I’ve held many positions within organizations – manager, customer service front-line, running an owner’s million dollar business, project manager, contractor, and employee left to my own devices. Every once in a while this quote from Werner Erhard comes into my consciousness:
I could always tell when an organization was in good shape. I could tell because the manager of the organization would always be talking about how great the people in the organization were. If the manager was talking about anything other than how great people in the organization were, I knew that the organization was in bad shape.
The way to manage an organization successfully is to manage it in such a way that you can be proud of the people with whom you are working. You have to find a way to interact with the people with whom you are working in a way that makes you proud of them. – Werner Erhard
I love his perspective because it’s the truth. It makes total sense. I’ve worked for many organizations, some really big corporations like GE and HP, some medium sized organizations like New England Power, and Sainsbury’s, and some smaller companies working for the owner. I’ve even worked for Landmark – which was Werner Erhard and Associates back in the day.
Lots of incredible experiences, none of which I would change. I know the difference between being valued as an employee and being seen as just another body. One thing I don’t like is being treated as a number. I give 100% at my jobs and when working for someone else, as in contributing to making their business a success – I want to be recognized in that success – a “Thank You” goes a long way.
I don’t know too many people who love what they do – and if you’re one of them – bless you. I’ve had jobs I loved and thrived in. This is the ultimate. Most people today are working to live – it’s been like this for years now. Companies are cutting back and closing down. Billions of profit isn’t enough? It’s become an excuse to cut numbers of employees and their benefits. “Sorry – we can no longer afford you.”
The company removes free tea and coffee. (Like that’s going to help)
It’s stupid business because it’s backwards. When I was a manager, I spoke with the people on the front line. They’re the ones with the ideas on how to run a company smoother – starting with better, sleeker, more efficient customer service. You’re only as good as your tools and if top brass have never worked your job, or spoken to you about your ideas, chances are they have no clue. The problem is they make the decisions without consulting the people who are the most effected.
Backwards for sure. The tools become useless, the employees get frustrated, sick time increases, health suffers, morality suffers and employees become apathetic drones – no one cares. Their ideas and enthusiasm dry up and days are spent counting down towards retirement. Everyone suffers – even the company whether they know it or not.
I’ve noticed a very interesting phenomena that occurs naturally in these situations – people sharing the same suffering join together in the trenches. Amongst themselves, they start to care about and look out for each other. Almost like a healthy gang – if you will. A camaraderie and bond is established. People find a way to care – it’s our basic nature. Unfortunately, in this situation, it’s born from a common enemy.
This agenda is used a lot against people on global scales. They know people band together when a common enemy is introduced. It’s a way to take advantage of something so inherent in human beings.
It’s always been my belief that if companies take care of their employees and see them as assets, they would thrive. Just as Werner’s quote states, being proud of your employees goes a very long way to success.
So why is it so backwards? Most corporations are not about the people, they’re not about caring. Trust me, if you feel like you’re a number – then you are. If you feel like no one listens – then they’re not. People know when they’re valued and respected, and they know when they’re being taken advantage of. It’s horrible to watch people so eager to contribute and share their ideas be reduced down to a drone.
These companies won’t change how they operate, this is dead-end thinking. You can’t make them care no matter how much you suffer.
Now-a-days you are considered lucky to have a steady job, never mind you are doing the work of two or more people, you have something. Companies are taking advantage of the employees they have and making then do a lot more for less. They know they can get away with this because people want to keep their jobs for survival. It’s that basic now for so much of the population.
There are two solutions I’ve come up with if you find yourself in a situation as this:
- Quit and find another job. I’ve done this. Or,
- Do it for you. Do your job with as much integrity and respect as you can muster. Do it for your family too if you have one, make something up that is inspiring in some way. Turn it around so you aren’t a victim of some stupid company who will never care about you – turn it around so you are thriving within your story, your reason for being there and what you can contribute to the people around you. Create something to live for. Take back your power and see what happens.
Get out of jail free.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. – Viktor Frankl
Find something to live for. Make it up if you have to, take your time to ponder this so it’s meaningful.
I love Werner’s work and am proud to say I worked in a program of his for three years. It was amazing and transformative. I have other posts where I share more about transformational technology and how it has impacted my life! See below:
- Transformation of Fear: Moving From Fear into Action and Engagement: An Account of Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking
- Werner speaks on compassion: Finding Your Humanity in Times of Stressful and Uncertain World Politics
- Werner speaks on being authentic: Authenticity: Being True to Yourself is the Greatest Gift
- On transformation and presentation: A Long-Awaited Change is Coming: Don’t be Surprised if Your Life Starts Shifting in a Powerful Way!
- 5. Accountability and personal experience as a 6 Day Advanced Course staff member: How Paying Attention to Your Words can Increase Your Life Force and Vitality
- Moving forward from the future: Creating a Future of Possibility
- The shape of organizations: Let’s Cut Their Tea and Coffee – That’ll Surely Help the Bottom Line!