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Is Your Workplace A Community Or A Business?

If you are a Warrior in the workplace, you care more about getting things done than your popularity level in the company.  But unfortunately, there are seldom enough Warriors in the workplace, and a high percentage of non-Warrior managers prefer to “run a community” as opposed to “run a business”. 

Of course, there are exceptions –  “community companies” that operate efficiently, but they are almost always small, frequently family-run organizations that have made the choice for a variety of different reasons.  A high performance company must operate like a company.

In a community, everyone has their say.  Decisions are made by consensus, and the community leaders are dependent on the community members to maintain their status, so they are careful to be inclusive and not offend anyone.  Community members are typically only ejected from the community for really heinous behaviour.  Community leaders will often choose not to make the tough choices for fear of alienating the community. 

A successful business almost never operates this way.  Decisions in a business are made by Warriors or teams of Warriors and trusted advisors, and are based on what is best for the business, not what would make them the most popular with the employees.  Managing by consensus or by popularity contest does not work in a business.  Certainly a successful business should have an industry-appropriate culture that fosters talent, and encourages success and innovation, but maintaining that kind of culture also requires tough standards. Good managers understand that they can’t be friends with everyone in their department, and holding people to standards (and firing those that can’t perform) is their duty as the manager.  Otherwise they foster mediocrity, which threatens the entire company.

Communities are great places to live, but I would not want to work there.

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