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Work Smarter, Not Harder

Stop working so hard and start working smarter.

Jeffrey Pfeffer argues that performance doesn’t matter in Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t.

If performance doesn’t matter, what does?

job performance matters less for your evaluation than your supervisor’s commitment to and relationship with you. … The lesson from cases of people both keeping and losing their jobs is that as long as you keep your boss or bosses happy, performance really does not matter that much and, by contrast, if you upset them, performance won’t save you.

“The lesson,” argues Pfeffer, is to “worry about the relationship you have with your boss at least as much as you worry about your job performance.”

If you want to increase your influence at work, take these steps:

  1. be visible;
  2. emphasize the aspects you’re good at;
  3. make those in power feel good about themselves;
  4. if you must point out a mistake by someone in power, blame the situation or others; and
  5. shower those above with flattery.

Still curious? Learn why your performance won’t get you promoted.