Don’t mash your co-workers

Years ago I worked for a trade association whose boss was a recovering alcoholic who seemed to enjoy the art of smashing people.  Now, he didn’t always do it, but often enough to let each of us realize he was the top dog.  I think about him from time to time, but basically try to put that era of my life behind me.  There were some good parts to that job–I was able to put food on the table and keep the house warm–but there was a very sinister side to it that clouded my days, whether I was at work or not.  In short, it was a toxic environment. Eventually, I became self-employed and have blissfully enjoyed my freedom.

Awhile back I was reminded of those dog-days with that old employer when I was reading Ari Weinzweig’s What I Believe About Anarchism and Business 

Mr. Weinzweig has worked for years to create his businesses, basing them on the principles he discovered while a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Over the years he has issued his Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading books which, as he outlined, offer these principles:  “. . .  the point of an organization is to enhance the lives of the people who are a part of it; that involving more people in managing the work they’re doing makes good sense; that there’s wisdom in everyone who works in an organization; that when men and women don’t believe in what they’re doing, they don’t do good work; that when people are treated like interchangeable machine parts, they aren’t inspired to get to greatness; that anyone can learn to lead; that the point of the organization is to serve those who are part of it.”

Makes sense to me.  I only wish my old boss  had been exposed to such civilized notions of dealing with people.


Until later. . . 

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