We’re all familiar with the Golden Rule, right? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, or some such thing as that. I think that should be changed. Why? Because the Old Golden Rule assumes people want to be treated nicely. Some people are jerks and expect others to be jerks to them. Here is my recommendation:
“Don’t be a jackwagon”
What’s a jackwagon, you ask? Well, if you have to ask…
Let me see if I can break this down for you… We’re all human beings here (generally speaking). We all know the difficulty of existence. We all know this isn’t easy. Hell, if it were easy, we’d all be doing it… wait a minute… What I’m trying to say is, just as you have problems, everyone else has problems. Don’t think you’re so damn special. That’s what a jackwagon is: someone who thinks they are more special than the rest of us. Ugh.
So, here’s the thing, as a human being you go about your life solving your problems in your own way. You have your own approach. You find the solutions that work for you and to your level of “fixed”. Bully for you! But just because you have an approach that works well for you doesn’t mean that that approach is going to work for anybody else. Sure we all ask for opinions, but we heed them just as much as we ignore them (almost as much as people heed or ignore the advice you give them). We’re humans. It’s how we do.
As many humans are on this planet there is as many problems and an equal number of ways to deal with them. We’re all figuring it out as we go along. Everyone is fighting their own fight. And you know, as much as anyone else, how difficult that fight can be. You can, as a fellow human being, at the very least not be an additional problem. Jackwagons add to people’s problems. Don’t be a jackwagon.
Now you are probably thinking, “hey, Dan, you usually talk about business. What has all of this got to do with the price of tea in China?”
I’m glad you asked. As a boss-type person (or aspiring boss-type person) you are in a position to have an impact on a lot of people. I am certainly not suggesting you try and solve anyone else’s problems (woah no), but show them what it means to not be a jackwagon. Just think of the people you deal with on the reg:
Customers come to you with their problems because your business, supposedly, will help solve them. It is important, though, that even if that’s true, you do not abuse that relationship. It’s easy enough to upsell and cross-sell when your customer is grasping for solutions. But if you are selling the wrong solution (just for the sake of selling), well then you are just being cruel. Don’t do that. Be the expert problem solver they came for. Do that and they’ll keep coming back.
Don’t be a jackwagon.
Your employees spend a good chunk of their lives dealing with you and/or the organization you’ve built. Forty hours a week is damn near 25% of their life. They carry around with them as much baggage as anyone else. You either add to that load, or you don’t. It’s easy to feel that the weight of running a company outweighs whatever your employee is carrying around, but it’s your company. It’s your choice. Many, if not most, of your employees are employees because they don’t want to own a business. They are not like you. They don’t think that way. But they do look to you for inspiration. If you can provide that to them, you’ll find they are happier to help you with your load.
(On a side note: whenever I hear about a boss being a jackwagon, it really pisses me off, not only because no one should treat another human being that way, but because of the utter waste of human potential. I have never seen productivity or efficiency gained through cruelty.)
Don’t be a jackwagon.
I am not saying that everyone else’s problem is your problem to solve. But, again, your problems don’t outweigh anybody else’s (yes, yes, I know: your problems are huge, and heavy, and cumbersome). Everybody else who is outside your immediate sphere: the cashier, the clerk, the server – whoever you might come in contact with, is still in your sphere. You have an impact, be it positive or negative, on their lives whether you like it or not. Remember they are all dealing with their own problems (and yes, they are also huge, heavy, and cumbersome). Your interaction with them either adds to their problems, or eases them if just by a little. If all that means is to be kind, then for the love of all things good and true, be kind.
Don’t be a jackwagon. Don’t think your problems are more important than anyone else’s, and don’t add to people’s problems because of it.
I mean, come on… we’re entrepreneur’s here. We solve problems. We don’t make new ones.