So What is the “Midwestern Work Ethic?”
Would love some feedback here. I’ve been talking about Midwestern values for years without realizing it. I just figured everyone operated with the same ideas and people across the US were raised the same way.
But then Enron happened. And then WorldCom. Then we heard about Tyco and some of the other messes in the Big Corporate world. From this chair it looks like these companies imploded because the leaders forgot who they were, and the corporate cultures were allowed to drift.
So how does that happen? How do leaders look in the mirror when they are destroying lives left and right? How do they wake up in the morning and feel OK about who they are and what they stand for? Where does it begin to sink in that this may not be a great way to run a company? Or does it ever?
H.L. Mencken made a wry observation about what passes for a conscience:
“Conscience is that inner voice
that warns us somebody might be looking.”
Here’s my working list on “small town or Midwestern work ethics.” We put it in the “about Beth Terry” section for right now. What do you think… what do the words ‘work ethic’ mean to you? Anything missing? What needs to be said better? What will rattle and roll the cages of Corporate America and maybe international companies if we say we want a conversation about these qualities?
The Working List:
- Do the right thing
- Do what you said you would do
- If you need help figgerinâ€™ it out, ask somebody
- â€œYou canâ€™t have everything, where would you put it?â€ Steven Wright
- Most luck comes from hard work, goals, and stickinâ€™ to it
- The best thing you can do when it all goes to hell is keep on movinâ€™ forward
- No one said the world is fair, only that itâ€™s round
- If you screw up, just admit it, fix it, and get the hell outta the way
- If youâ€™re getting paid for a 40-hour job, they expect you to actually work 40 hours
- If you donâ€™t own the business, somebody out there who does may have mortgaged their home, their kids, and their future to make it happen. Respect that and give them your best
- Life really is good; we really do have it great in the US; most people really are decent human beings; and you do create your own success
- Gratitude, Forgiveness, Grace, Detachment, and Love pretty much trump everything else. Looking for ROI? Youâ€™ll find it there.
I’d love to hear from you. Let’s get corporations and their employees back on track. This is basic common sense information, and the companies that do use these philosophies are doing pretty darn good! Look at Southwest Airlines; Edward Jones; DanTerryInc. All three of these companies are able to stay in the black, have happy employees, low turnover, and great profitability. They’ve done it the old fashioned way – treating employees, customers, and vendors with respect and integrity. In short, they utilize small town values.
Tell me others you think are living up to these values, and what those values mean to you. I’d love to hear from you.
“Sleepless in Phoenix”
Beth and the pups
Beth Terry, CSP
Certified Speaking Professional and Author
“Corporate Cowgirl “
Bringing small town Midwestern work ethics to Corporate Cultures
~Reduce Turnover~ ~Increase Employee Loyalty~
~Increase Productivity~ ~Improve Customer Experience~