Friday, September 30, 2011

Let's Pretend

I am certain that you have played the game 'let's pretend'.  If not, here are the rules:
  • you are provided with a scenario and you use your imagination to see what you would do in that situation...pretty easy.
So here goes.  You are the gold bear in the photo above.  You have just had your meal taken away from you by the brown bear.  As gold bear, you have worked hard to find and trap this fish, you actually had it in your jaw and then after a short struggle, it was gone.  What do you do?

Would you like me to put it in people terms?  You are working your butt off, more than 60 hours a week, less than 1 day off each week with little payroll and diminishing results because the market has tightened up.  You are struggling to make your bottom-line numbers - you can get there some months in dollars, some months in percent, but never exactly what the company is looking for because of the economic situation and new competitors in the marketplace, not to mention the unrealistic budgets and pie-in-the-sky promises to shareholders.  Now, your boss states that if you cannot come in on your numbers, save payroll and hit all operational targets, then your bonus (which you have received in varying degrees for 20+ years) is now not only in jeopardy, but in fact, gone.  What do you do?

Why are you working for these people?
Are you really happy here?

It sounds just awful, but unfortunately it is the grim reality for many right now.  And instead of finding ways to assist people in reaching goals, companies are turning to the 'brown bear' mentality and taking food out of their team member's mouths in hopes to inspire momentum.

No one ever learns or stays the course due to fear. Instead you will have employees (not team members, because who wants to be on your team if you treat them like this) looking for ways to construct their dismissal so that they can get a fat severence package from the brown bear....hoping that someone else is crazy enough to take their place.

So who are you?  Gold bear or brown bear?  What is your next step? 

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