I’ve heard the phrase, “don’t take it personally, it’s just business” too many times to remember. “You didn’t get the contract, we can’t afford you anymore, we’re putting the account up for review.” Guess what? I always take it personally. Why? Because the phrase “just business” is “just” a cop out for not connecting. It’s the easy way out where we don’t have to think about or (gasp) FEEL how the decisions we’re making (or not making, as the case may be) will impact the human being in front of us. It’s a convenient and tidy piece of phraseology that vacuum cleans our dirty, guilty conscience.
We spend the majority of our waking hours as adults working. Depending on how far up or down the food chain we are, we may work more than one job. We may work more than two jobs. We may work every weekend. We may pay other people to watch our children while we work to pay for those children. We define ourselves by “what” we do, what we work on day to day. Hi my name is Phyllis and I’m a ______. And studies have shown that even those of us fortunate enough to have only one job, often hate it! 65% of adults surveyed in a recent Gallop Poll said they felt disengaged with their work. That is crazy! I get that we can’t all be filmmakers or video game testers or top CEO’s of social media companies but I do think we all deserve to have a better relationship with our work. Work that’s more fulfilling, with more supportive policies and practices and that’s more aligned to how human beings live healthy happy lives.
I have been thinking for a long time now, that it’s time to reinvent the world. To find new, better ways of doing the things that we do and I don’t think there’s any better place to start than the way we work together. If we could move just 10% of the people who feel undervalued, under paid, and emotionally drained out of the “unhappy, disengaged, and unfulfilled” column — how many of us would be better parents? Better partners? More productive employees? More creative bosses? How many our communities would have more engaged citizens, more inspirational leaders?
Business IS about people. Business IS personal. If it’s not about the relationships we build and protect, it’s not about anything. I believe business can be about kindness and impact and heart just as much as it is about the bottom line, protocol, and efficiency. I believe that we have an opportunity in this generation to shift the paradigm and reinvent the world of business in more human terms.