If I am not for myself.

9 Nov

Brother, it’s been a while since I’ve written anything outside shorthand food and drink orders and requisition forms. Please overlook the glaring grammar and punctuation errors. Don’t let Tommy see this!

A while back I heard a quote: “If I am only for myself, who am I? But if I am not for myself, who will be for me?”

Being wholly selfish leads to a loss of identity, with no shared goal or purpose. But as we have all seen at some point in our lives, being entirely selfless without an advocate leaves us prime candidates for Doormat of the Year.

I have seen very successful groups where underlings are generally selfless, and management takes on the role of advocate. I have also seen the opposite: where employees are not team oriented, and management is the antagonist…   “every man for himself” is the unspoken rule of law.

Both sides of this equation create a feedback loop/spiral.Downwards: When employees are selfish, management becomes the adversary. When management is not looking out for the employees interests, employees become selfish. Upwards: When employees act in the interest of the group, management is able to confidently advocate for their interests. When employees know management is looking out for them, they can serve the team selflessly without fear of being taken advantage of.

These cycles gain momentum like freight trains over time, and eventually they seem unstoppable. But things were good once before they went bad. And many thing which were once bad are now good. From the leadership side; what advice would you give for turning a vicious cycle virtuous, and for preventing a good thing from turning bad?



One Response to “If I am not for myself.”


  1. On taking and giving advantage – rswhiting - November 12, 2017

    […] – A Serious Dan […]

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