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February 09, 2008


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Ron Baker

You should have just handed her a copy of my book as your answer.

Shama Hyder

Hi Michelle,

I would think that kids have less "control" when they are bored. Adults can go for a drive, pop-in a movie, read a book, etc.

If parents provided enough intellectually stimulating options, then kids can be held responsible for their own "boredom."

*disclosure-I don't have kids yet.* = )

Mark Bailey

As leaders, everytime we micromanage our associates we take away opportunity and responsibility from them. Whether it's 'managing' through time sheets or setting the standards and parameters for their individual careers, our business model in the service professions is based on control and measurement.

If you take that responsibility for the control of their own destiny and opportunity away from anyone is it a surprise they become 'bored'?

We don't do time sheets, and we don't do written annual performance evaluations in our firm and we're the second happiest place on earth.

Debra Helwig

Fabulous post, Michelle!

It is somewhat ironic that in our current "DIY" world, we still tend to rush in to "rescue" our co-workers, our spouses, our children...

Some of it is the illusion that we're actually causing less burden for ourselves (if I do this for him/her, then I won't have to listen to whining, do more work later, etc. etc. etc.) But it's that age-old principle of giving a man a fish/teaching a man to fish. We may have more pain in the short run, but by not taking the extra step of "doing for", in the long run we're much better off.

One of the biggest examples I've seen of this - both with children and co-workers - is when folks "run interference" for a problem kid or boss. Taking steps to explain away or mitigate your colleague's (or child's) bad behavior might make YOUR relationships with injured parties better in the short term, but it does nothing at all to fix the problem or teach the perpetrator how to stop doing hurtful things. Your grey hair quotient goes up, and they stay oblivious. Not a way to live, at work or at home!

Wendy Nemitz

Long boring summers of exploring the world near the farm where I grew up fostered creativity and self reliance. I am sure my mother heard "I am bored" a million times but did nothing for us, assuming boredom is part of being a kid. I am too busy to wonder if my employees are bored. I hope not!

Ed Kless

Late to the party here, but I wanted to contribute my Irish Catholic grandmother's solution to "I'm bored."

She promptly handed me a rosary and said, "Here, pray to get some poor souls out of purgatory."

I was never bored again, sorry if I have left some poor souls behind.

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