A popular career blogger once tried to make the argument that Christmas is destroying corporate America on CBSNews.com. I kid you not. Unfortunately, yours truly had a blog on the same site at the time. I remember thinking, Crap, there goes the neighborhood … and my credibility.
Then again, the woman was well-known for gems like “Why Your Career Needs Plastic Surgery – Literally,” where she gave this advice to new grads: “Tell your parents you want plastic surgery as a graduation gift. Hate those thin lips? Fatten them up. It’ll help you land the job.”
You just can’t make this stuff up.
I eventually followed the age-old axiom and changed the channel to Fox Business, but wouldn’t you know it, the dopey arguments that blogger tried to make keep coming up again and again in companies big and small and throughout our culture.
So I thought I’d turn the tables and explain what really is destroying corporate America: political correctness.
To be specific, I’m referring to selfish, whiny, thin-skinned, entitled employees who take themselves too seriously, find the littlest things offensive, create mini-dramas that have nothing to do with their jobs or the business their companies are in, and think the workplace should be a pure democracy where they have a say in every little decision.
To make matters worse, spineless managers, executives, and business leaders who lack the moral compass to do the right thing and the courage to stand up to it kowtow to this nonsense.
To combat the PC plague that’s invaded the workplace, here are my 5 Non-PC Rules of Workplace Diversity. Feel free to send it to your boss or post it in the break room where everyone can see it. If your co-workers whine about it, just tell them Steve Tobak said, “Shut up and get back to work.”
1. Business is about business … period. Employees serve the company and its stakeholders, not the other way around. That goes for everyone from the CEO on down. Work isn’t about you, your personal drama, your generation, or how you feel about a federal holiday. If you’re looking for a safe zone, don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
2. Make people decisions with a blindfold. Whenever I suggest we judge each other blindly (in terms of race, gender, and age), the diversity crowd goes wild. To me, it’s the highest form of civilization we can aspire to. Isn’t that what the nice lady with the blindfold and the scales in every court of justice in what’s supposed to be a nation of laws is supposed to be about, or did I miss something somewhere?
3. Motivate employees in ways that matter. Want to know what motivates good employees – you know, the kind you actually want to keep around? A challenging work environment in a successful company where their capabilities and achievements are recognized, respected, and rewarded. That and free food. Don’t ask me why; everyone loves free food.
4. Try to please all and you please none. I don’t know when I first heard that phrase, but I was very young, it made a big impact, I’ve never forgotten it, and it’s served me well over the years. Make smart decisions that serve the company’s stakeholders. Maintain a strong moral compass. Have the courage to do the right thing. And don’t try to please individuals. Save that for your friends and family. At work, it never works.
5. Stand up to frivolous litigation – you won’t go to jail. Don’t kowtow to or negotiate with people who threaten you or your company. They’re just weak-minded, selfish bullies with low self-esteem trying to extort you. Dot your ‘i’s, cross your ‘t’s, document everything, and call their bluff. If you need encouragement, remember, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Lastly, never give in to the status quo, the fads of the day, popular wisdom, or the most annoying and obnoxious voices, just to make them go away and make your life easier. They won’t and it won’t. And remember, your stakeholders depend on you to be wise, make smart decisions, and do the right thing. So do it.
A version of this post originally appeared on FoxBusiness.com
Image credit Mattel