You Get What You Deserve

Looking back over the many years, I have noticed one thing that stands out – you get what you deserve. It may take “time” for everything to catch up, but in the end it all works out. How many times have you heard these? The effort in, usually equals the output. You get what you pay for. I like to think they were told to me for a reason. I don’t want to really write about how my experiences match up to that. I want to write about how bosses get what they deserve. Let’s not make this about me (or you) as an individual but as a boss. Sound fair?

I have worked for many teams and organizations. As a boss, I usually had two teams or organizations that I was a part of. Double the fun, double the experience. Looking back, I would like to share an experience that pretty much sums up my title, you get what you deserve. This example is not going to be a positive one. I find it easier to learn from the bad experiences. Those experiences really make me dissect the overall experience more that a positive experience. So, here goes the story…

One of the organizations that I worked in really was trying to do things better. The words used were very inviting – like innovation, creativity and accomplishing some amazing things. When the boss stepped in those were our marching orders. The leadership team would get together to figure out what change would be needed to make the words a reality. Set the roadmap for success. After a couple of years, the overall experience was we never did accomplish what was set out by the words. The actions were extremely different. The actions of the boss set the wheels of destruction from the beginning. We saw changes in the leadership team, that demonstrated that we really did not want change. Those leaders that had great results and scored well from their staff were basically replaced. New bosses came in. The organization was watching those new bosses to demonstrate the words. The boss at the top, was putting “their” stamp on their organization.  We had our marching orders and some new bosses to help us get there. Long story that I will make shorter. Their actions definitely did not match the words that we were trying to march to. What is needed to change, be creative and innovative? Take some informed risks, have you be more open and vulnerable as an organization and foster a culture that allows the words to flourish. Since the organization’s actions were to be risk adverse, structured and where vulnerability was used as a sign of weakness; it did not take long for the word to get out that we were not going to follow the marching orders that were given. As time went on, we learned that those new bosses were just like the overall boss. Not effective, demoralizing and wanted a culture of do as a say, never question.

What were the workers to do? We all adapted to the actions. For me, I would go back to my team and make sure that I was doing what was necessary for cultivating a healthy balance of the marching orders. I truly believed that if we were going to be successful that we had to be working that way. When it came time for our work to be placed in the front of the bosses… Well, here was the tricky part. We had to adapt to making sure that we were meeting the bosses hidden expectations too. Balance needed to be struck. Especially after the first time I presented and was slapped for being innovative, creative and using informed risk taking. We still wanted to accomplish amazing things, but needed to make sure that we were balanced.

Here comes the punch line – those bosses were finally noticed for what they really were. Many of them were replaced! They fostered a toxic environment and promoted those like themselves. Some of them as no longer bosses! Some are still bosses, but in smaller organizations to help them hopefully learn. In the end, they got what they deserved.

Key take a-ways:

  • Words and actions must match.
  • You want innovations and creativity – then you better let your folks take risk and be vulnerable with themselves. There is no weaknesses when you are being real.
  • In the end – you get what you truly deserve.
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