Most of my life I have had jobs where I worked for people I felt were nowhere near as smart as I am. That is not to say I’m bragging that I’m some kind of genius. Instead I would argue that many of my former bosses were dullards.
According to Rick Newman, in an article posted in Yahoo News, “Why most employers aren’t like Starbucks and Costco,” most corporations view their workforce as a cost rather than those that consider employees an investment. As is obvious, those that see their employees as a cost are more likely to view them with contempt and mistrust.
We see lots of ads on TV that tell us our community needs and has developed entrepreneurs who are innovative, who look for ways to “do things better,” more efficient—faster. But the reality is those who want this stuff in their own employees are more likely to be those who lack innovation. They lack creativity. They are short sited and they think “inside the box” as well as resenting those who have the ability to think outside the box. These are the bosses we will hear saying “that’s how we always did it”…”the people who designed this are much smarter than we are”…”what makes you think you are smarter than the guy who designed this method?”…”That is (or is not) what the book says to do.”…”just follow the rules.”…etc.
Quite often those who can’t really do much are put in charge of things. Those who suck up to leadership…those who follow all the rules all the time…those who are predictable…they are put in charge. Quite often they are the corporate dullards. They are short sided and lack any creativity that is required to improve the way things are done. They don’t rock the boat. They just keep doing the same things the same way. They do not have people skills, but rule through threats and bullying.
Just as our present day politicians are driven by corruption and greed, corporate rulers are driven by a need to advance themselves anyway they can and at anyone else’s expense. It is a dog eat dog world in the private sector and no one knows that better than the smucks that end up telling us how to do our jobs.
According to Newman’s article:
“The number of companies who treat employees as an investment is pretty slim,” says Lee Dyer, a professor at Cornell University’s ILR School. “When a company like Starbucks invests in its people, the reason it gets so much attention is because it’s such an anomaly.”
…. The few companies that do make a point of treating workers better than average have a few things in common. First, they typically distinguish themselves in the marketplace through quality, service or some attribute other than low prices. That makes it important to have loyal, personable employees who make a good impression on customers and maintain quality control throughout the ranks. Starbucks, for instance, clearly doesn’t woo customers through discounts. Instead, it emphasizes a pleasant experience in its stores, which tend to draw businesspeople and others willing to pay $4 or more for a cup of coffee. “If you’re in the business of touching customers every day, you want a workforce that’s loyal and in a positive mood,” says Mike Van Ham, a principal with Buck Consultants.
The rest of the article focuses on what the good bosses do. So I felt it was up to me to remind people and explain what traits it takes to be an unsuccessful boss. It would seem that corporate America would want to follow the more successful methods that Starbucks follows. But they don’t. One of the mysteries of life is how a system so dominated by dullards can continue to survive.
Pix by bitchback.we-enhance.com.