Are You Phony At Work?

Recently, I worked with a company that was pure perfection at first glance. In fact, for about a month I was in complete shock at how caring,  how nice, how approachable the people were. The managers seemed like they actually cared about their staff. They said hello in the elevator when I spoke and even asked about the well being of my son. It was a complete culture shock from the dry,  too busy to smile, unapproachable group of attorneys that I had previously worked with.

On the surface, this company was the ideal place to work. When I asked about the company vision and core values there was a big emphasis on serving the people who make up the organization. Their main goal was developing people who could carry out their mission and represent it well. They did this very well but after months of observing, something just didn’t seem right. Everyone spoke the same way. Everyone looked the same way. When I would thank a person after they helped me with anything, I would always get the same answer. It was as if I was in a bubble and no one had a personality of their on. No one ever verbalized their frustrations or even seems to have a bad day.

“Are these people even real,” I thought to myself. Seriously, it was like that fake friend who always smiled in your face but was really out plotting your demise. Maybe they weren’t being malicious but it sure felt unauthentic. I found it hard for me to open up and I became consumed by the same robotic hand that controlled them. I would speak in the same way. I started using the company verbiage.  I felt like I was in a cult and if I didn’t play by their rules  I would be doomed to hell.

After I left there I began to wonder, “Are companies so busy trying to perfect leadership development that they lose their individual Identity?” In life I’ve learned that

It’s not beneficial at home or at work to hide those emotions or feelings that makes us humans. Sometimes it’s those exact feelings that bring out our most creative work. Don’t be so caught up in trying to perfect the system that you lose self.  Instead, define the goals and values of the company and start investing in creating a culture of authentic, but forever growing, personalities.

Do you feel like the people you work with are fake? 

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On March 3, 2016, posted in: Blog, Leadership Development by
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