My you look lovely today Mrs Cleaver

A funny thing happens during big organizational change: even the best people act weird. Case in point: company A announces a reorganization and everyone loses their minds. Their voices tighten, they talk about how integral the work they do is to the viability of the business, and they start calling into conference calls from vacations just to signal “I’m still here.”

Except nobody “important” cares. If they’re doing what they should be doing, the important people are focused on developing the go forward strategies, structures and processes, not checking in on your attendance.

In change, as in normalcy, ingratiation is annoying. If you’re a leader, it suggests you’re a little low on self-confidence and worse, telegraphs you don’t trust your people or you’re a poor succession planner who hasn’t developed an emerging leader who can take your place should you get hit by a bus. If you’re an individual contributor, it tells us you’re insecure. So just stop it.

Don’t tell us how important you are – show us. If you’re good, people already know. And if you suck, no amount of ass-kissing is going to save you anyway.

Don’t cancel your vacation or call into every meeting to micromanage from the cottage. Shut off your smart phone and hit the beach. Give your team a chance to shine in your absence (you’re confident enough to do that, right?). Sacrificing your personal life to keep your work one never works and can destroy the relationships that are supposed to last forever, like marriages.

In change, it’s natural to act a little twitchy, but being an ass isn’t going to save your job. So don’t be an ass. That alone should increase your chances of survival by 50%. Or maybe just 10%, but at least people won’t write snarky blogs about you too.