Four Ways to Succeed with the Stinky Part of Work

If you dislike 30% of your job, look for another job. You can dislike 20% of your job and still enjoy work. (Informal surveys of managers.)

If you like 80% of your job, be completely happy at work.

Don't wallow in the stink. Image of a dirty pig.

Four ways to succeed with the stinky part of work:

#1. Expand purpose.

Consider how doing something you don’t like connects to bigger purpose. You come to work when you want to stay home to put food on the table. The bigger purpose is providing for family.

#2. Explore personal growth.

Consider how doing work you don’t like expands your capacity to serve.

You probably don’t like conflict. How might conflict resolution skills prepare you for advancement?

#3. Embrace team spirit.

Do it for the team. How might you contribute to the success of the team? But don’t become a martyr.

Avoid being the person who always sacrifices for the welfare of others.

#4. Just get it done.

Don’t wallow in the stink. Check off the stinky work so you can focus on the work you love.

Four ways leaders create less stinky work environments:

  1. Don’t brag about working all the time. Our ability to do productive work is enhanced when we consistently recharge.
  2. Eliminate insignificant work. Set priorities. Tell people what matters.
  3. Show respect and appreciation. It’s not enough to know our work matters. We need to know that the boss knows our work matters.
  4. Give people control of how work gets done. When possible, allow people to choose the time and location of their work.

Bonus: Eliminate jerk-holes. One bad apple lowers team performance up to 40%.


Positive work environments are built by leaders who notice. What are you noticing? What do you need to notice to build an energizing work environment?

What suggestions do you have for succeeding with the stinky part of work?