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The desire for success in business drives us to work long and hard to attain our goals. We spend enormous numbers of hours working on projects, staying in our stores and offices, keeping in touch with clients, co-workers, and vendors. The abundance of communication tools allows us, for better or worse, to converse in our cars, on the street, practically anywhere.
We have the ability to communicate with people around the world and around the clock. And keep our eyes on what our competitors are doing from sunrise to sunrise, and that's not a typo. This new lifestyle enables us to take advantage of so many positive things in our global society. However it has a huge negative side as well. We are constantly standing on the precipice of being poster children for the "No Rest For The Weary Society" and that's extremely dangerous.
When it all comes down to it, what do we want out of our business lives?
Certainly everyone wants his or her business or career to be a success monetarily. However there is more to it than that. We all or almost all, have additional needs, things that fulfill deep and overriding factors in our lives, the desire for contentment and enjoyment in our business as well as private lives are basic to each of us.
Study after study reinforces the fact that the most important factors in our business lives are a feeling of enjoyment in our careers, an understanding that we're listened to with respect and appreciation, and a need for lightness and camaraderie in the workplace.
I would venture to say that the large majority of us, when faced with the choice of taking a $100,000 a year position filled with anxiety, stress and long hours or a $75,000 a year position with a minimal degree of those factors, would almost certainly opt for the second option.
Money is usually not the first item on our list. Granted it's very important but normally given the wrong status by the uninformed hiring community.
The ability to keep business light whenever possible is as important to our emotional selves as is the financial bottom line.
Recently while conducting a seminar I posed the $100,000, $75,000 choice question to a group of corporate managers. Every one of them chose the latter.
Lightness in business is not just telling an occasional joke, it's a pervasive feeling of "wow, I really like working here, it's fun."
That feeling should come straight out of the corporate culture. The philosophy and values of the organization should reflect a respect for the people who work in it that is more than a periodic raise or an added health care benefit. It should also include the knowledge that you can speak with your "boss" and receive non-judgmental feedback, and give non-judgmental feedback as well, with complete confidence that there will be no retribution.
That factor alone opens up the organization to creative ideas, and new insights. It won't be long until word gets out on the street that your organization is a great place to work. And in this competitive hiring market that's a big plus!
It should also be noted that the feeling of lightness in your organization will also be picked up by your clients and customers as well. Now don't get confused between lightness and not caring or sloppiness or even negligence, they aren't even on the same planet. You can be light and extremely proficient and effective.
Lightness also includes being able to laugh.
Think about how much laughter adds to our well being.
Who hasn't had a hardy laugh and realized how much they "needed that."
Even your mistakes can sometimes be turned around, laughed about and used to your advantage.
In 1970 I had just begun my career as a dispensing optician.
There I was