Thanks for nothing

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Why we shouldn’t give credit unless credit is due

By Elliot Chan, Opinions Editor
Formerly published in the Other Press. September 16, 2015

Now and then we find ourselves sending praise to someone who doesn’t deserve it. This tends to happen in environments where you have to work as a team or as an ensemble. It seems when bad work is done, blame is passed around and fingers are pointed. That’s a destructive attitude, solving nothing. Alternatively, the reverse problem is as bad. It seems that slackers in a group with success would also join in and receive praise. I believe the second scenario can be as harmful as the first.

Riding on the coattails of others is a survival strategy that should have been eradicated at some point during human evolution. We all know someone who does the bare minimum, or little to nothing, and allows others around him or her to pick up the slack. The same way you would cut out a cancerous tumour, you should do the same for that member of the team.

They might be nice, kind-hearted, or have some positive trait. They might have personal issues that stop them from excellence. Regardless, you want to give them the benefit of the doubt and help them along. Still, nothing is more infuriating than someone getting praise for work they didn’t do.

There is a Douglas Coupland quote from the novel Hey Nostradamus! that has always stuck with me: “[I] was raised to believe that the opposite of labor is theft, not leisure.”

The person who doesn’t perform is essentially stealing from the collective. They might not be stealing anything tangible and in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter, but if you allow them to take what isn’t theirs, you are feeding a wild animal, causing them to become dependent on others. You are not helping them. You are not a charity. You are enabling a lazy attitude and that is a benefit to nobody.

One common problem, especially in a professional environment, is when a superior takes credit for work their subordinate had done. While this is indeed a bitch move, I also believe that subordinates allow this to happen by displaying weakness. We need to stand up and defend ourselves without seeming entitled or arrogant.

If you notice someone taking your work and soaking in the praise themselves, you’d need to understand that they might never see their own self-righteousness. They may be a pathological liar or a narcissistic asshole. Don’t call them out immediately, keep a record, and approach their boss. Alternatively, you can try to empathize. Ask: why do they need to lie and steal your efforts? Often it is because of their insecurities and failings. If that is the case, give it time, and be patient. If your work is good and your aim is true, you’ll shine.

Radium’s CRM for Small Businesses Works Seamlessly with Gmail

The key to running a sound business is good communication. It doesn’t matter if you are interacting with customers, clients or employees, staying up to date on correspondences are timely tasks added to a daily workflow.

Different companies have different ways of dealing with their CRM, some want simplicity and go for a software like Highrise that functions primarily as a glorified address book, while others prefer a software like Salesforce that creates a CRM-ecosystem with subscriptions, features and add-ons.

But Radium CRM believes there should be a CRM that works with a communication platform that many are already using: Gmail.

The product is simple: you sign up onto Radium CRM and the software syncs up with your Gmail contacts and messages. From there you can manage and track your emails, set up your pipeline and sources and help build a robust address book. To create an effective communication tool for entrepreneurs and business managers, Radium CRM have to—you guessed it—communicate.

“I’m talking to entrepreneurs everyday,” explains Sami Asikainen, founder of Radium CRM. “Those people who have built their business with their bare hands give really good suggestions, they really know what they need. If we have this, they can do that. One feature that we didn’t even think of on our own was that people wanted to add emails to deals specifically. That was a user that suggested that to us, he said ‘I want to tag this email as a part of this dealflow here.’ So we have really great suggestions.”

Radium CRM is built for small- to medium-size businesses and it functions unobtrusively, operating with a workflow that probably already exist in the company. Users don’t even really need to sign up; everything is already synced to Gmail.

“If you are a one-man show, you can do it all in Gmail. You don’t really need a CRM,” Asikainen told Techvibes. “As soon as you have two people… how do you do that? Let’s say I do the billing part of the company and the other guy does the sales, well, do I just forward my emails to him and hope he gets it all? Or do I use a task manager like Basecamp, or do I use this and that? Most of our users use Gmail, that’s what they live in. The CRM is what they need, but they don’t want to be inside the CRM 24/7. People want to use both.”

Simplicity and usability is what Radium CRM is trying to understand. The ideal tool is not one that has everything, but one that has the necessary features that doesn’t exhaust the users.

“We wanted to do voice over IP, fancy smancy database management and automatic matching of data and scrubbing and all that other stuff with contact data,” said Asikainen. “But the number one request from users when we asked them they say, ‘Make this note field easier to use’. People want to add tons of notes, they want to be able to edit it later and they want to be able to reassign it, comment on it and do mentions. ”

Radium CRM continues to learn from their users, with the objective of developing the perfect application for business management. In constant conversation, Radium CRM is bringing a new audience into their very own ecosystem.

Transitions are complicated for businesses, but when it is done effectively it can enhance the work life of the employees and the customers. In order to ease the move, Radium is learning all about the little details and the finding out what managers need and want in a world where most companies are understaffed and overworked.