Pride: Choose Work You Love
This article was originally written for the DeskElf blog in January of 2012
I had a great meeting with an awesome start up. The company, which will remain nameless for reasons you’ll soon understand, has a humble and good-willed CEO. I’ve met him before and share some of his passions. Besides being a torch of inspiration through their success, this company now serves as a great lesson in pride, a lesson I learned through their failures during the meeting.
They are in the process of working with a client in need of personal branding. They don’t usually take on these sort of clients, they tend to focus on the bigger guys. They decided to partner with DeskElf so they would have a great team to whom they could outsource. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss technical details.
One of the first things one employee said while introducing me to his co-worker was, “This is the guy that is going to make us have to work with this client.” Flag number one; these guys had no desire to actually work with the client. We then began a long discussion about which technology to use. They wanted to use a technology that they had some level of familiarity with, which is understandable. I raised issues with their choice in technology and vouched for my choice for about 30 minutes. At one point I decided to break the tension by saying, “Why don’t we rocks, paper, scissors, shoot over it?”, which was my way of saying, “At the end of the day, DeskElf can rock any technology, so let’s just make a decision.” The response from one employee was, “No, we would rather punch you in the face.”
Punch me in the face? Really? This was flag number two; these guys had no desire to actually work with me. Combining the two offensive remarks, I came to the following conclusion: these guys have no pride. Their company is making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month and yet they see some clients, and partners, as being a pain. After discussing it with Nadav I realized something. Sometimes I complain. Sometimes I don’t want to speak with a client on the phone. And that is an issue.
When you do anything, you need to do it right and you need to do it with pride. If you view your clients as an obstacle in the way of your vacation days, you have an issue. If your clients are a means of support and not actually people, you have a problem. I’ve made a pledge in the past to never complain about work in front of my family. I want my wife and kids to understand that working is important, it helps us grow and it builds our economy. I on occasion complain about clients in front of my employees and now I understand how damaging this can be. This is going to stop now.
The last thing I realize is that I can’t complain about clients to myself. Clients are people who spend their own, hard-earned income on DeskElf services. They can choose any vendor and they’re doing us a favor by choosing us. We in turn, will return the favor by producing the best produce they have ever seen. If we take pride in our clients, we take pride in our products. Pride in our products is pride in our company. You spend most of your day working, if you can be proud of your work, you can be proud of who you are and what you do.