David Amerland

Pride and Prejudice in Your Business

Yes, I’ve brazenly borrowed the title from Jane Austen’s brilliant classic and there is good reason for that. 

Pride is essential in an organization. If you’ve done your job right and you have a corporate identity that defines everyone, a mission statement that animates all your employees and a goal that goes beyond extrinsic incentives (i.e. money) and lights up all the intrinsic reward centers of the brain (i.e. a sense of purpose and real meaning in work), then you also have a sense of pride. 

You take pride in your organization’s ability to get things done. You feel pride in its position in the market place. There is inherent pride in your being part of it. There is pride in everything that has to do with how you do business and why you do it. 

Pride is good. It makes you go above and beyond when you least want to and when it counts most. It ensures that you act for the good of the team as opposed for your own best interest. It provides focus, energy and incentives at times when it is difficult to find any of them. 

Pride is also bad. 

Focus too much on what you are and where you are and you forget why you are. Then customers demanding great service are unreasonable, things that have gone wrong and need to be put right are an unwanted distraction, doing your job and going above and beyond becomes an unwelcome drag.

What was once good and worked for you, in this context, becomes bad and hurts you. The sense of pride that made you work harder than you got paid for now becomes a sense of arrogance that prejudices you against everyone asking you to work. 

Finding the balance is key. Key to finding it is awareness of what you do as a business expressed at every position in your organization. A true sense of teamwork. A desire to serve without being servile.

Is your business getting it right?   

The world is changing. Not overnight and not all at once, but it is changing nevertheless. In my talks to corporate groups, CEOs, VPs and industry leaders I gleam insights of how this change is happening. What evidence exists. Why some things happen and not others and how we can best take advantage of it all to do better. In Observations I catalogue it all. Brief, to the point and open to discussion. 

© 2019 David Amerland. All rights reserved