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Who’s the Boss?


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Managing Self
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By Tom Davidson

Even with the down economy and shortage of jobs, the workforce of today resembles true volunteers more than ever before. They don’t have to work for you. They’re planning to leave, and they’re motivated primarily by self-interest, personal goals, aspirations and interests. 

While the concept may be shocking, it’s nothing new; it’s just magnified by a generation that has learned that they have to fend for themselves, a workplace that sees them as expendable, and a desire to be entrepreneurs, even when working for others.

My grandfather knew this in 1930 and penned the following poem to explain it to his family and friends.

Your Boss
by Robert Harsha Davidson
1930

Whom do you work for? The boss? Ah, no! He merely points you the way to go. He sets up the tasks that you’re hired to do, But he isn’t really the boss of YOU.

Whom do you work for? The boss of the boss? The company handing your paycheck across? You owe them the best that you have, ‘tis true, But neither one claims to be boss of YOU.

Whom do you work for? Yourself, my friend. From morning’s light ‘til the day’s dark end, And the boss that you finally answer to Is nobody else in the world but YOU.

©2014. Davidson Family Archives. All rights reserved.

As a result, successful leaders need to treat their associates like the volunteers they are. You can start by doing the following:

  • Hire for fit and train for skills.
  • Discover your employees’ personal goals, interests and intrinsic motivations.
  • Align the work with what’s interesting and meaningful to them.

If you’d like me as a speaker on the topic of treating your employees like volunteers to get the best from them and the best for your business, contact me at Tom@LeadershipNature.com today.


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