When I was young and impressionable (and still trying to make an impression), I believed – foolishly – that I had to answer to people. Whether that was my boss, colleagues or peers, I was under the impression I had to answer to them in all I did.
Now, before folks get the wrong impression, yes, it’s definitely important to have some form of hierarchy to get things done. This doesn’t necessarily mean a boss/employee relationship, though – think of it more like expertise and the wisdom to make the right things happen.
But the idea that you have to answer to someone because they say you have to? Screw that.
Just like trust and respect needs to be earned, so does answering to someone. You want me (or others) to listen to you? Show me you know your shit, and show me you’ll use that knowledge to do things the right way.
Which brings us back to the opening statement.
People in positions of power may feel you have to answer to them, because their job title says so. But here’s the thing – people don’t stay in companies for 25 years or more anymore.
People also see through BS faster, and know that – thanks to social media – it’s easier to be connected to someone that can help them make their next move than it was just five years ago, when an old boy network and a good suit was the “in” to a new position.
What this means is that employees don’t need to take the kind of shit anymore that they used to stay silent about. Nor do they have to worry about a damaged reputation, since the truth always comes out. Always.
Which, at the end of the day, is where the real rewards are anyway…