Re: The Sub Shop Guy

Subject: Re: The Sub Shop Guy
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 03 Feb 2001 17:00:32 -0800

Andrew Plato wrote:

> The reason your company exists and you have a job is because some dedicated
> fool *did* devote a big chunk of their lives to building that company. Somebody
> somewhere is taking financial risk so you can have a job and telecommute. Its
> reeeeeeal easy to preach platitudes about working long hours and telecommuting
> when you have nothing (financially) at stake in the company.

As an anarcho-syndicalist by nature (and, yes, we have a commune of
peasants :-) ), I feel obliged to point out that there are more
types of stake than financial, and that the hard work isn't just
from the CEO or Chair of the Board. If a company succeeeds, far more
than the officers have been motivated.

This comment isn't just nitpicking. It's a way of leading into a
important point: one of the best ways to encourage hard work is to
make sure that people have a stake in the success. If you have your
own business, as perhaps the sub shop guy does, then you have a huge
incentive to work hard and work long hours.

In a larger company, it's hard to create this same incentive, but it
can be done: not just by stock options (which the recent dotcom
craze perverted by making them a get-rich-quick scheme and as an
excuse for low wages), but by levelling the hierarchal structure,
consulting people, and making sure that everyone can be proud of the
products that go out the door and feels that they have some respect
at the company.

Where a person is only interested in working the bare-minimum, often
there's a feeling of powerlessness - just as with a lower voter
turnout at an election. And that means that, somewhere along the
line, the system is failing.

Blaming the management for the failure is an unfair
over-generalization. Obviously, individuals have to take their share
of the blame, too. Still, in many cases, management does have some
responsibility. Or, to put that statement in a more positive way,
often the management can do more to change the situation than the
PBI. Not everything, of course, but management usually has more to
do with setting the corporate culture than the average

Hard work and dedication aren't just something you find in a cereal
box. Often, they aren't even something that one person has and
another person hasn't. They exist in environments that make them

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com
Director of Marketing and Communications, Progeny Linux Systems
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux

"Wherever we go, we celebrate the land that makes us refugees."
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