Has commiserating become a national pastime?

Posted by John Park on Feb 26th, 2009
2009
Feb 26

 
I am vowing to omit the following word from my vocabulary for 1 full week.
 
ECONOMY
 
 
And, I will start immediately after this post goes live.
 
These days, it’s hard to escape the constant doom and gloom of the economy.  At every turn, there is some statistic to reemphasize over and over again how weak the current economy is.  If you believe everything you hear (especially from the 24hr news channels), you might even think that we’ve entered in to the abyss with no hope of return or survival.
 
I’ve also observed and probably have participated in a growing phenomenon.  Commiserating about the economy has become a national pastime.  I would say this is especially true in the workplace.  Instead of talking about sports, last night’s TV show or some hot new gadget, we seem to be finding solace in each other’s misery.  In fact, I’ve never been around so many econ majors in all my life.  All of a sudden, everyone has some crazy statistic supporting why the whole world is coming to an end soon.  After months of this nonsense, I’ve finally decided to do something about it.
 
Well… Enough is enough!
 
As a business owner, embracing this negativity which often turns in to stress and anger is especially dangerous.  I am not saying to deny what is happening.  I am just asking… how does it help to constantly dig deeper in to the abyss in a business setting.  As leaders of our organizations, we must work diligently to create a culture that does not fall prey to the recession for all of the wrong reasons.  Leading by example is one of the strongest characteristics of a leader.  Somewhere along the path of your life, you might have met a cold-calling CEO or you might recall the scene from Patton when the WWII general stood directly in the path of an on-coming German fighter plane with only his pearl-handle pistol in hand.  We remember these things for a reason.  Give your employees, team members and clients a reason to not only remember you but to be inspired by you.
 
Here are some ”Red Flags” to look out for in your business setting.
 
1)  Stop the internal commiserating around the water cooler (coffee pot).  Help them change the subject.
 
2)  Discourage the passing of “economic doom” propaganda in the business setting.
 
3)  Train your employees and team members on the negative impact of commiserating with clients.  This is a big one.
 
4)  And most importantly, don’t use and accept the economic condition as an automatic scapegoat.  Sometimes, a marketing idea didn’t pan out because it was just a bad idea.  Sometimes, you didn’t get the deal because you just did a poor job in the sales process.  NOT everything is the fault of the economy.  If you accept this scapegoating from yourself and from your team, you will find your business deteriorating over time even when times get better.
 
Say it with me “I will no longer use the economy as an automatic scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in my business.”
 
If you’re up to it… take the vow with me.
 
Starting now — GO!


“Each golden sunrise ushers in new opportunites for those who retain faith in themselves, and keep their chins up.  No one has ever seen a cock crow with its head down.  Courage to start and willingness to keep everlastingly at it are the requisites for success.  Meet the sunrise with confidence.  Fill every golden minute with right thinking and worthwhile endeavor.  Do this and there will be joy for you in each golden sunset”  Alonzo Newton Benn

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