September 6, 2006
Impatience, greed come at a price
Cutting into lines has become routine at the grocery, post
office and at the movie theater. Telephone conversations
that should be private are conducted publicly by cell phone
in hotel lobbies, airports and on public transportation.
What has happened to social sensitivity and interpersonal
Some people, young and old, choose to behave like spoiled
brats. They come across as impatient and greedy, way
too often. They use lame excuses, or none at all, to
barge ahead, being loud and obtrusive.
In this column, we have addressed selfishness, rudeness
and the fact that one's ego is not really one's amigo.
Twenty years ago, a client asked me and our firm, Dimension
Five Consultants, to summarize the mental and operational
tendencies of managers most likely to succeed, longer-term.
Our conclusions spawned the title for a book, which
remains in our files, highlighting traits that often
derail those who would like to be effective leaders but probably won't. The title
we chose was "A lot! Now! & Cash!" It comes down to three questions:
- What do you want? "A lot!"
- When do you want it? "Now!"
- In what form would you like it? "Cash!"
Upwardly mobile managers choose to earn rewards, not
demand them. Effective managers understand the team to
put team achievement above individual accomplishment.
They also don't focus rigidly on pay, but instead meld
economic needs with career fulfillment. Winners will
not run roughshod over others, destroying morale and
putting the organization at risk.
A 40-year shiner of shoes at the San Jose airport recently
summarized the causes for the business scandals of the
past few years. He already had provided keen observations
about corporate leadership misbehaviors, both legal and
moral, and the destructive economic trends they were
fueling in earlier conversations with me. You may read
about his insights in our 2004 book, "Integrity
Matters," pages 102 and 103. "Root causes of
the corporate collapses and losses of pensions for hundreds
and thousands of victims," he said, "were and
are impatience and greed."
Integrity and leadership effectiveness, including constructive
citizenship, are not simply about immediate gratification
and recognition. They also must include personal and professional
fulfillment, in the long run.