Standing Down

Stand Down.jpeg

So there is a funny term used in government, which is to “Stand down.”


Basically, it comes from the military where it has traditionally been used to denote relaxing (or “at ease”) after a prior state of alert or readiness.


Since then it has become more broadly adopted to mean abruptly ceasing activity–and usually even all further discussion–on something. 


For example, if someone is working on a project, task, or issue, but you want them to completely halt all activities on this, you may tell them to stand down.


This happens when something, usually significant, has changed or the activity has become OBE (another military term for Overcome By Events).


Basically, something has unexpectedly transpired and the strategy and orders have now changed (maybe a complete 180). 


Often, someone up the chain has put the kabbash on whatever it was.


Either way, you go from a full-on sprint to a complete halt and you might as well stand on your head for all anyone cares, because the run to the finish line, on this matter at least, is over now. 


Standing down is very different from standing up–but you aren’t sitting down either. 


Sitting would imply doing nothing at all, while standing down implies you do something else instead–like move on in the meantime to your next order of priority business. 


Still standing down, because of it’s abruptness and completeness is a big deal–and when everything and everyone was prior in motion like a moving freight train–and someone now stands in front of it and yells “All stop!”–the rest of the train cars, all the way to caboose, can essentially ram right up into the butt of the engine causing a real mess of things (productivity-wise and from a morale perspective). 


So now everyone untangle yourself and “calm the h*ll down”–there’s a new sheriff in town or new way ahead and you better get your standing down under control and stop doing whatever it is you were doing, okay there sonny boy? 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Who’s Da Boss

Boss

At work, we all report to somebody–no matter high up the chain you go. 


IMHO, I think it’s always important to remember though who the Big Boss is and He/She is the top of the food chain and is the one who really calls ALL the shots–and if you keep that in mind, you can show proper respect to your boss at work and follow their lead without falling on your sword in human antiauthoritarian revolt. 


Thus, in the earthly world, the boss in the corner office and on the high floor is the one who tells you what to do at work. 


Of course, the cardinal sin of management is be a micromanager–EVERYONE hates that and just wants to be told the goal but then let loose to get the job done–and not stood over and berated on how to do it and torn apart for everything they did [differently] “wrong” than perhaps their boss would’ve done it in their self-presumed all-knowing wisdom. 


Also, bosses who laud their boss status over their subordinates by telling and showing them how bossy boss with information and power, belittling them, they are–often these people are resented by the “plebeian workers” and as in the servitude of Egypt thousands of years ago, the Big Boss hears their prayers for justice and meets it out accordingly. 


The best bosses are human, humble, and admit mistakes, see people as children of G-d, have compassion, and treat their workers with due respect; genuinely listens to others, are inclusive, and values what each person brings to the table; says thank you and means it; looks for opportunities to recognize and reward people; and treat people as teammates and not indentured servants. 


Certainly, workers have a responsibility too–to give it their best and keep their commitments; to respect the “chain of command”; to tell it the way it is with some modicum of diplomacy and keep their bosses fully informed, to not demand the unreasonable or play games with the rules (that everyone at work lives under); and to generally be collegial and a team player 


One colleague on an interview told me that they were asked a really smart, tough question that put them on the spot, “Tell me about a time you had a disagreement with management?”


That could be a telling question or answer depending who’s been naughty and nice at the office. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)