If you can’t beat them, join someone else

Do you like a quiet office or do you prefer working with background music? Do you like to meet face-to-face to discuss progress or do you prefer to give virtual status updates? Do you like to work from home, or do you think doing so is a recipe for slacking off?

If you enjoy working one way while the people you work with like to work very differently, there will inevitably be clashes.

You might end up frustrated or find it hard to get anything done when you have to conform to other people’s preferences. You might strongly believe that your way of working benefits everyone, but it is probably no use to try to convince others of that.

It helps to consider an analogous situation from a different domain.

Let’s say you’ve discovered that you really enjoy skiing. You’d like to go on a few ski trips this year, but you don’t want to go alone. So you excitedly talk about skiing to your existing friends and you repeatedly suggest that they come along with you.

Your existing friends have no interest in skiing whatsoever, so your suggestions don’t lead to anything…

Until, at a party, you meet someone who has also recently discovered the joy of skiing and who is looking for a ski trip partner, too. Problem solved!

Trying to convince people that your way of doing things is better—“beating them into submission” 😉— is often a losing strategy.

But if you can’t beat them, why not join someone else?

Find clients who are a better fit. Get a new job at a company whose philosophy matches yours. It’s the path of least resistance.

Yours,

— Peter

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