Sunday, July 14th, 2013

EVERYBODY WANTS TO DO A GOOD JOB

PEOPLE REALLY DO WANT TO DO A GOOD JOB AT WORK

I cringe a little as I write that because I can hear the counter arguments coming at me.
“Most people just want their paycheck”
“Many people don’t care about the company–it’s just a job.”
“You don’t know so and so who stole, sexually harassed, undermined, had an affair, embezzled.”
“There will always be a few rotten potatoes.”

Well, yes I do.  
In fact, I had to fire quite a few.
And in the firing, often found what had gotten rotten at work or at home.
And it was a sorry loss.

But I also saw the hurt and lost potential of many who:

Learned they couldn’t trust top leadership’s words
Never had a review and who were hungry for a little feedback and recognition
Saw a glaring double standard between top leadership and the “rest of the company”
Were managed as if they were recalcitrant children
Became cynical as espoused values became a laughing stock
Lost hope as harshness became the response to tough economics
Began to think their loyalty to the company was foolish, not smart

And I was lucky enough to see the opposite.
I saw the x factor of commitment and energy when:

People were talked to straight
Company challenges were put on the table for all to solve
Tough action like down-sizing was done collaboratively
Values were created through behavior not words
Idealism wasn’t scorned as soft
Associates were given as much decision making impact as possible
Company direction made sense
Gains and losses were shared equally 
Work challenged the best in everyone

Don’t let a blind spot (or perhaps, better put–a callus) develop simply because times are tough and you live between a constant rock and a hard place.
Start by assuming people want to do good work for you.
Then the questions are different.
How do you release it?
How do you trust it?
How do you lean into this fact rather than deny it?

It’s a much healthier organizational stance with much more potential for
the x factor of achievement than the grim approach of thinking you have to tug behavior out of your people.






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