I have heard it said, for the majority of my life, ‘It is not what you know…but who you know!’
This may sound like an incredible statement, I have witnessed many professionals that will work for free…if they are appreciated!
There is a common malady in management and administration of others, that rears its ugly head on many occasions. The dysfunction that I am refereeing to is the lack of acknowledgment or recognition of dedicated service in regard to members of the university family or the corporate staff, who have labored in the heat of the day…and sought no reward…but certainly did not seek insult.
I have heard it said, of individuals that work night and day to facilitate the success of their workplace…’well you know…they love to work and labor…unpaid…it is a labor of love for them!’
I worked with a friend and colleague, for many years, who had the most grandiose stories of his past accomplishments. They were both interesting and enlightening, and had me sitting on the edge of my seat! It appears that my friend had lived at least two…or perhaps three lifetimes…to accomplish the many, James Thurber-Type, claims!
So, the gifted speaker and spinner of yarns…is the type of person that administration looks for to elevate to positions of authority and responsibility…when another has been working in the trenches to produce an excellent product. When we look for the shiny object or promotional candidate, or when we pass-over the quiet and conscientious worker who has demonstrated, Herculean, efforts to demonstrate and produce a successful and stelar work completion and a result that is at the zenith of excellence….We scratch our heads in disbelief that morale is at its lowest point!
I have wrestled with the subject of leadership since I was a youth. The presidents of the United States have always fascinated me. I have witnessed many variations of leaders, the most ineffective that I have seen is the, ‘Little Club of Leaders.’ This would be an exclusive club that has the motto over the door of the Clubhouse…’You Scratch My Back…And I Will Scratch Yours!’
On the contrary, people who feel, genuine, appreciation for the work that they are doing…will rise to the utmost of their capabilities! Their first concern is not how much money they can make…but how much of a difference that they can accomplish! Contrary to what CEO’s or chancellors or presidents may believe…there is such an abundance of dedication in the ranks of staff…that they are unaware of the value that these dedicated employees bring to the operation.
I have had the supreme opportunity to feel what is like work in an organization that the majority of my colleagues were working as a team and through their breaks and their lunch and had, bought into, the vision of what it means to be a Saluki, which is Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale’s mascot. I can assure you that when our most valuable campus citizens, our precious students, felt that camaraderie and dedication to something larger than all of us…they responded with a happiness and joy at being a member of such a, functional and loving, family atmosphere!