Online Business: It Filters Down From The Top – Earl Nightingale
Your attitude, whether you have any employees or not, affects your customer and affiliate sales people, even your “social network” circles. Consider these tips from the serial entrepreneur Earl Nightingale.
Have you ever heard the expression “to raise morale”? It’s an expression frequently heard in the military service and in organizations of all kinds. But when you stop to think about it a minute, you realize it’s a misstatement: morale is not raised from the bottom; it ﬁlters down from the top.
The employees of a business, and it makes little difference whether it’s the corner supermarket or the largest corporation, will always faith- fully reflect the attitude of the person in charge.
In the Navy you’ll hear the expression “It’s a happy ship.” A happy ship is invariably one with a happy skipper. And, strange as it may at ﬁrst seem, the happiest ship is usually the one that is also the most efficient and performs best. Good morale is not caused by loose, easy discipline. Frequently, just the reverse is true.
A happy skipper is the kind of person who not only realizes the importance of discipline, but also the importance of fairness in all things. He is tough when he needs to be tough, but most of all, he is competent—knows his business and likes his job. Everybody on the ship admires him for both qualities and will try to emulate him. His crew will knock themselves out to please him and ﬁght hard for him in a tight spot.
In a business ﬁrm, people in the lower echelons will never complain of discipline if they know it is fair and if they have a hard-working leader who teaches by his own example.
A relaxing of rules and discipline almost always works in a way opposite to what you might expect; it causes morale to drop. Children also need and want discipline of the kind they know to be fair and logical. Without it, they suffer a loss in personal esteem. Letting a child do exactly as he pleases, when he has neither the maturity nor wisdom for such responsibility, is unfair and harmful. It results in a kind of juvenile anarchy and a great deal of unhappiness and frustration for the child. I am not comparing employees with children, but the same principle holds true with employees from the president and vice-presidents all the way down to the boy in the mail room. The president is a kind of company father whose attitude will be reﬂected throughout the entire organization.
This is interesting to know because you can tell what kind of person is at the head of a company by observing the attitudes of the employees. When you see people loaﬁng on the job, it is not a sign of good but rather of poor morale. It shows weak and ineffective leadership. If you want to know how good a leader is, don’t watch him—watch the people under him. People have a tendency to do no more than is required. The paradox is that the less that is required of them, the unhappier they become.
A person’s feeling of worth is closely linked to the way in which he is required to handle his job. The type of person who is a natural leader is the one who requires the best of himself.
Be sure to visit Nightingale-Conant for more self-improvement recordings by Earl Nightingale and others.
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Also published on Medium.