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I just heard from a friend of mine who lives in NYC – that he has resigned from his GM role because the owner of the business said, “I don’t want happy people I want factory workers”. My friend was completely disheartened – he thought business owners were enlightened – and understood that happy people = happy profits

I guess I question if this entrepreneur is reading or learning anything. One thing that Verne Harnish is noted as saying ‘the entrepreneur that learns the most wins’ – as the leader of an organization we simply cannot stay stagnant – or operate in the past.

In the last few weeks I have read three more books that have further inspired me to stay completely committed to the team.

1. People have a choice.

Learning from Dan Pink in his book Drive: that Motivation comes from peoples experience of autonomy, mastery and sense of purpose – that carrot and stick incentives are a thing of the past.

2. It is so not about us.

From Keith McFarland in the Breaktrhough Company I reconfirmed my belief that a leader is there to serve his or her employees – to take roadblocks out of the way, that they are the custodians of something much bigger than themselves.

3. Generosity is the reward in itself…

In The Power of Nice by Kaplan Thaler and Koval., (which I found sad). These New York women are trying to expound the virtues of common courtesy. Unfortunately they say ‘being nice to people and you will get returns’. The idea of doing something nice – not for the sake of being generous, but because it will pay you back. I find this tragic, because ultimately it is still based on greed and betterment. The real meaning of nice is when we do things or say things without any agenda, other than wanting to make a difference to another human being.

Dear friend – I know you are sad because you invested greatly in your role at significant personal hardship. You gave your love to that business – probably more than the owner himself. You lived, learned and this time lost – the question is what would you do differently next time?


Reader Interactions


  1. Hi Naomi,

    I just wanted to say thank you for such an inspiring presentation last night at Swinburne, Lilydale. I ventured along after my twin sister mentioned the event (I’m the one that had the red wine spilt on me!) and I’m so very glad I did.

    After listening to your presentation I left the event thinking yes I can do what it is I want to do – and that is to run and grow my own graphic design business. Two weeks ago I said a big goodbye to my pushy, arrogant and ‘all about me boss’ in pursuit of a happier work life. So now is the time to get out there and do it. I know I’m good at what I do, now I just have to roll up the sleeves and start the exciting journey.

    Thanks for re-igniting my self belief and adding some further fuel to the spark.

    Kindest Regards,

  2. Hi Megan,

    Interesting how your comment reflects the notion of ‘bad’ bosses. We all have a choice and you have exercised yours. Congratulations on your new venture!!

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