Self Centered People: Unfit to Hold any Meaningful Job in a Good Company

There are people those who work for others, but have the same attitude towards their employers that postal clerks have toward the post office department. I hasten to make it clear that I intend no slight or slur against postal clerks, who work hard and well. But, they are not motivated by any need or desire to produce a profit for their employer. Postal deficits are traditional, and they are met regularly by the Federal Government. I doubt very seriously if there is one postal clerk in ten who care whether the post office department makes a profit or operates at a deficit. This is, perhaps, as it should be in the post office department. But, obviously, such attitudes are fatal to any business operating in a free-enterprise system.

Yet, there are far too many men who hold or would like to hold management positions in business whose out-looks are virtually identical with those of an average postal clerk. They don’t really care whether the company that employs them makes a profit or shows a loss as long as their own paychecks arrive on time.

I’ve encountered countless MBA’s from leading business schools from USA. Among them who, incredibly enough, are utterly incapable of reading a balance sheet and couldn’t even give an intelligent definition of what is meant by the term “profit.” Whatever exalted titles such men may hold, they still remain nothing more than glorified postal clerks. They feel little or no sense of responsibility to their employers or the stock holders of the company for which they work. They are interested solely in their own personal welfare. Outwardly, some of these men seem to posses the essential qualifications for management jobs. They are obviously intelligent and apparently experienced. But not even a 180 IQ will necessarily make an individual a good worker or top management executive. And, as Roger Falk so correctly points out in his book, The Business of Management, many a man who is supposed to have, say, ten years experience has really only one year’s experience repeated ten times over.

Large numbers of these postal clerk types spend years even decades trying to reach the upper rungs of the success ladder and wondering why they can’t attain them. They can’t understand why they aren’t given top jobs or can’t settle in ‘good position’.

The reason they fail? Actually, it’s all in the mind.

Unfortunately, however, these are usually the very people who have the wildest delusions about their own value – the ones who do the least and demand the most. They view the company for which they work as a money tree from which good things should flow to them rather than as something to which they owe loyalty and which they should strive to build.

There were times in the past when I tried to excuse the failings of these types on the ground that they hadn’t had the advantages I’d enjoyed in life. I reasoned that they did not have the same amount of the formal education I’d received, hadn’t traveled as widely nor had as much business practical experience as I. Then I gradually learned that when their personal interests were involved, these economic illiterates suddenly became as shrewd as the most successful financier.

To have a stable job, it is absolutely a basic requirement to add positive value to your employer both in good and bad times. Such people are valued by good employers and their jobs will be protected even in bad economic conditions. When large numbers of good people work in a single company, the company does well. Likewise, if too many non-right minded people or people who work only for salary and do no value addition to the company succeed and become majority, such companies will find it difficult to survive. This will lead to the destruction of that company in the near future. This brings us back to the point that whoever adds value to their employer will personally benefit in the long run and will have respect at work place.

Note: Adapted from a writing by Jean Paul Getty, a first generation businessman and business executive, who setup one of the largest organizations, Getty Oil, and successfully handled many challenges along the way.

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