Let’s get straight to the point: Your work team is not your family.
It’s so easy for people – in an attempt to quick-fix their culture – to spout off that their team is a family. Managers may think this is motivational or creates deeper loyalty, but I think that just creates a false illusion.
By calling your company a family, you’re just creating unnecessary issues and most likely, inhibiting growth and productivity.
You Can’t Quit Family
And your family can’t fire you – no matter how badly either party wants to.
Parents were the only ones obligated to love you; from the rest of the world you had to earn it.― Ann Brashares
Family is a bond that is difficult to break. The family bond is one that holds on. And no matter how weak the connection gets, it seems to keep pulling you back in.
We’ve all had yelling matches and stone-cold silence with our family members, but just imagine doing that at work. And if that’s what you’re experiencing at work, leave ASAP! Being a team at work requires a certain amount of tolerance and maturity that being a part of a family often doesn’t.
My family put up with a lot from me as a kid, but somehow we are still talking to each other. And if my attitude and accomplishments as a kid or as an adult didn’t measure up to their expectations, they won’t fire me for not completing my tasks or meeting my annual goals.
A company hires you for your skillset; they hired you because you bring something of value to their team. And you need to meet certain expectations.
As the nature of a bottom line-driven business, they may decide to cut ties with you. That’s within their right, just as it is you’re right to quit if they aren’t treating you correctly or you’re not meeting your own goals.
Ultimately, companies have to make choices that families don’t. Let’s not put a smokescreen over the reality of a team.
Take Out The Emotions
Let’s expand on emotions. Your work team is not your family – take emotions out of the equation.
A family’s loyalty and unconditional love does not exist in a company setting. Companies aren’t required to love you, and you’re not required to love them.
Companies should practice a level of indifference to remain focused on the end goal – without going to extreme lengths to make their employees’ lives difficult, of course. Companies are not people, and, therefore, are not capable of the emotions seen within families.
Now, who hasn’t stayed with a company longer than they should have because they loved the people? That’s right, it’s inevitable it happens at some point.
Have you thought about leaving and keeping the relationships that provide value outside of work? It’s better than staying where you aren’t fulfilled or happy.
By working at different companies, you also build your professional network. You make friends, and those friends become professional advocates for you and your skills. However, these people are not your family because businesses do not define your lasting, meaningful relationships. You do.
And as a business owner, you might love your company. For those who built their company from the ground up, the company is seen as their lasting legacy. These feelings could extend to your staff, but it doesn’t mean you need to assign the same perspective.
Swap Out Team Members
You can quit a job. Getting new coworkers is not unusual, and joining a new company is not out of the blue. But quitting a family or firing a family member is painful and usually avoided at all costs.
To build a productive and successful team, you have to find the right players. I aim for our team to be like the 1995 Chicago Bulls, and most teams are more like the 1989 Chicago Bulls.
We will keep swapping players till we find the right mix to win championships.
And you may not like each other, but you sure as hell need to work together. I can 100% promise that Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen had some issues with Dennis Rodman, and even they made it work.
Quitting has its purpose: you found a position that’s a better fit; you felt burnt out; you were in a toxic work environment. Quitting your job isn’t a betrayal. It’s just work. There are many companies in the world willing to pay you for your skills and talents, and there’s no reason to feel bad about leaving one for another.
Point is, do not compare your team to your family. Leave the emotional baggage behind, and complete the job you are paid to do with a team you can work with.
Managers manage the tasks that need to get done to achieve a certain goal.
Whether you’re a manager, a leader, or both, learning to differentiate between the two roles can help you develop skills for each. I want to help you define leadership and management to better understand the two and provide you with some of my favorite tips for staying true to each as you guide your business.