There is a (relatively) universal view of CFOs and Finance & Accounting folks in general as pure OVERHEAD – part of the necessary costs of running a business. In my 25 years as a CFO, this was the assumption that others had about my role that I liked the least – BY FAR! So much […]Continue reading
Attitudes and Success
“Everything can be taken from a man except one thing, the last of human freedoms: to choose his attitude in any set of circumstances, to choose his own path” ~ Viktor Frankl
If we want vital organizations that generate value for society, we have to start with each one of us, choosing our attitude to create value and generate an environment where it is worth going, every day.
A society of organizations
We live in a society of organizations. Many of our physical, relational or spiritual needs or desires – from food to self-fulfilment – are met by organizations with diverse missions – profit or not. Therefore, the quality of the organizations of a society defines its quality of life. Improving the quality of organizations thus becomes a key element of well-being and development of a society. On the other hand, in essence, work is a key aspect in the development of people and also in the construction of society itself. same.
There is a widespread misunderstanding that work is a facet of life that is separate from the rest of social activity. Something like that organizations are places where we spend some time and then go to our “real” social lives. But the reality is very different because we are likely to spend more time in an organization, interacting with co-workers, than with any other group of people. It is there where much of our social life will take place. That should be, then, a place worth going to.
Work should not be a “martyrdom” but a place where people go to develop a project with their colleagues (peers, superiors, reports, advisors, suppliers, clients, etc.). Where they will develop an attractive, exciting, enjoyable environment that is demanding and challenging at the same time. Where people go to develop not only professionally, but personally. A place where everyone feels they are part of the same team. Gonzalo Noya explains it very well in his book “Something Bigger. The power of the team to achieve the impossible”: “Being part of a team and being proud of it satisfies that primordial human need for recognition and belonging. Pride lies in two aspects: the achievement of results and that sense of basic harmony that human beings need to feel “at home”. In a place with other human beings with whom we share values and face challenges. Where we are passionate about a common purpose, where we trust each other because we know that our colleagues “will be there” and where we enjoy their company. A team is about that. But beware, this is not a “club of friends”. The results rule, they are key, they are a fundamental goal. But it must also be a fundamental goal of organizations, to become that place where every morning we go to develop professionally and personally with our colleagues, all of us who belong to that organization”.
Organizations then, beyond the services or products they deliver, have a key role in society in another dimension. They are that place where we can satisfy that basic human need for belonging and recognition.
Beyond the intrinsic motivations of each one, the organization should be that place where work is not just “work” they can feel happy. But all this, who depends on?
“Paleless” Organizations = “Paleless” People
An organization without pales is not an organization without problems. Nor is it an organization where everyone sings company songs and lives in perfect harmony, without arguments. There will be good days and others. What distinguishes an organization without pales is the individual and collective feeling that what each one does and what is done by everyone is useful because it creates value for all stakeholders, starting with customers, who are the reason to be from the organization.
An organization is, neither more nor less, a group of people. People who can develop organizations to their full potential want to give their full potential. They may be very different, but they have four attitudes common to all. They are positive: they see opportunities, they are passionate about those challenges and they don’t waste time complaining. They are team players: they do what is necessary for the team, they are there to help and support, they enjoy the achievements of others as their own and feel the happiness of the team’s achievement as one of the most beautiful things in their life. They live improving everything: they surpass themselves every day, they enjoy the demand for excellence and they show adaptability in the face of inevitable changes. They are responsible people, who can be trusted because they make things happen and stand up for their results.
People who live these attitudes like to work with colleagues who also live them. They do not tolerate the complainers or the negative ones who put spokes in the wheel, nor the individualists, who are there only for themselves, nor those who do not want to change anything and less themselves because they live in their comfort zone, no wanting to understand the inevitable transformation of everything. Nor to those who never take charge of anything, who are full of excuses and who, if something happens that does not go well, find who or what to blame.
Because not all people are willing to pay the price that excellence requires, nor go to create, every day, an attractive place so that work is not “work”.
What I can do? Live, infect, guard
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t…you’re probably right” ~Henry Ford.
Beyond new technologies, competitors and trends that will inevitably change faster and faster, people without pales are the ones who create, develop and sustain vital organizations.
If you want these attitudes in your environment, you can do three things: the first is to live these attitudes on a daily basis, demonstrating them in all your behaviors. That is the minimum, because we cannot demand from others what we are not.
Secondly, they must have the vocation to spread these attitudes. Being an example of attitudes is already a form of contagion. However, there is much more to do. We can encourage colleagues to help sustain the effort.
And finally, each person can become a custodian of attitudes, that is, face situations with colleagues who may be doing the opposite. This dimension has its deepest roots in the attitude of responsibility. It is the obligation to demand from others what is necessary for the good of the team.