Inspiration

Would You Be Friends With Your Company?

Photo by Brian Y. under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license

Would you be friends with Kristen Stewart? What about your company – would you be friends with your company?

I’m guessing you knew your answer to the Kristen Stewart question right away (either that or you had to google Kristen Strewart).

You probably had to think about the company question a little harder. But why? You don’t even know Kristen (I’m assuming). And your answer to the first question is your own assumption. But you know your company. You’ve spent a lot of time with it (or her, or him, or whatever).

Let’s find your answer to that question.

Your Company

Step 01: Personify your company. Go ahead. You can even give it/him/her a face in your mind.

Done? Good. Now let’s examine our fake person for their core beliefs and values.

Values

Your company probably has a list of values published somewhere. If you don’t know, ask someone. Do your personal values match up with your company’s?

Definition of “Leadership”

I don’t care if you’re at the entry level or if you are a VP or executive. Are the people in leadership roles in your company the people you believe should be in those roles? Are the qualities your leaders possess qualities you would look for in a leader?

Definition of “Quality of Life”

What about quality of life? Do you and your company share that in common? Things that apply would be vacation benefits, flexible schedules, the chair you sit in, the number of hours you’re expected to work, whether you should be expected to work by time or by work product, etc.

Now, remember, your company is trying to make money. I’m not asking if you have the greatest benefits in the world. I’m telling you to look at this from their perspective. After all, you’re trying to figure out if you’re friends with her, right? Have a little sympathy.

Do you have a new friend?

You could go deeper than those three subjects, and I encourage you to do so. We’ve skimmed the surface, but we’ve encountered enough that you should have a feeling of whether or not you are friends with your company.

So, what now?

If you are friends, great!

If not, try to figure out why. Obviously it’s because you disagree on a few items key to you. So the next question becomes, Can you change the situation? Or, can you and your company work to repair your friendship? For example, if you are upset about the vacation benefit, voice your concern before just leaving the company. Maybe they will be more flexible than you expect. But if you disagree with the company’s definition of leadership, that’s a little more severe and certainly much more difficult to overcome.

Always try to repair the friendship first. If it can’t be done, it’s time to start looking for a new friend.

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The Polymath Lab will be closing its doors in 2017. Many articles here will be moved to Sean's Medium account, which is the space in which he is currently writing.