Tuesday, May 6, 2008

So much to discuss

Even though I haven't been able to get much more than a post every other week, the fact is, I have a lot to say. Life and companies change with the demands of consumers, who change with the demands of their customers at such a great clip these days that it not only is hard to keep up, but it is nearly impossible to WANT to keep up.

I'll bet everyone has one of those days when they dig their heels in and say "No, I won't do it." In fact, the older I get, the more I hear that little voice in my head. At some point, isn't enough just plain enough?

The answer is "absolutely not."

What makes business interesting has nothing to do with how much money you make or how much prestige is earned by being the biggest or the loudest or the fastest. The interesting thing is that, for those who want it, there is always something new to do, something new to learn and some incentive for doing it.

As a young man, I was confused about what I wanted to do with my life. Oh, I had aspirations, most of which had to do with being rich and successful (still do as a matter of fact) but the flood of opportunities and indecision led me to conclude that I had no clear idea as to what it was that really called me. I spent money on advisors, took the tests, tried the aptitude and psychological evaluations and learned one simple thing.

At some point, the psychologist asked me a simple question. "Do you want to be an employer or an employee?"

I pondered that for a long moment. And finally answered the question.

"You're always an employee. There really is no such thing as an employer, except the company you work for. Or the customers who buy from you."

And that was what I learned. It is also the one thing that I try to make clear to employees here. We are all beholden to one single employer. Our customers. Without them, we simply couldn't make it.
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