Thursday, December 1, 2011

All We Ask Is That You Join Our...Cult!

Finding the perfect job.  The "dream job."  Ahhh, so enticing.  The grass looks so green over there...but how do I get from here to there?  I believe everything they're telling me about this opportunity, and it sounds perfect.  I believe.....I'm expecting this to be just what I've been searching for...

Really?  Wake up.

Nothing is Perfect
One of the issues that has challenged me in my professional life is the notion of expectations. At work we often have such lofty expectations for employees that we forget they are people, not machines. They will have moments of brilliance, and moments when they struggle ( I am really good at the struggling part.) Accepting that variability in performance is key to creating a welcoming culture. 

Beware the Corporate Cult
Sometimes however, a different agenda comes into play. An agenda based on a command and control leadership style. Even though this approach has proven to be incredibly inefficient in the modern workplace there continues to be companies that actually believe this is a good idea. In fact it can be woven into the very fabric of these organizations. Although they may claim to be "progressive" or "current" or even "cutting-edge" their behavior displays a very different reality.  A reality they will want you to buy-in to.  Immediately.

But I Didn't Know
Ask these simple questions to gain a better understanding of your "dream company:"
- Do they believe they do "it" better than everyone else in the industry?
- Do they support any semblence of work/life balance?
- Do they automatically assume their processes are "best practices" and should be adopted universally?
- Do they expect you to devote inordinate amounts of your personal time to the company?
- Do they expect employees to speak, behave, and perform in a very specific and uniform way regardless of background or skill set or ethnicity? (formerly known as "scripting")

This my friends is a classic example of the Corporate Cult.  It's not that their intentions are bad, or that bad people are leading that organization.  My problem is that with such a closed-minded view of how things should be, huge opportunities are lost.  Opportunities to learn, challenge, debate, learn some more, and hear different perspectives on issues that could move the company forward are completely missed. 

"Rejecting diversity in the name of institutional arrogance is the epitome of the Corporate Cult."

How About You
Are you contemplating making a move to a new position?  Check it out first. Ask questions. Are your new team members transparent (hello social media) so you have a good feel for what they're like IRL?  Or maybe you've been seduced by the you're working for today. Maybe it's time to take a closer look at yourself?  I know I'm going to. 

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pics courtesy of allthoughtout and buildings

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