Post by Cheryl Santa Maria, contributing Women On Business writer
I was once involved with an organization that liked to hold sporadic “company overviews”.
Every once in a while we would get a chipper email from the CEO’s secretary inviting us to one of these (mandatory) meetings, promising that “big announcements” were going to be made and that we should expect “exciting changes” in the upcoming months.
We would be herded into the biggest boardroom and for nearly half the day the VPs would plow us with glossy paper handouts and fancy PowerPoint presentations. They’d congratulate us on our great work, go over the company numbers (which were always in the green), and emphasize that the company was doing better than ever.
These meetings would always elicit fear among my co-workers.
As much as some managers would like to believe otherwise employees are not stupid and it didn’t take long for people to realize that our company overviews were curiously timed to coincide with dips in the stock market, a round of pink slips, or a change in management.
People would whisper and gossip for weeks after an overview. The happier upper management was the more miserable the underlings became. This wasn’t healthy for anyone and it created a high-stress, fear-based environment that eventually brought down the entire company.
We live in a society that promotes personal growth. The self-help industry, for example, generates more than 9.6 billion dollars a year and TV programs like The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil constantly challenge us to “let our light shine” and “take control of our lives”.
Many of us are looking for something, that’s for sure. We’re over-worked, under-slept, and insecure and we don’t seem to understand the source of our discontent. While work isn’t the only thing that can bring a person down, continually reporting to a boss who overlooks your intellect and takes advantage of your fears is never good for the self-esteem.
If you don’t demand honesty in your professional life, how can you demand it in your personal life?
Building your career upon the foundation of honesty, respect, and open communication -and demanding these attributes from your employer – will guarantee your professional and personal success. Accepting a hostile and deceptive work environment will damage your self-worth and kill your career before it ever has a chance to grow.
Most of us can’t pick and choose our co-workers. We can, however, pick and choose the organizations we decide to work for. It always pays to research a company, and the corporate culture of that company, before deciding to work for it. A few fibs from upper management might not seem like much in the beginning, but they can snowball rather quickly.
We all know what’s going on in today’s world. Economic crises don’t happen on their own and they don’t tend to happen when everyone is honest and plays by the rules.
Dishonesty has brought down its fair share of companies and careers. Don’t let it bring you down, too.
You’re worth far more than that.