Look back and remember the times when you had a lot of money and felt really successful. You probably had a lot to do at that time, right? Lots of projects, people to manage, meetings to lead, strategic plans to develop. Here’s the question. What were you doing that for? Just for the money? Or was it just because you were following the Jones’s and participating in the daily grind? Reflect—was that something that you really wanted to do?
If you’re looking for a change of business scenery there’s a solution. Ricardo Semler, Brazilian CEO at Semco Group, presented “How to Run a Company with (Almost) No Rules. Semler suggests a very abstract, but legit, new way of approaching business.
He questions: What if you could build a company (or work for a company) that operated on a whole different set of rules? What if the boarding school mentality was removed? What would you do? Could you force yourself to take off Wednesday afternoons every week to go to the movies in exchange for 10% of your salary? Or perhaps you’re able to set your own salary or work hours, which is completely unconventional. Semler thinks, and has proved, that this is possible under the right leadership.
In a time of such prolific technology the game has changed and will continue to alter (and improve) the way we live our lives. Technology has created the great opportunity to look at work in a much different way. We don’t really need to clock in and out if we can complete our work efficiently and effectively. Technology gives us flexibility.
The real basis of his idea is to take care of your peers and staff in much more meaningful ways, rather than just perpetuating the mouse on the wheel mentality.
It’s his idea that you need to find alternative “ways of wisdom” that inspire creativity, ingenuity, and productivity—of course while you alter the expectations about time at the desk or sitting in meetings. It’s about give and take, trusting your people to do their jobs, while at the same time giving them some (or a lot) of freedom.
He will challenge you to think about our personal need to give back, especially in our professional life. He says” If you’re giving back, you took to much.” Isn’t is better to share as you go along? This is your time to give back and take care of the well being of your people. If you’re willing, this new corporate concept requires a democratic or transparent work environment that breeds passion and talent. And it forces leaders to be honest and responsible.
As a leader you might consider this new way of thinking as building (or maybe rebuilding) your legacy. What do I want to be remembered for and why do I want to be remembered? Part of this requires the realization that you no longer follow in the shadow of someone else. It’s the possibility to release yourself from the antiquated way of thinking and the prospect to try something new, something unheard of.
Ask yourself, why are you doing what you’re doing, and what for?