Are you one of those people who cares deeply about what you do? Cares deeply about the people around you? And frankly just sick to death of the mediocrity that seems to be the accepted norm these days? Me too.
Why is this?
Why is it ok to say “ugh, the client won’t even notice, it’s ok if there’s a flaw on every single item”? Why is it ok to not care about the work you are producing and capture inaccurate data? Why is it ok to never meet your deadlines anymore? Why is it ok to not read what you were asked to do, and just do whatever you want not what you were asked to do? Why is it ok to leave things that are being used by many people broken because you can’t be bothered to do your job and get it fixed? Why is it ok to just ignore work instructions because you have your own agenda? Why is it ok to write a client’s name wrong when you can see the spelling in the email address?
I think this is true in just about every industry these days and it’s really starting to bother me. Don’t you realise what the knock-on effect of being like this is?
The people that do care either become doormats because they are the only ones that do anything, then everyone else completely sits back with the attitude of “don’t worry, X will do it, just don’t answer your phone”.
Or eventually the ones that do care get very disillusioned with the world, get exhausted with striving for excellence all the time in a sea of people that just could care less. Then the temptation to become like everyone else and also not care a hoot becomes extremely tempting. And so it becomes a vicious, self-destructing cycle.
In a company, you are systematically rotting it from the inside, which is going to be taken out on your clients, who are going to stop using your company, and you could end up retrenched because there’s not enough business. How many people could end up losing their jobs because you don’t care?
Your entire industry loses credibility and makes people more and more negative about it, resulting in more downward spirals. You might think you are just one person who couldn’t possibly be making a difference, but you are! Every day. Is it a positive or negative difference?
Where does it stop……..?
I get it that you might hate your job, we’ve all been there. You may not be able to just get up and leave right now, I totally get that. But does that give you mandate to be purposefully incompetent, uncaring, rude and confrontational? When do you stop blaming everyone except yourself for your situation and take some ownership for your actions – especially when you are in a services industry.
We are all part of a much bigger eco-system, what we do every single day for work matters! Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution? I’m not saying we have to be perfect, no-one is; we all make mistakes and get down with the world, but at least try to do your very best all the time. Be able to walk away with your head held high. You have full control over your work ethic. Don’t you want to feel good about what you’ve done for the day?
Ask yourself what kind of legacy you want to leave behind, and what you’re teaching to anyone who may be looking up to you. If you really hate what you do that much, change industries / jobs / towns / relationships / cars … you know you can, stop making excuses.
Thanks Jeroen! Too true, I can imagine it must be frustrating. And then when you do, you get labelled a complainer. I would rather be a complainer than complacent though.
100%, Great article ! Being a dutch working in SA, I really see this ‘attitude’ not only in business but also everywhere in daily life.. It’s frighteningly frustrating how little people actually say: “NO this is not acceptable” and act..
I had to Google that. 🙂
Love that last sentence David.
Doug, I had the same problem early on and (to use your example) accepted the fact that my own standards won’t let me build a Honda. It took me years to find a company that specialized in BMW solutions but it was defintely worth the time it took to look.
To use a crass but accurate catchphrase: “I refuse to lower my standards, so up yours”
I can answer your question with a question : Who is John Galt? When you can truly answer that , you will have the answer to your question.
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A rare breed indeed Doug. Well done on believing in personal excellence.
This clearyly articulates the source of a large majority of my frustration on a daily basis. Early in my career, someone told me that my biggest flaw was building a BMW when a Honda will do. There are certainly tradeoffs that need to be made in terms of delivery timeframes, resources and quality components. But when it comes to my personal commitment to deliver something on-time, with the highest quality possible…I will try to build a BMW every time.
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