My Way or Your Way?

Like Sinatra, more and more people are beginning to do things their way.

As an employer, it’s better to know the answers to the following:

1) What’s my company’s purpose?

2) Why do my employees work for me?

It’s true, big corporations are getting even bigger. But, at the same time, more and more people are opting to do their ‘own thing.’

Startups, freelancers are greater in number than ever before. Why is there a shift for more autonomy among people? Too much supply? Less demand?

Maybe, maybe not. But consider this, if you’re an employer, “Will my employees want to work for me if not for the paycheck?”

Because, the innovators, the visionaries, the prodigies (you know… the ones whom you really want working for you) will quit once they can go their own way or crowdfund and never end up working for you in the first place.

So, what’s the point? Imagine a person without eyes and feet. Can such a person see where they want to go? Can they move on their own?

The people who’re vital for your company’s evolution, so as to stay ahead of the game – these game changers – are looking, like Sinatra, to do things their own way.

If you want people to stay, and attract new ‘talent,’ then figuring out why you are in the business in the first place, might come in handy. Your why becomes their why – their identity. Remember, paychecks can only do so much.

Gain More by Giving More

Recently, I was teaching about social influence and the 6 types of social power. The students wanted to know how to differentiate between Expert and Informational Power.

I explained to them that information is like a pail of water and the expert is the well it’s drawn from. Once drawn out, and used, the water is no longer useful. The well, on the other hand, retains its usefulness. An expert always has knowledge, and is more powerful as a result.

To help them understand why informational power is transient, i gave them the following example:

Teacher A holds access to website resources and keeps it a guarded secret. Once the students figure out where she gets her materials from, then the power shifts away.

On the other hand, teacher B, who shares her resources, doesn’t depend on them for power. Rather, her’s is based on experience and wisdom in teaching that subject, which no student can figure out. Her power lies in knowing how to guide the students for the exam.

In life, we tend to hold on to information which are treated as currency. In reality, though, this attitude only highlights the inadequacy/inexperience of a person. A true professional will always be like the well. The more people benefit from you the more valuable, indispensable you become.

Finding your Why

Recently, I did some copy work for a newly set up logistics company. I was able to work for them, in the first place, because i sent them this as a proposal for their About Us page:

There is a big shortage for services catering to startups and entrepreneurs. If you look at it, startups are the biggest thing that can help our people and economy. They need a space to grow and succeed. But, the major players only cater to established, big companies. Those guys are too big to handle startups. I don’t think they are even bothered. This needs to change!

These words (more or less) were spoken by Sajehan, the CEO of said company. He wasn’t speaking to me as a copy writer. This took place during an informal conversation when he informed me that he’s starting a company. Being an entrepreneur myself, I was hooked on the idea and wanted to genuinely help his company grow.

If you’re a follower of Simon Sinek, like me, you’d have picked up on his ‘Why’ statement. And any company that has a clear ‘Why’ has pretty much secured its path to success.

While I’d like to believe in my own self-importance, and assume that he hired my services because my copy made his computer overheat, I have to be reasonable and understand that such is not the case. It’s most probably because of his ‘Why’. Sajehan wants to help startups and entrepreneurs have a level playing field, and he’s walking the talk so far.

For me, copy writing is about communicating a client’s purpose to the intended audience. This, I believe, is the best way to create brand identity. So, my work was made that much easier since Sajehan understood why he was in the business.