How well are you protecting your personal well being?
Perhaps you saw “Jaws”, I didn’t but here’s the story line. What subtle life messages do you hear in it?
Martin Brody is the police chief of Amity, an island resort town somewhere in New England. One summer morning, Brody is called to the beach, where the mangled body of a summer vacationer has washed ashore. The medical examiner tells the chief it could have been a shark that killed the swimmer.
The Mayor, who is desperate to keep the revenue from July 4th tourists wants Brody to say the young woman’s death was caused by a motorboat propeller instead of a shark…because the thought of a shark would drive tourists away from Amity.
[Note to self…it looks like the mayor puts money ahead of people’s lives.]
Shark expert Matt Hooper believes the female swimmer was killed by a shark. Hooper is proven right a few days later, when another person is killed.
Quint, the shark hunter offers to find the shark and kill it, but Police Chief Vaughn thinks his $10,000 professional service fee is too high. Meanwhile, Mayor Vaughn leaves the beaches open; he still wants the summer revenue.
After another crazy experience the mayor agrees to hire Quint to find the shark.
Here is the dialog where Quint responds to the mayor’s challenge:
Quint: Y’all know me. Know how I earn a livin’. I’ll catch this bird for you, but it ain’t gonna be easy. Bad fish. Not like going down the pond chasin’ bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow you whole. Little shakin’, little tenderizin’, an’ down you go.
And we gotta do it quick, that’ll bring back your tourists, put all your businesses on a payin’ basis. But it’s not gonna be pleasant. I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I’ll find him for three, but I’ll catch him, and kill him, for ten.
But you’ve gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap and be on welfare for the whole winter.
I don’t want no volunteers, I don’t want no mates, there’s just too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.
When do you yell “Shark!”?
If you’ve heard me speak or read much of my stuff you know I’m about developing people.
As The People Developer it is my heartfelt duty to proclaim this warning: “Business Eats People!”
Business (your work) will take whatever you are willing to give it and still want more. It’s the nature of business to take, consume, produce…; take, consume, produce…; take, consume, produce. This is how business functions – not good or bad, right or wrong…just how it is.
Knowing this to be true, I hope you work at a business that values people (you).
You see, I believe the business of business is people.
When a business takes care of its people, the people will take care of the business.
When this is not the case, work will “…swallow you whole. Little shakin’, little tenderizin’, an’ down you go.” Did I hear “Shark!”?
But what about OSHA?
This of course is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States. According to Wikipedia, OSHA
…was created by Congress under the Occupational Safety and Health Act signed by President Richard M. Nixon, on December 29, 1970. Its mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and occupational fatality by issuing and enforcing standards for workplace safety and health.
As well intentioned and valuable as the mission of this agency may be OSHA is not there to protect your work-life balance. It will not encourage you to live out your values or make sure you are engaged in meaningful work or that you are doing work that you enjoy or that allows you to use your strengths.
No one will do this OR can do this…except you.
The setting of boundaries, the negotiation of expectations, and making choices that lead to living life with purpose and passion while serving others is our personal responsibility. “The company” or “the boss” will not do it…not even when a business leader says “our most important asset is our people.” Remember the nature of business is to eat people. It is not right or wrong, it just is. Whatever you are willing to sacrifice it will take.
This is not an attack on “big business” or business “in general” or “capitalism”. No profit, no business, no provision. It is about being aware of the sign on the beach.
It is about embracing personal responsibility for your personal development which includes living well.
Have you experienced the affect of downsizing?
The pressure to do more with less is on like never before! More pressure, greater demands, and work will “…swallow you whole. Little shakin’, little tenderizin’, an’ down you go.”
How might you move forward…?
- Pay attention to your story – What’s the message around hours worked, stress, your health, strain on your relationships? How well are you living out your values?
- Be intentional – Where can you make an adjustment? What’s one thing you can do to “take back your life”?
- Solicit support – Everyone needs an objective person to ask real questions and encourage the hard choices
There’s a man-eating creature out there.
How are you protecting your personal well being?
“The Best Predictor of Continued Success is the ability and willingness to learn and change achieved through consistent reflection on the Story.”
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