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Weirdos in the Workplace: The New Normal--Thriving in the Age of the Individual

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Weirdos in the Workplace: The New Normal--Thriving in the Age of the Individual

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  • Copyright 2005
  • Dimensions: 6" x 9"
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-204482-X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-204482-0

This is the eBook version of the printed book. If the print book includes a CD-ROM, this content is not included within the eBook version.

“The author has hit on something here; particularly the fact that it is high time we quit thinking that treating everyone the same is somehow fair. Like it or not, the realities uncovered in this book are just that...real! And if you plan to be a significant player in the workplace of the future, I suggest you take them seriously, because your success depends on it. As John says, ‘As goes the world, so goes the workplace.’”
—Richard Irwin, President and CEO, IntegraCare Corporation
“John captures a refreshing, winning formula in a practical, simple context to leverage weirdness into creativity and innovation, the core of sustainable competitive advantage and success. Rejoice in and celebrate our weirdos!”
—James E. Hoffman, Jr., President, Catalyst Consultants, LLC, and the CEO Forum of Pittsburgh
“To hear John Putzier tell it, there are so many ‘weirdos in the workplace’ that you’re almost weird if you’re...not. But if you’re a manager, don’t let how weird someone is distract you from what really matters—how well they’re performing. Here’s help for jumping to the right conclusions about people.”
—Maureen Anderson, Host, “The Career Clinic®” radio program
“This book gives a dose of medicine to cure the ‘paradigm bug’ that plagues most of us in the business world. The author takes complex situations and concepts and boils them down to their bare essence. I just wish I could have him by my side when they happen to me! I guess having this book is the next best thing.”
—Mark A. Treat, Client Services Organization Development, Acxiom Corporation, CMTII Group
“Putzier has nailed the American paradox: the tension between individuality and the need for organized group effort. His decision-making and problem-solving tools help to resolve this classic cultural conflict: the value of ‘weird’ thinking, diversity, and individuality pushing the bounds of what is normal, versus the utility of social norms in groups. His book is a primer for designing organizations, departments, or teams to maximize off-center behavior. This balance, already a rare one, will increase in importance as work becomes delocalized, cross-disciplinary, and global. This book provides basic knowledge for any company committed to innovation or excellence—or just competitive advantage.”
—Margaret J. King, Ph.D., Director, The Center for Cultural Studies & Analysis, American Creativity Association

Surviving and Thriving in the Age of the Individual

One employee always wears the same outfit to work, another talks to herself all day, another moonlights as a stripper, another has fierce body odor, and still another adorns his cubicle with hateful messages about his boss. As a manager, what should you do about such behavior? The best answers aren’t obvious! Your most innovative and productive people are often your strangest, and while weirdness can be rooted in brilliance, it can also be a real annoyance that serves no purpose.

Like it or not, as modern culture embraces the individual, weirdos—anyone different from you!—become more commonplace. In Weirdos in the Workplace, top human resources consultant John Putzier explains how managers can harness the natural weirdness often found in high performers at every level, while curbing behavior that’s disruptive. Putzier presents 32 fascinating, real-world case studies to illustrate the legal, human resources, and business ramifications of unusual behavior in the workplace, and which solutions are most effective.

This book explains how to

  • Manage unconventional people by understanding why they behave as they do, and what to do about it
  • Migrate toward a high-performing organization built around the individual, and foster an environment that attracts, motivates, and retains the best and brightest
  • Tap your own natural weirdness and find your niche by integrating your abilities, interests, and the market

Weirdos in the Workplace is for every manager, human resources professional, or coworker who deals with unorthodox employees and their behaviors. This book also helps you maximize your performance and value by recognizing your own inner weirdo.

Sample Content

Table of Contents



1. How Did We Get Here, and Where Are We Going?

As Goes the World, So Goes the Workplace.

The Age of the Organization Man (Stifling).

The Age of Diversity (Tolerating).

The Age of the New Economy (Accepting).

The Age of the Individual (Rejoicing!).

2. Individuality from Soup to Nuts.

Blue Suit Bob.

A Boy Named Sue.

A Boy Named Sue (Part 2).

The Devil Made Me Do It!

Freedom from Religion?

Minimum Coverage (Part 1).

Minimum Coverage (Part 2).

Hoof-in-Mouth Hal.

If You Want the Job Done Right!

Al Naturale.

Al Naturale (Part 2).

Chatty Cathy.

Walking Art.

Somebody's Got to Do It!

What's It to Ya?

Abused and Confused.

Abused and Confused (Part 2).

Got Milk?

Quid Pro Quo Pro (AKA Tit for Tat).

When Perception Ain't Reality.

Ticks & Twitches.

Public Affairs.

Wanna Buy Some Cookies?

Carpal Tunnel Crapola.

Is it Work, or is it Play.com?

The X-pense Account.

The Two-Year Head Cold.

The Customer is Not Always Right?

Pets are People Too.

Helen the Hypochondriac.

Human Billboards.

Long Live the Confederacy!

System Tester Sam.

Otto versus Oblivious.

Feng Shui Phoebe.

Circadian Charlie.

3. What's IN with High Performers?






IN Conclusion.

4. Tools and Techniques to Change Others, Organizations, and Yourself.

Behavioral Change Map 139

Organizational Change Map.


Chapter 5: Conclusions and Universal Truths.


Universal Truths.

About the Author.




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