There is one thing that drives the devastation in the corporate world that is warned about in the religious world – Unbelief. When employees lose the corporate vision or leaders forget to paint the vision, employees change their behaviors and become less productive. We’ve seen the effects of it many times and will soon see it again with the reduction of service at the post office.
It amazes me that during the generation of service, the postal office has determined the best way to reduce its expenses is to slow down its service – Can they get any slower? I’m a firm believer that the postal service doesn’t have a visionary encouraging workers to be faster and thereby reducing the need for certain expenses. After all, visionaries are always about finding ways to make things better, cheaper and faster.
The total blame can’t be put on the corporate visionary, as it’s the people who decide what they want to believe. This is true when it comes to following any of society’s bibles. Some follow the “green” bible with all diligence in recycling, the avoidance of fossil fuels and managing organic composes. Others subscribe to the bible of political correctness. And, many hold to the teachings of the Holy Bible.
Regardless of ones perspective, it takes belief to follow any bible religiously. It takes even more belief to evangelize one’s viewpoints in today’s society. Proselytizing someone with a mantra about carbon emissions takes even more belief due to our love of cars. After hitting many brick walls of apathy, few will continue to get the word out.
If we were to take the lead from the religious world, we would know that “sin” is the greatest hinderance of employees fulfilling the corporate vision. While many would suggest that sin in the corporate sense includes the distractions of the marketplace, I’m a firm subscriber to it being about disbelief. After all, in the religious world sin is more about not trusting God to do what he says he will do, which leads to people taking life upon themselves and choosing a vice for comfort rather than turning to God for their answers.
This unbelief also holds true in the corporate world. If we don’t buy-in to the corporate vision or it wasn’t painted for the employees, most will eventually gravitate to anything that the crowds are doing. This mentality comes from the idea that it must be right if so many people have made the decision to do it. Unfortunately, fortune 100 greatness has only come about through true evangelists that stand their ground in spite of the sense of isolation that they live with.
Steve Jobs was one of those evangelists who was fortunate enough to draw in a group of true believers to his products, like the iPad I’m typing this blog on while riding the train into Chicago. Not only did I become a believer in Apple products that are easy to operate, but I’ve made it a part of my lifestyle. I find myself using my iPad 1-2 hours a day. Can you imagine the results of people spending 1-2 hours a day developing religious morals or sharing compassion?
Regardless of which bible we follow in life, the real question is do we believe in it to the point of making life changing decisions as a result of it?
The test of any belief system is how we act it out. In the corporate world our actions reveal our beliefs. The people we follow or trust, and the action steps we take toward our objectives or into the minutiae that doesn’t matter, all speak to our belief system. Just as religion drives us to live moral upright lives, the corporate financial and innovation goals drive us to improve our services and products through better quality, cheaper pricing, and faster delivery and production cycles.
I’m not convinced the postal service has a bible, let alone subscribes to any visionary. But what about us? What of our actions reveal what vision we follow? Do we believe in it enough to evangelize it like Steve Jobs? A moment of self reflection on our actions can quickly bring perspective to what is in our hearts and minds. Frankly, I think it’s time we make the decision to walk away from apathy and put some energy behind what we believe in.