A Case Against the "It's Just Business" Mentality

KristenGreenConsulting_CaseAgainstItsJustBusiness

Business is hard.
Business with humans is even harder.
But it's worth it.

I remember having a conversation with a former coworker over 5 years ago.
She said, “Don’t take it personally. It’s just business.”

What she said wasn’t new.
It was a mantra that had been uttered many times before she spoke those words. But I vividly remember how disappointed I was in her statement. 

Thinking back on it years later, my view hasn’t changed.

I firmly believe that you can’t (and shouldn't) separate people and business.

To do so is to take away the humanity of what we create. 

Let’s journey down this path for a minute to see what happens if "it’s just business” after all. 

If it’s no longer about respecting each other's unique talents, then you don’t need to care about the quality of the work you deliver.
The client got what they paid for.
Someone worked on their proposal for 8 hours.
Check that box off the list.
There’s no need for due diligence.
If there’s no personal stamp to put on your work, then there’s no need for excellence.
It’s just business.

Your customer received a broken product due to shipping.
She calls to get a replacement.
Too bad, so sad.
This is a business, not a charity case.
The shipping carrier broke your product, not you.
Call them to fix it.
It’s just business.

Your team is working on a project.
You crush it.
The client is happy.
The customers are happy.
It’s an overwhelming success.
But there are no congratulations.
Your team is told to not get too comfortable with their success.
There’s no time for high-fives and learning from your experience.
You need to focus on pulling more money out of the pocket of your clients.
There’s no need for camaraderie and lessons learned.
It’s just business.

You don't want to live or work this way, do you?
I know I don’t want to work this way.
I want humanity in business.
I want people to treat each other like humans with hearts and minds and unique opinions and passions.
I don’t want work full of robotic responses with no sense of emotion or empathy reflected.

Is it hard working with other humans?
Of course. 

But when we collaborate in our humanity, it’s when we do our best work.  

I want my work to have empathy and emotion.

I want to reflect the best of others back to them in the work I do.
I want my clients to feel heard, understood, respected and important.
And I don’t want them to find their importance in a job title or in the weight of their business card. 

I want them to see their importance when I look them in the eye to hear out their business problem. 

I want them to see their importance when I treat their customers’ concerns with the same delicate care that they do. 

I want my clients to know they matter because of the way I serve them.

That’s what I think business and leadership is truly all about.

What about you?