Note: Views my own.
In the 1980s and the 1990s, the industry that ruled the power landscape was the finance industry.
One of the more coveted arenas was getting through university and getting your first job in Wall Street. In today’s world, Silicon Valley and the technology scene holds the power. With more power, comes more prestige and with more prestige seems to come more arrogance and condescension.
Silicon Valley has been looked to as the glamour of workplaces — enterprises with fancy work perks such as working out during work hours, sitting on a bean bag with your laptop on your lap, playing Foosball at lunch.
New graduates are actually looking in heading West to California now, to take part in this “better” work environment as opposed to the long dreaded hours filled with miserable bosses and toxic work environments of Wall Street and New York City.
Remember: with more power, comes more arrogance.
Finance and Technological industries have one thing in common in any era — arrogance. Personally, having worked in the financial services industry and in money management, I knew individuals who truly believed they were curing cancer by managing a portfolio of a wealthy client! (analyze: managing, not creating the wealth)
The two industries constantly place so much emphasis who was smarter than who, or he’s smart or she’s smart (or not) and be ridiculed for it, if the perception of one’s “IQ” did not seem to be up to par.
As a result?
Back door discussions occur, distractions happen and a toxic work environment in the office is created. The stories in Silicon Valley are now just starting to come out towards the media of how toxic that world has become.
Not a great thing, when employee hatred towards their own work stands at a whopping 70%!
The failures of those two industries especially, is placing way too much emphasis on “who is smarter than who” and leaders should be held accountable for these types of toxic work discussions especially when their own employees engage in that behavior. It destroys the team in a heart beat. Personally, I have seen this happen on way too many occasions.
Leaders must be aware of organizational workplace management and how different personalities adopt different material in their own unique manner:
From the introverts where creativity and innovation shines in their solitude, to extroverts who love bringing in more revenue to the firm through sales. From written learners to the visual types. From understanding aspects in one ear-shot to others learning by doing.
Being a leader does not mean to scold at every opportunity to get your point across, rather it is personality management. How to get the best out of everyone.
There are the meticulous paying attention to the detail, nitty-gritty types and there are individuals who cannot hear anything else but understanding what the big picture or what the end goal is about.
The main discussion should always be about how resilient you, as a leader, and how, you as an employee is. That should be the benchmark. Each day is faced with new challenges, new set back, new opportunities, new wins and new losses.
It is the gamble of life and each day we are gambling with every single decision we are making and facing the outcomes (or consequences) because of those decisions.
Persistence and resilience should be at the very essence and core of every work professional. The team will thrive, the organization will thrive and fulfillment occurs.
The financial industry has been facing a reckoning for maintaining this mentality with reports stating Wall Street is having trouble finding talent and the tech scene may soon face the same.
A friend of mine at the age of 16 told me that she wanted to work at Google. At the time we were in high school, so nothing was taken seriously but I did remember saying a dull manner, “That’s cool”.
She attained a non-technical degree from a “non-target” school (in honesty, she just wanted to get through university to focus on work) and at the age of 23, she reached out to Google only for them to shun her within a heartbeat. She gained more experience only to knock on their door again at the age of 24 — and only for them to close the door on her once again.
She came back a year later at 25 only to crack that door this time, but the cracks were not deep enough for her to march right in. She came back to them, again, at 26 years old — gaining the experience she was told she did not have and walked in the door this time only for them to say, “not this time”.
Her determination was inspiring and at times, jaw dropping.
Where I was telling her to focus on other firms only for her to exclaim, “I said I wanted this at 16 and I still want this now. They cannot keep me away from that door, I will continue to knock until they let me in!”
At 27, she walked in. She boldly told the hiring manager, with a statement, “I know I do not have the technical engineering degree or an ivy-league degree. I went to a state school, but that should not negate my work ethic and curiosity to grow and I have something I know that is needed on your team — persistence. Persistence to continue to problem solve and the persistence to press on when facing a challenge. That is more than a piece of paper could ever tell you”.
Now, at 28 years old and several epiphanies later, she managed to channel her strong will and persistence into a better, more useful avenue — the world of being a potentially ground breaking social entrepreneur in efforts to advance the world for the better.
Measure yourself that by that benchmark, as an individual and as an organization looking to build a team. The power of persistence.
After all, persistence is confidence in your own unique abilities, but masked in a different disguise.
When you go after what you want, you just become a more fulfilled, happier person.
Originally published at theascent.pub