We’ve all been there. Right?

We’ve had those managers that have asked us to do things that they themselves would never do. In fact most of the time they have asked us to do certain tasks because they refused to do those tasks themselves.

  • What about those managers that have called the meetings and then haven’t shown up for their own meeting?
  • How about this? Your supervisor asks you to do something and then they come back later and change their mind simply because they hadn’t thought the project through from the beginning?
  • What about the times that your manager has gotten in your face about something or confronted you on an issue, when they themselves have done the exact same thing?

What is it about management that makes managers think that there untouchable?

The truth is that is how corporate cultures are set up today. Most of Corporate America is set up in a “dog eat dog” environment. As the authors of Tribal Leadership would describe it, the corporate culture in America is set up for the stage 3 leader. The battle cry of this leader is:

  • “I’m great”
  • “What’s it for me?”
  • “How can I climb the corporate ladder to get what is best for me?”

This culture has created an environment where managers don’t really think about employees, they just want to get the job done. Managers have become task driven – task oriented – task focus, not employee focused. We have become more concerned with “getting it done” and do not give much thought as to how we can do it smarter, how can we do it better, or how can we do it faster by empowering our people to own the vision and go after it.

I’ve heard so many stories from individuals that tell me they feel their managers take advantage of them, as employees. These folks would rather be part of something great! Most employees want to be part of something exciting, something that matters and that really truly makes a difference.

Let’s be honest, there are times that it is not just about the paycheck.

  • Yes they need the money.
  • Yes they need to pay the bills.
  • Yes they need to keep the lights on.
  • Yes they’ve got to provide for their family.

But deep down at their core, they would like to a part of something that is more meaningful than just the money. The way that management treats their employees, doesn’t help the situation. They frustrate their employees. They tell the team to show up to a meeting and then don’t show up to run the meeting. They make sure that all employees punch in on time, but then they are late walking in for the day. They do what they want, because that’s what benefits them, not for what benefits the team.

What if your place of employment was different? What if you worked in an environment, where employees wanted to come to work each day? What if you worked for a company where the management actually cared about the employees? What if your role as a leader was less about getting a job done and more about investing in the lives of your employee?

Let’s stop the cycle of seeing employees as simply means to an end, but the end itself.

Let’s start asking ourselves: How can I add value to my employee’s life?

That’s what company culture and core values do. Core Values speak to those things that are important to the company or organization. Core Values unite the people, they bind people together and they get everyone moving towards a common goal. Corporate Culture is not just a buzz word anymore, it’s the way the business must be done if it is to truly make a difference and move into the future.

droberson[at]zappos[dot]com | @zappos_drob| www.zapposinsights.com

About the Author:

Donavon Roberson

Donavon Roberson is the Culture Evangelist for Zappos.com and Zappos Insights by day and a devoted husband, father, and friend by night. As a Culture Evangelist, he spends a great deal of time assisting business owners and senior leaders create a strong and actionable culture that makes sense for their company and that benefits their employees, as well as their customers. He has been with Zappos for just over three years and has held a few positions in the company, such as CLT Representative, Help Desk Operations Manager and now the Zappos Insights Culture Evangelist. In his past life (for 13 years), Donavon helped teenagers navigate some of the most trying times of life by serving as their Youth Pastor. When he finds a little extra time, he blogs at donavonroberson.com, his blog regarding his journey of faith. Donavon holds a B.S. degree in Christian education from Appalachian Bible College, and is working towards a MAR in Leadership from Liberty Theological Seminary. Find Donavon online at:Zappos Insights: http://www.zapposinsights.com Website: http://www.donavonroberson.com Twitter: @Zappos_DRob Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=55710691 LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/zapposdrob

Visit Donavon's page at http://www.zapposinsights.com


    Jason W. Womack17 February 2010 9:19 pm

    I think it’s one of those “symbiotic” things…where BOTH sides get to ask the question:

    “How do I add value…?”

    On the employer side: Following that question through may result in changing some of the things employees can experience and expect. My advice for a company’s leadership board wondering, “What could we possibly do around here to make life better for our employees?” would be to read through the recent report from one of the magazines doing a story on “The 100 Best Places To Work.” Ideas abound…

    On the employee side: Following that question may result in the way they show up; they way they show up tomorrow morning, to the meeting later today, to that business deal they are working to close. The recent article Jodi and I wrote for Training Magazine talks about how “you are your brand.” And, every day we continue to build, develop and promote that brand.

    (Training Mag did a story on us recently: http://www.trainingmag.com/womack)

    Thanks, Donavon, for giving us something to think about!

    Herdis18 February 2010 7:55 am

    If an employee is happy and content, they will bring more in. Work harder, better and be more innovative.

    Chris Nordyke18 February 2010 9:59 am

    It’s humbling, but as a small business owner, I catch myself committing some of the above sins on a semi-regular basis. Specifically,
    “… Your supervisor asks you to do something and then they come back later and change their mind simply because they hadn’t thought the project through from the beginning?”

    I find myself moving so fast, spinning off so many ideas, I end up delegating a task, only to realize I had been hasty, and it wasn’t the best course of action after all. I realize this has to be frustrating for my team members.

    Good reminders, Donovan. Thanks.

    Macala Wright Lee19 February 2010 4:36 am

    Nurturing Creativity and promoting personal growth is a must for any manager. Managers should humble themselves, letting the achievements and strengths of their team shine. It’s far more rewarding and impressive than claiming them yourself.