I read this post by Brandon over on the Black Lullaby today and it made me feel all old and mature, the mature thing doesn't happen very often but the old thing is an increasingly frequent occurrence. I don't really know him, we've bumped into each other a couple of times but I'm not even aware if he reads here.
His post touched a chord with me and I wanted to pass on my thoughts.
Mr Lullaby, or perhaps I can call him Brandon, asks if he's vicious enough for life in the corporate world, more specifically in the Sri Lankan advertising world. He continues:
"How much more manipulative do we need to be to keep hanging?
How much more absurd to we need to get to defend ourselves?
How much more vicious do we need to be to make sure we stay alive?"
I wanted to tell Mr L that I'm a firm, many would say naive, believer in the power of good over evil, of the "what goes around comes around" thing.
Many people enter the business world with preconceptions that they have to be a bastard to succeed, that nice guys finish last, that looking after number one is the way to be the best. Well, if that works for them then so be it. But it doesn't work for me, I'm comfortable with that.
Anyone in a business environment has to do things that they don't feel comfortable with, that can be challenging and is often part of the fun and excitement. If I wanted a comfortable job I'd certainly not be doing what I currently do. We all have to sack people, discipline them and often argue with them, but we can do it with a clear conscience if we believe in the end goal and that we're doing things for the right reasons.
I've lost count of the number of people I've had to dismiss over the years but I can honestly say that there was only one sacking that I ever enjoyed and that was one too many. It was childish ego in me that enjoyed it, that immature thing that pokes its head out sometimes. The chap started to shout at me across the warehouse floor, questioning something and sounding aggressive, so I just told him to go. It was the right thing to do but I couldn't resist the temptation to do it in front of all the others and make a bit of a example of him.
I digress, but my point is that we all have to do things that we don't enjoy now and again. My answer to Brandon, for what it's worth, is that my choice was to hang on to my values and principles, to behave as I wanted and want, to live by my standards, not the standards of others.
None of us "need" to be manipulative or absurd or vicious to succeed.
We only have to make a choice.
The cream ALWAYS rises to the top, sometimes it just takes a long time.
I humbly apologise for the sermon.