  15. Thomas Guettler March 31, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Great post Kayla. I agree with the premise of your post here. As a manager, I feel it is important to adapt my style to each individual. In a few cases, I manage a few individuals who want me to leave them alone to do their jobs, and at the same time, I have a couple that desire steady amounts of feedback and communication. I always preach that everyone can make a decision and as long as it is not in violation of policy or illegal, I will support them, even though I may have made a different decision. I also feel it is important to ask for input from everyone and I make conscious efforts to do so. This will allow all to have a stake in the overall outcome, no matter is they are a Gen-X, Gen-Y, or anyone else. r For me though, the ideal situation is an environment where all levels of the workforce have a free flowing communication that goes both ways.

    I would recommend following up on Steve’s comment above. These lessons can be further read in “The Leadership Challenge”, by Barry Posner and James Kouzes. I studied it a couple of years ago when in graduate school and it is sitting prominently on my bookshelf at the moment. I would recommend to anyone to not simply be critical of the process, but to provide alternatives. If you are working for management that is not understanding, nor asking for input, identify something that sucks, and provide details of what you can do about it. It may lead to a higher workload because they may task you with that project, but it shows initiative, but also shows upper management that you are serious enough to have a plan of action.

  16. Tiffany April 2, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    When you walk into a corporate world at a young age, you do have a stigma attached to you. I landed a corporate job when I was twenty and I have continued to be the youngest in my work environment. I now have a job doing a ton of analysis and sometimes people don’t want to listen to me because they think I’m too young to know what I’m talking about. I make them listen by showing them the numbers. Then I see the light bulb come on and I smile when I finally hear them say, “you’re right”. Keep at it, girl! :0)



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