My Comments On A Recent MCall article about The Work Ethic In The Lehigh Valley

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This morning while I was sipping some tea poolside at the beautiful Fire Sky Resort in Scottsdale

Fire Sky Resort.jpgArizona I came across this interesting article in the Morning Call about the work ethic in The Lehigh Valley. To read the article go to:,0,6359185.story

I was intrigued and I empathize with both employers & employees alike. Here are my comments to the article:

First a compliment to Brian Callaway and the Mcall for this kind of local reporting an coverage.

I must say that as both an employer and an educator I empathize with both sides of the issue. The most important thing to recognize in the 21st century is that the world as we know it is less than 15 years old. You see in 1989 the Berlin Wall came down (thus signifying the end of the industrial age) and in 1995 the World Web went up (thus signifying the dawn of the information age).

The world has changed yet unfortunately both our educational system and our business models have yet to change.

As employees we cling to an entitlement mentality which is a hangover from the industrial age. As employers we are stead fast in our philosophy of managerial capitalism which causes us to view our people as liabilities versus what the truly are- assets. Again the world has change and so must we.

Here are my suggestions for perspective employees:

Know that in the 21st century the most important attributes which you bring to the table is your reputation, not your resume. This can only be conveyed by how you act and how people know you. Here are four simple things which you can do in your professional life to enhance your reputation whether you are the CEO or just starting out in the mail room:

1.       Show up on time.

2.       Say Please.

3.        Thank You.

4.       Do what you say you’re going to do.  

Simple? Yes. But not overly simplistic. You see most people; particularly those with advance degrees think that reputation and referability are a matter of talent, genius and charisma. These traits will certainly get you in the door, but they will only get you so far. The talented will get arrogant and show up late. The genius will get cocky and not express gratitude/appreciation and disrespect others. And the charismatic will ultimately drop the ball and not deliver.

These four traits are simple and easy to apply and make a world of difference to both employers and colleagues alike. Why?

1.       Showing up on time- shows that you respect not only others, but more so yourself.

2.       Saying Please- shows respect & dignity

3.       Saying Thank You- shows appreciation.

4.       Doing what you say- shows that you have integrity.

Here is my suggestion for employers:

1.       Realize that “the fish stinks from the head down”

2.       Stop treating your people like office furniture

3.       Realize that professional development is like taking a shower- if you only do it one time a year both you and your people will stink!

As I noted in my previous post, most owners and employers are stuck in an industrial age mindset of “managerial capitalism” which too is a hangover from the industrial age. Stop viewing employees as liabilities on your balance sheet and start to see them as assets. Change starts with you.

The Fish Stinks from the Head Down. My uncle Vito from Queens taught me this. He is in a very unique line of work (and no it is not waste management.) What Vito says is very true. As an employer/manager you must realize that you cannot take your people to a place where you yourself have yet been. Rather than pointing the finger at your people, look at yourself. Bottom line- if you want better employees become a better employer.

Stop Treating Your People Like Office Furniture. Realize that people have hearts, minds and souls. They are working not only because of a paycheck. More so people what to know the work that they do is making a difference. Get in touch with your people to know what their dreams are. (See below action steps on how to do this.)

Realize Professional Development Is Like Taking A Shower- If you only do it one time a year, you will stink! Funny but so true. In a world that is ever changing you must constantly stay on top of your game to stay with the times, let alone try to get a head. If you want your company to earn more, both you and your people gotta learn more.

Action steps:

1.       Go buy the book- The Dream Manager, By Matthew Kelly (currently at the top of all the business best seller lists) 

Dream Manager Book Cover.jpg

2.       Read the book (it is a quick read and will take no more than 2 hours)

3.       Contact me via and I will tell you how to apply the Dream Manager concept to your life and your company via a complimentary consultation.

4.       Watch your people change because you made a commitment to change yourself first.

I trust this advice will help you. To your success!


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This page contains a single entry by Tony published on February 12, 2008 8:49 AM.

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