It’s Not Business

There is a saying, “It’s not personal, just business,” which implies that you can somehow remain removed from the emotion of a business outcome.

However, when thinking about your job (boss or employee ), it is better not to be removed but to be invested and very, very emotional.

Your job or workplace in general can be a cold place and not business as usual; it’s deeply personal. Here’s how I like to think about it; Ask yourself, ‘Would I be concerned about the culture that my 16-year-old has to experience on the first day of their new job’? It can be a cold and lonely experience. Everyone has the routine down, but you. Everyone has relationships with others, but you. Everyone has an established place in the company culture….but you. 

Even though you maintain good business etiquette and professionalism, you must care about your workplace which is where you spend most of your time.

Your job impacts your career which impacts your financial well-being, your ability to care for loved ones, your emotional health, your physical health, and your spirit.

This isn’t the time for business as usual!

This is the time to push hard – not push hard on other people, but rather to push yourself to work longer on your environment, to do detailed research on that environment and your influence in it.

Yet, despite the business-like methods which characterize a good job, don’t forget the personal.

Find what makes you unique.

Care deeply and let your passion be apparent to everyone you meet. Be personable and understand the importance rapport.

She’s right. It should begin by being personal. Your organization is being graded on a variety of things every day like the quality of your products or the helpfulness of your customer service representatives and if your organization’s culture begins by being personal you’re going to make better products and hire better customer service reps.

It’s not the easier path but it is the better path. The implications are vast:

  • If business is personal it doesn’t happen at arms length.
  • If business is personal it requires transparency.
  • If business is personal it demands the truth.
  • If business is personal then you’ll honor your word.
  • If business is personal you’re looking for everyone to win.

Unless your business doesn’t involve people in any form or fashion (and I’d like to know what that might be) then it’s personal to someone. A particular business decision may not be personal to you but it’s personal to someone else. If you’re lucky, you’ll never meet the person impacted by a business decision, but in today’s connected, sharing, venting out loud type of world, the likelihood that you’ll find out who your decision impacts is more probable than ever and then you’ll have to deal with that in whatever form it takes.

Of course, you could just recognize that business is personal and make decisions with that in mind too. It’s your call.