Who Has The Most Influence Over Your Career?

I was in a meeting yesterday and an interesting thing happened.  The CEO of our company walked in and everyone instantly perked up.  Those that were multi-tasking and not really paying attention suddenly stopped and gave their full attention.  Everyone was charming and smiling and actively engaged in a pleasant exchange of ideas.  Then the CEO walked back out and the mood changed instantly.That started me thinking, why do we treat the CEO so much better than we treat our peers or our employees?  Being the inquisitive person I am, I asked a few people.  Most of the answers I got started with “I don’t treat the CEO any differently but I think other people do because….”  Apparently this is a behavior we are incapable of recognizing in ourselves.  Come to think of it, I don’t think I treat the CEO any differently, but maybe I am fooling myself.  At any rate, they went on to theorize that people treat the CEO better than their peers because they believe that he holds more influence over the future of their careers.  That he can influence whether they keep their jobs, get promoted, or get a raise.

There may be some truth to that, but not a whole lot in my opinion.  I would like to believe that I have a great deal of influence over the future of my career.  I know my job well.  I have spent a great deal of time educating myself on my industry and as a result I sincerely think that I am one of the world’s foremost experts on what I do.  Whether that belief is true or not is almost irrelevant as I do not think that is what keeps me employed or keeps my future bright.  I think the main thing that keeps me employed is that I have a long track record of success.  I have a long track record of success because I treat my employees better than I would treat the CEO.

No matter how smart, ambitious, or creative I am, my future depends on my employees.  They can make or break me.  They are the most valuable people to my long-term success.  I honestly believe that and I treat them accordingly.  If they need to talk, then I make time to talk to them.  If there are issues that keep them from being as productive as they can be, then I deal with the issues swiftly.  I try to praise them often and ensure that they know just how much I do appreciate them.  They know that they are important to me because I remind them every chance I get.

My advice is to treat each of your employees as if they were the CEO of your company.  Scratch that, my advice is to treat each of your employees better than you treat the CEO.  It is the best way to ensure your long-term success as a manager.

5 comments on “Who Has The Most Influence Over Your Career?

  1. mimijk says:

    I agree with you completely! I would also add that each person is ultimately responsible for their success. I am not denying dynamics, politics or anything else that can interfere with one’s trajectory. And certainly life is not always fair. But if we can truly encourage our employees to own their responsibilities – and make sure that we see their successes objectively – we are giving them the self-reliance and pride of ownership that will undoubtedly help them be their best professional advocate going forward.

  2. Dallan says:

    Completely agree!

  3. You hit a home run with this one MBN! I am in total agreement with you.. Thanks for the great post.

  4. Joe Clark says:

    This is so very true. Everyone freaks out when the CEO comes around. I truly believe its out of fear. Most if not all CEO’s were in the very same position at one point in their career.

  5. abronxturtle says:

    I really agree with this. I simply treat everyone the way I want to be treated. Such a simple concept – so why is it lost?

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