A Job: NOT a Choice on The Menu

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Nothing is more fundamental to a person’s life than their job.  It provides a means for basic life security needs, and if we are honest with ourselves, a major contributor to one’s own self esteem.

I think that ALL work has value in our economy and cringe when I hear people talk about minimum wage jobs with disdain or use the word “Mcjobs.”  Not only is it disrespectful to people working in those jobs, but its also disrespectful to someone who will one day LEAD people.  At least they have the opportunity too…..

Ask any unemployed person who is struggling to find work how they would value a job and you will be humbled right away.

But there’s a fact of life:

Some people view their jobs, whether minimum wage or professional, similar to how they view their next meal out:  

What am I in the mood for?  Pizza?  Burger?  Sushi?  They make a choice daily relative to their job as if it were something casual.

You see this attitude manifest itself when people do the following:

  • They go through the motions, doing the bare minimum to get by, never asking for feedback or questions when they get stuck
  • They pass up on opportunities to build relationships, which as my friend Ted Rubin says, is the new currency of today’s economy.
  • They actually are on the constant hunt for “what’s next” in terms of their next meal (or job) vs being obsessed with doing REMARKABLE work (and letting the score take care of itself.)
  • They would actually resign from a job without creating anywhere near the ROI for the employer (in other words before any acceptable amount of time, call it 6 months), when a new sushi joint opens up.

I understand this post is somewhat cynical, and I view myself as a staunch OPTIMIST.  Dare I call this the Old School coming out of me?

The fact is that there is no greater clash between Old School and New School than generational differences in the workplace.

When I started Hustle or Bust in December of ’12, I was the ripe old age of 39…..too young to be considered “Old School” and too old to be considered New.  Old School or New School however has nothing to do about age.  It’s all about mindset.  Approach.  The hunger that drives a desire to make a difference to the business and the people you are surrounded with.

Jobs Matter.  

There is nothing about a job that reminds me of the casual process of figuring out where to eat lunch today.

I will never forget how grateful I was too be awarded with my first few jobs.  I never enjoy a glass of wine without winking up to the sky and my beloved uncle who gave me an opportunity to work in his store.


The most wonderful part about Hustle is that it is a controllable.  It is a choice.  It doesn’t discriminate on your age, your bank account, or where you went to school, or IF you did.

Those that understand what Hustle is all about would never approach their job like they were choosing their next meal.  They approach their job as if their performance ENABLED their next meal.  

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The Brutal Reality of The Truth: Unavoidable.

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“You Can’t Handle The Truth!”

One of the great 3 minute segments of cinema history.  Can’t beat Jack!

Delivering the Truth can be brutal, harmful to one’s ego and self esteem.  But it is a leaders obligation to shoot straight with people.  

Jack Welch refers to it as “Candor.”

My previous company had a different spin on Candor:  “Candor Done Right.”  

The “Right” part was the critical piece.  Shoot straight, but don’t be a jerk about it.  It is a skill indeed.

What’s missing from the workplace however is not the “done right” part, it’s the lack of Candor to begin with.

  • Performance issues

  • Attitude problems

  • Missing deadlines

  • Not doing what they say they will do

  • Not having an edge, when an edge is needed.

All require Candor.  Straight Talk.  Telling it like it is.

If you have to chose between shooting straight with someone (and risk hurting their feelings) vs. avoiding a difficult conversation, SHOOT STRAIGHT.  Failing to do so is more cruel to the person than confronting issues head on.  

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