Why ignorant employees rant ignorantly

Published: Fri, 01/07/22

From the friendly caves of Pixie Hollow.

This is a quote from someone who is an ignorant employee, ranting ignorantly:
UX Writing roles should not come under or report to Heads of Marketing, Creative Heads (growth or whatever), Chief Product Officers, CTOs, or any random non-design & non-content design heads who exist in your organisation.

They should also not report to people who have no respect for writing as a discipline and skill.

It is a lose-lose situation for the person doing the job and the company, but majorly for the former. No one gets the right feedback. No one gets to grow.

This person further ranted (which I didn't copy, to save your adrenal glands) about the fact that there are "whole f*&^ing books" about building writing teams.

Before we get to the specifics of management when it comes to creative employees, let's break this down.

This person thinks that:
  1. The people at The Very Top Of Most Organisational Trees (head of marketing, head of creative, CXO - product, technical, or "any random non-specialist who exists" - which includes the CEO and Directors, by the way - have no right to be the person to whom a creative person reports.
  2. Anybody in a senior role requires respect for writing as a discipline and a skill.
  3. (Further to #2) That people in senior roles don't respect the skills of their reports.
  4. Not having specialists in executive roles means the company is in a losing position. (More so than for the people it employs.)
  5. Having specialists in executive roles is a requirement for coaching.
  6. A writing team is an entire organisation.
I actually feel pity for this person. They've clearly never worked in an environment that is functional, effective, happy, or profitable.

The question is: Is this person right?

The answer? Not on your nelly!

If anything, it suggests that all employees ought to be educated in why companies are structured the way they are and what it takes to become a great and effective leader.

In any CXO position, that person is not required to be a specialist. In fact, it's often detrimental if they are. Instead, a CXO is required to be an amazing advocate. It's a wildly different skill-set, comprised of leadership, communication skills, analytical skills, and the ability to understand how to map an existing situation to a desired future (and then to plot a method of getting there, and navigate the ship).

Navigation is one of the most difficult skills in any company. It's why these people get paid the Big Bucks.

Of course, what this means is that if your leadership is selected for the right reasons, they respect every single specialist skill that falls within their remit.

It means that the company is in a winning position (not a losing one).

It means that the leadership is able to coach effectively (because coaching is not skills training, quite the opposite).

More applicable to you, Pixieling, is this:

Employees may not understand how to advocate upwards when there is no (specialist-origin) middle-management to do this for them. It suggests that you, as their leading CXO, have a responsibility to educate them in how to advocate upwards effectively.

Very few companies do such a thing.

Yet imagine just how brilliant it could be.

If every single specialist team was given the skills to:
  1. Determine its collective needs
  2. Assign and allocate internal leadership
  3. Negotiate and advocate upwards
... then your CXO team will benefit immensely! Here's why:
  1. The quality of their data will improve
  2. Their relationships with their team members will improve
  3. The ability to test new ideas with team members will open up more clearly
  4. Decisions will be more effectively communicated, and all parties will understand how and why things are the way they are
  5. Needs will be met more effectively (on both sides of the desk)
  6. Goals will be achieved more easily
  7. Profit in all senses of the word - wellbeing, culture, efficacy, finance - will increase.
Ignorant employees rant ignorantly because they are ignorant.

Kill the ignorance, improve your business.

If you're interested in doing something like this, here is my considered suggestion for your process:
  1. Study what 'effective upwards negotiation' means in your organisation. Get a third party to do it, to short-cut any assumptions, expectations, or blind-spots.
  2. Study what 'effective upwards negotiation' means to your employees in your organisation. Use your third-party to do it for the same reason.
  3. Design your training.
  4. Roll it out.
  5. Assess its impact over three to six months.
  6. Adapt it if necessary, reinforce where necessary.
  7. Document it as part of your executive systems.
Again, this is an adaptation of the ghostwriting services that I offer. 

While I've been talking about lengthy engagements for ghostwriting this week, such an adaptation as the above would destroy employee ignorance, improve the relationships in your business and improve your business's operations.

Something like this would take six months (nine if you assess impact over six months).

It means that you could kill off employee ignorance for good in under a year, and by investing a mere $18,000 in the process.

And if your company did this, its sale value would skyrocket because you'd be a unicorn in your field in terms of employee engagement.

Worth considering, isn't it?

xx Leticia "ignorance hunter" Mooney

PS. If you enjoyed this, please share it with your network.

Please let me know what I can do for you.

Leticia Mooney has spent her life handling words and communications while showing others 'the way'. She is a journalist and ghostwriter with decades of experience writing with and for individuals and brands. She dedicates her life to 'showing others the Way', which is in both a metaphorical and a literal sense. Leticia has mentored and edited tens of writers (from PhD candidates to highly successful freelancers and authors); consults to businesses in a range of areas from communications to audits to investigations; and reads Tarot (having been trained by the remarkable Lore de Angeles). She's also the mother of a rambunctious, engaging, and curious boy, who is named after a character created by J.R.R Tolkien. You can learn more about her at https://leticiamooney.com, and her business at https://brutalpixie.com.

Leticia Mooney
PO Box 1190
Pasadena SA 5042
Australia
Phone/Text (Signal/Telegram) +61 421 925 382
Follow on Telegram at https://t.me/leticiamooney