By E. Brown

There seems to be an unspoken rule in business: Look out for You because you’re the only one You can depend on. From the corporate mission to the line-level employee, this idea permeates many organizations.

Some of this has been the backlash of “doing business” and some has been the advance of technology. Radio host and Business Coach, Dan Miller, in his book 48 Days To The Work You Love, states this notion:

The unwritten agreement between the corporation and the employee was, If you work for us throughout your working lifetime, we will take care of you.

This unspoken contract disintegrated. What happened? Fifty years ago, it took a lifetime for technology to make your job irrelevant–now it takes only 4 to 5 years. StaffMark predicts that in the next 4 years, 50 percent of the workforce will be contract labor. And today the average length of a job in America is 3.2 years.

How much of this have companies brought on themselves? Poor management drives employees to “watch their backs” so they do not lose their jobs. Poor leadership drives managers to “suck up to the party line” or lose their position of status.

As I have mentioned in another article (The Power Principle) the illusion of being in control is just that–an illusion. There are forces outside our control that can and have direct impact on us as individuals and workers. So what are we to do? Below I have outlined a few places to consider starting.

Be Real
Don’t try to be someone other than who you are. You have personal strengths and weaknesses. Don’t try to hide either. The truth is, you’re no good at hiding them and people know it already, which leads to the next point…

Be Honest
This seems to be a popular notion but no one wants to be first. Be honest with yourself and with others.

Be Accountable
Proactively seek out others within and without the company to hold you accountable. A work life unexamined is a life that is headed for tough times.

Be Ready
People are not going to like what you are doing. You will no doubt expose the insecurities and political posturing of others. Be ready for criticism and be ready to look for another place of employment. Popularity, while nice to have, is not the litmus test.

When people see you for who you really are they will admire you and be more trusting. They will not have to wonder if there are any hidden agendas. They will know you care about their success and not just your own.

Covering your a$$ takes a lot of time and energy. Why waste it?

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