Who does not want to go help people? Try to improve other people’s lives? It is a rush to think that you have made a difference for someone. For me, the desire to have a successful company comes from the desire to have the ability to help others.
Many people lose that desire to be a servant. They get so caught up with this world’s troubles and turmoil they forget about their fellow man. They miss the signs of their neighbor who is hurting that needs an extra boost. My personal hope is giving the extra boost as anonymously as possible to not make them feel bad. Know they can rely on you in times of trouble, but they do not have to give accolades for what was done.
Another part of having a servant’s heart would be knowing we are the servants. Not the person who has to be continuously right and in charge. The person who can take a step back and evaluate the situation before charging in with guns a blazing.
It is not a competition. It is not even about the accolades. It is about us showing love toward others and doing what is right. A pay it forward attitude.
As I walk through this stage of my life, the idea of a servant’s heart has been present more frequently. For myself, I just hope and pray to have success where I can help even more people, and if I can do that without their knowledge, it is another big win for me.
The attitude of the politician. Trying to make it to the next level with doing the least amount of work. Schmoozing. Brown nosing. Sucking up.
I was never the best at this. I am cordial, friendly, and try to be a team player. I just never could get to the level of the ones who have mastered this art. Of course, those with the mastery of it usually did not do much in the way of work.
Many companies have an overabundance of these types in the higher rankings. You can usually tell, because they are the companies treading water. Not getting ahead, and by the grace of the hard workers in the lower ranks, able to stay afloat for just a little while longer.
I happened to be at a company with roughly 150 employees. We had the going joke in our area that the quickest way to get ahead in the company was being the secretary/receptionist. It was an amazing thing to witness. They got hired, and in a few months of working for the upper management, they get “trained” in an area of the company and out meeting with the clients. They got lots of leeway as we in the technical area feverishly tried to ensure they did not do the client harm and answered the client’s questions when they called in asking about something they were told.
Another example is I actually left a company when I got placed under one boss. Before coming to work for the company, he was actually fired for being dishonest by one of the Illinois governors who got jailed for having crooked practices when he was the secretary of state. Got fired for being dishonest, hired by the owner due to one of his card playing buddies, came to work and make my boss, adios to me. I got out of there. End of the story, he got fired within a year after I left for blatantly lying to his bosses.
We all have to play politics to a point, but when it is all you can do, it is hard to contribute to the good of the company. We all want to make money for the company, because a rising tide lifts all boats. Unfortunately, too much politics and politicians can be detrimental.
The attitude of the martyr pops up frequently in the business environment. The person on a white horse who riding in at the last possible second to save the day. All would be lost without them.
May favorite example of the martyr was years ago when I got called in the middle of the night. We had worked on this issue until we came to a point of rebooting the server. I jumped off the call, threw on clothes, and headed into the office. On my way, I called the guy I had been working with to get a quick status. When I made it to the office, someone there was on the phone with the gentleman I had been talking too. I stated “We have an issue with server XYZ, and I have been working on it with Bob.” I was immediately informed the person knew about it, and they had been working on it for 2 hours with Bob. I responded that was funny, since I spoke with Bob 20 minutes ago on my drive in. For two weeks, I had to hear how he saved the day due to getting involved.
We do not have to be important. We just have to do best job we can. We all have had to deal with the disconnected people who get involved at the last moment and tell you that everything is wrong. Great! Most of the time they have no idea what the client’s demands were throughout the process and convolutes the project.
Goes along with the story of the gentleman asking Jesus how to serve God better. Be the best we can be at our given profession and not heeding the martyrs who must come in and “save the day” and explain all the reasons why you messed up the job without them.
The can do attitude of many of us in the realm of business. Going above and beyond. Trying to soar like an eagle.
My favorite quote from a Ken Blanchard seminar on managing in the early 90’s was it is hard to fly like an eagle when you are getting beat up by a bunch of ducks. That was one amazing seminar as I was fresh in my career.
That is the disheartening thing about the can do attitude of some. We have seen it in the “real world” a lot. Guy comes in ready to make a difference in the world. Then he hits the bureaucracy which crushes his spirit and drains his life force.
Many of us have hit that life sucking point in our careers, but we get back up, dust ourselves off, and proceed on knowing we will take the bureaucratic beating again.
Going back to the seminar and showing the ducks in action. I was actually in the front row with much of our department. My boss and one of the leads happened to be just a few seats away during the first session. I always thought it was fascinating to watch them go buy the books in the lobby, but they chose to sit in the back near the door in the afternoon session to “get out of there easily”.
Needless to say, my days with them did not last with their duck-ish leadership style. Since then, I tried to remain an eagle and take the beatings of the ducks.