Philosophy

 

 

Whether it's a philosophy, a mission statement, a key principle or any one of the other euphemisms currently in vogue for an individual or collective guiding doctrine, it matters much less what you call it and much more what you do with it. Is it a slogan on a t-shirt? A brushed metal sign in the atrium? Is it the way we say we do things? Or is it the way others would say we do things?

 

For me, my philosophy is a guiding principle for work and life. It revolves around giving someone value in exchange for their respect.

 

As a young squad leader in the US Navy I was taught that people may obey a rank or a badge, but they will only follow what they respect. And respect must be earned. You have to make yourself worthy of the respect of others.

 

Later, as a freshly-minted manager at Wachovia Bank, I learned that managing a large group of people involves a great deal of manipulation and coercion. What makes it management is when the manipulating and coercing is intended to motivate  employees toward a goal that is good for them and/or good for the company (i.e., both of us). If the manipulating and coercing is intended to motivate the employees toward a goal that is only good for me, then it is just manipulating and coercing.

 

Combining these two lessons taught me that when someone respects me enough to follow me, I owe them some value in return. That value is the promise that I will not manipulate or coerce them.

 

I think this principle also applies to my work ethic. When someone respects me enough to put me on their team or have me do work for them, I believe I owe them something in return. That is usually a commitment to do the very best job I can. I would like to believe that others would say that's the way I do things.

 

 

 

 

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Philosophy

 

 

Whether it's a philosophy, a mission statement, a key principle or any one of the other euphemisms currently in vogue for an individual or collective guiding doctrine, it matters much less what you call it and much more what you do with it. Is it a slogan on a t-shirt? A brushed metal sign in the atrium? Is it the way we say we do things? Or is it the way others would say we do things?

 

For me, my philosophy is a guiding principle for work and life. It revolves around giving someone value in exchange for their respect.

 

As a young squad leader in the US Navy I was taught that people may obey a rank or a badge, but they will only follow what they respect. And respect must be earned. You have to make yourself worthy of the respect of others.

 

Later, as a freshly-minted manager at Wachovia Bank, I learned that managing a large group of people involves a great deal of manipulation and coercion. What makes it management is when the manipulating and coercing is intended to motivate  employees toward a goal that is good for them and/or good for the company (i.e., both of us). If the manipulating and coercing is intended to motivate the employees toward a goal that is only good for me, then it is just manipulating and coercing.

 

Combining these two lessons taught me that when someone respects me enough to follow me, I owe them some value in return. That value is the promise that I will not manipulate or coerce them.

 

I think this principle also applies to my work ethic. When someone respects me enough to put me on their team or have me do work for them, I believe I owe them something in return. That is usually a commitment to do the very best job I can. I would like to believe that others would say that's the way I do things.