Sunday, March 1, 2015
I felt empowered last week. I quit my job.
It wasn't because I had come into money and don't need to work.
It wasn't that I couldn't earn a living where I was.
It wasn't because I didn't like my coworkers.
It wasn't because I mistakenly thought retirement would start early.
It was because the owner of that fairly successful company creates an environment that is negative for practically everyone that works for him.
As an unmarried, childless, introspective guy, there is no reason to put up with any nonsense at work (or anywhere!). I have no one depending on me for anything, so it allows for more freedom of choice than many other folks have. Sometimes I wonder if it's TOO MUCH and allows me to make some bad choices.... Oh well, those are usually better stories anyway. Moving on....
One of the options we ALL have is to find joy in what we do for a living. It IS essential that we love we what we do and who we do it for. Although many people hate their occupation or supervisor, having a good atmosphere at work can help you deal with any negativity that may challenge you at home. You won't snap at the kids, kick the dog, or generally be miserable if you have pride in your career. We all have times we are caught up in a situation that tests our resolve, and banking as much good energy as you can will help get you through.
Not only is it good for our spirit, it is good for the quality of work we do. It's natural that if we enjoy the job, the odds of us doing it great are pretty good too. Normally we like what we are good at, even if there are deadlines, high expectations, and long hours. All that CAN be done with a smile..... and without medication!
Joy at work also leads to being proud of where you clock-in and your role in the company. This doesn't happen without a great leader that recognizes the value of the people they have behind him or her. Most places of business NEED more than the owner to function. The smart owners know this and motivate everyone in a positive way. Without the success of the team, the owner will not maximize his own.... if his or her ego doesn't get in the way.
Most of the enjoyment one has ANYWHERE is the amount of respect that is given. Whether it's the grocery store, the restaurant, or the gentleman's club, the thing we most remember is how we were treated. If it's good, we want to return. If it's bad we might want to burn the place down. It's human nature. This is what was completely lacking at my previous employ. As I was giving my notice to leave, the one point I wanted to bring out was how he treated almost everyone, on the payroll or not.
Badly.... demeaning.... insulting.... you could use a number of words to describe the relationship with his staff. The business is successful despite this condition and I pointed out that, as good as he might perceive it to be, it could have been so much better if he would treat people with respect. I'm sure it went in one ear and out the other, but I had to say something for those I left behind. They will still have to deal with the abuse. Unless they, too, leave for much greener grass....
I can't understand how someone smart enough to have built an organization up from nothing, to have seen and I'm sure experienced this type of leadership and it's results, and to have hired every one of these human beings, why would he choose to go down this path? I just shake my head as I walk away.
He brings chaos and negativity to any of the three locations he visits. Micro-managing, talking down, and generally bringing a cloud of negativity to their doorstep doesn't help morale in the least. When he leaves, the exhale can be felt all around these folks. I understand most of us need direction and a plan, but there is a much more positive way to get that accomplished.
Loving your job is not always about how many digits are on your paycheck. Feeling like an important part of the group, getting a pat on the back when you do good, and caring enough to talk about a mistake made and how it can be avoided in the future are all a part of our image of work. Without the compassion of the leader, none of these things probably happen, and I'm sure the staff will only see a taskmaster and not someone they want to go the extra mile for.... or administer CPR if needed.
Who would WANT to work there? Who would want to STAY there?
In my opinion, a small business that has ownership involved should be the most pleasant organization to be involved with. No red-tape to slog through, no focus groups to interview, no worthless meetings to attend.... decisions can be MADE, staff can be happy, and things will get done. Simple.
If you work for a good man or woman, you WANT to do all you can, the best you can, for as long as it takes to get the job done. You will be proud of your part in the success of the whole and I bet your outlook on everything will be a little rosier.
If you don't have that at YOUR work, why are you still there????