Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Think Like a Peon

Great article today in Fast Company called, "Think Like a Peon." http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/94/5things.html

I wish I'd have thought of that title.

Anyway, it's subtitled,

"Five tips for managers who've forgotten what it's
like to be at the bottom of the ladder."

Thought-provoking, especially if you've lived through some of the jobs I've held:

*Weed-puller (pulling weeds from the cotton field)
*Door-to-door-appointment-setter-for-the-salesman (yep)
*Truck loader
*Fork-Lift driver
*Dish washer

(Ok, it was a summer job in high school, but I thought it was cool to paint the bleachers at the football stadium. This summer-job also included other mind-numbing tasks such as scraping gum from underneath the school desks, scrubbing/mopping/waxing floors, and digging ditches).

Even if most of these jobs were related to time spent in high-school/college, there are lessons to be learned if I'll allow myself the opportunity to "remember." To remember what it's like to work in a job that I didn't like, and, to remember what it's like working for someone whose life-purpose was to make work miserable for everybody else - especially those at the bottom of the ladder.

I like what this articles conveys - it reminds me of a story one of my college professors once told about the past President of a University who would get a job as a garbage collector each summer (incognito of course); said it helped him stay in touch with his roots.

If you've picked up some "bad manager" habits over the years, spend a little time remembering your roots. Unlearn what you've learned over the years from other bad managers - be different - be a leader whose purpose it is to serve.

Even Yoda agrees with me:

"You must unlearn what you have learned." "Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will..."

Well said, scruffy-looking nerf-herder.

No comments: