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THE DANGER OF SAYING “NO” TOO OFTEN

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 27, 2014

BRYCE ON BUSINESS

– Next time you are asked to move, think twice.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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I have always worked in a small business environment, but I have visited enough big companies as part of my consulting practice over the years to recognize differences between large and small. One such difference is how large conglomerates cultivate managers.

If you are being groomed to climb the corporate hierarchy you will likely be asked to physically move to another geographical location. If you are successful there, you may very well be asked to move again and again. Each move usually represents an increase in salary and title. A problem arises though when you have adapted to a particular location and are no longer inclined to move.

I have met many “home town” people over the years who belong to large corporations and want to remain where they live. Maybe it’s because they have family in the area, but most of the time they simply love where they live. Whatever the reason, if the person wants to advance in the company, they can ill-afford to say “No” too often to corporate moves.

The employee may be able to resist a move for awhile, but if he/she says “No” once too often, their professional career will likely come to a screeching halt. Executives want to groom managers who are innovative and can adapt to changing conditions. They do not want people who will openly resist change. Companies use moves to test the employee’s abilities.

I have a friend in Minneapolis who loved his home town, his family and friends who lived there, and all the Twin City area can offer, including sports. Alas, he said “No” one too many times and found his career path arrested at age 35. He is still with the company, but has never advanced.

Although the company will probably not terminate your employment, you will likely end up with a dead-end job. This is the company’s way of saying, “It’s time for you to go.”

You might be able to resist relocation for awhile, but be careful not to say “No” too often. Such is one significant difference between a large and small business.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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LAST TIME:  WHO DO WE TRUST?  – Our family and friends, our co-workers, our boss…?

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5 Responses to “THE DANGER OF SAYING “NO” TOO OFTEN”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A B.H. of Boulder, Colorado wrote…

    “Not always the case, but at SOME point in a career, family plays a significant role in location decisions. For example, once kids enter high school, parents are very reluctant to move and disrupt those final years in school while the child is at home.

    Military careers involve moves – at least they did when I was in – every 2-3 years at a minimum. In fact, you get to the point where you EXPECT to move and if the orders don’t come, you wonder what’s wrong. Children in military families grow up learning that moving is part of “normal” – and seem to adapt to the changes, even in their high school years.

    My first 10 years in the military, I moved 5 times. Then, I got sent to Washington, DC to my command’s headquarters. Because of my training and speciality, I became what was colloquially known as a “DC Warrior” – someone who bounces from command to command within the DC area – never having to move (no cost to the government) to change commands. There are dozens of engineering commands in the DC environment, and each one has an allocation of engineers on their staff – and once you get experience dealing with the procurement and execution of programs, you’re “too valuable” to lose going overseas again or to another school command.

    Those 10 years were the longest I had ever stayed in one place in my life (my dad moved around a bit while I was growing up). Then, when I retired, I just wanted to get the heqq out of DC and I landed in Boulder. I’ve been here in the same home for 25 years now, and THAT is most certainly the longest I’ve ever stayed in one place. Since I’m no longer working, I think “climbing the corporate ladder” is not on the list of things to do for me at this stage.

    But, I recall all too vividly this same mantra from IBM’ers (who claimed the company name stood for “I’ve Been Moved”) – that if they refused a new assignment with the company at another location, that was the LAST time they would be offered a promotion. At that point, IBM had a proud track record of never having had a layoff- but obviously today, they can’t claim that title anymore.”

    Like

  2. sirchristiantheheck@reagan.com said

    I never did and never had to. Thank you Lord!!!

    Like

  3. […] THE DANGER OF SAYING “NO” TOO OFTEN […]

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  4. […] TIME:  THE DANGER OF SAYING “NO” TOO OFTEN  – Next time you are asked to move, think […]

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  5. Tim Bryce said

    An M.C. of New York City wrote…

    “Good piece, Tim.
    Back in the day when IBM really stood for I’ve Been Moved, my husband got offered a chance to relocate a great deal. And going with the flow and knowing just what you are talking about it, he did it. well, we did it. It was not until we moved to the Washington, D.C. area and he became a manager at a plant for the company that he saw the high resistance to change. Many people didn’t want to advance because it meant moving, it meant leaving the family and the security of what they knew. Going to another area meant a culture shock and they were not ready for it.
    There was one other thing I learned while observing those that did not want to move. Many of them didn’t want to progress or move up the ladder in their jobs. That would mean more work and more responsibility. They didn’t like the idea that with promotions came more work and perhaps being on the management time. It wasn’t that they weren’t prepared for it, it was that they really didn’t want to be bothered. They were happy with being in middle America and that was that.
    This economy, however, is changing all of that.”

    Like

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