Thursday, January 03, 2008

Old Habits Die Hard

After a nice two-week holiday, I went back to work this past Wednesday.

I arrived at my usual time, around 9:00am. No one was around in my department – no one. It was a ghost town, all the desks were empty, not a person to be found.

Old habits die hard.

A few minutes later, one of my colleagues arrived. We chatted and caught up on each other’s holiday.

I mentioned he and I were the only ones in the whole department here. Neither of us knew exactly when or if anyone else would be coming back from holidays. So, we assumed it would just be the two of us until next week.

Then around 11:30am, another member of the department strolls in. Around 1:00pm – already half the day is gone – two other members of the department meander in.

Funny, I knew this day was my first day back, so I made sure to set my alarm clock to get up bright and early, so that I’d be at work bright and early. No one told me that first days back from vacation are come as you please. No one told me that I could just show up whenever I felt like it. No one told me come in after half the day has gone.

Old habits die hard.

All the managers and higher ups in our department are away on vacation until next week. When the boss is away, the rodents will play – as the saying goes.

In other words, there are no babysitters to watch over the nest and make sure we do as we should. Though in reality, we’re all adults and shouldn’t require a babysitter. Babysitters are for – well – babies!

But old habits die hard. Leadership, honesty, and professional ethics all stem from the top down. If the leaders don’t show true leadership, aren’t pillars of pride and honesty in their workplace, and don’t display strong professional ethics, than those they are in charge of won’t either.

I can understand one or two individuals out of a whole company taking advantage of situations where their bosses would be none the wiser. However, to have more than one individual in the same department doing so, that just spells problems for the department and those in charge of that department. It shows a severe lack of guidance, leadership and values from those in that department.

Old habits die hard – funny I keep ranting about that in this piece. But they obviously do, as the majority of people in the department have been in the department and with the company for more than two-years. Some have been with this company over 10, and even over 15-years.

Maybe it hasn’t always been the employees pulling the carpet out from under their manager’s eyes for all those years. But usually, people who have been working at the same place for many years develop a certain level of trust and respect for those they work under. That trust and respect, built over time, usually is showed by the level of professionalism when either party is out.

When the boss is out, if you respect and trust your boss, you don’t rape him or her by showing after half the day has gone. Likewise, when you are away, if your boss respects and trusts you, then your boss won’t take advantage of the situation, such as claiming your hard work as his or her own.

Trust and respect go hand in hand with solid leadership, strong guidance, and as always come from leading by example.

Leading by example isn’t intentional – it just happens. Whatever the boss does, the rest will follow – that’s why they call them leaders – because others follow their lead.

Old habits die hard – as the bosses have set a bad example, which their staff has taken as the norm.

Good thing the bosses aren’t around to see this – oh wait – they set the tone, so they probably do it themselves anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment