RSS Naughty or Nice?

No, this isn’t a post about how you should behave in order to receive a nice Christmas present. The title of this article simply refers to how effective you are in aligning your personality characteristics with the job you have been hired to do. I think each of us has within us a callous side and a kind side. At times we may need to tap into one side or the other to keep a proper balance in our work environment.

Leaders may find it necessary at times to seek compliance from their team members by acting like a dictator, where the importance of the message outweighs the manner in which the message is sent or received. Likewise, there may be times of severe organizational stress where a leader must create a gentler persona in order to instill a global sense of calm. These may be extreme examples but they serve to make my point; the best leaders create a balance between these two extremes in order to build a consistent organizational culture. As employees, we too must find a balance between these two ideological extremes so that we demonstrate support to both our teammates and our organization on a cultural level.

To give you a personal example, I’m reminded of my college days when I worked grading plywood in order to help pay my expenses. There was a gentleman I worked with who had repeatedly unpredictable work habits. It wasn’t so much that he was mean at one moment and then nice the next, but that his activities were inconsistent and our supervisors were unaware of this behavior. When our supervisors came around he seemed to find extra energy and worked much harder, knowing full well that they were inspecting his work ethic and his individual production. When they stepped away however, I found myself pulling off most of the plywood pieces and grading them myself. At the time I was thinking how unfair it was – I even called him on it. Well, this gentleman had seniority and put me in my place real quick.

I swiftly learned that his “naughty and nice” behavior had a big impact on me, in relationship to him and the company as a whole. I decided right then that when I got out of college I would strive to find an employer who created an environment where every team member worked hard, and did it because it was in their best interest, the company’s best interest, and their client’s best interest.

I guess the real moral of this post is simply to play fair. Don’t put your own self-serving interests above those of the team or your organization. This is true whether or not you are the leader of the organization. Just like Santa Claus checks his list to see which children are being naughty or nice, we should be checking our own list to make sure our activities and behaviors are consistent with those desired by our organization. Who knows, we could be surprised with a nice present if we do!

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Home About Archive Mitch HagstromMitch Hagstrom
Executive Vice President
Chief Banking Officer
Pacific Continental Bank

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