December 21, 2003 by
Filed under: Leadership, People 

With apologies to Dr. Seuss…

I’ll tell you a story I think should be told:
There are a few companies, some aren’t all that old.
They don’t treat their teams with what I’d call respect –
It’s sometimes much more like abuse and neglect.

There’s shops where support is a one-sided thing;
It doesn’t go both ways, there’s not the same ring.
They’ll ask for your weekends – is that really so rash?
But look for your bonus? Hah – they’re all out of cash.

There are companies out there whose bosses don’t know
That leading a team’s not just go go Go GO!
They’ll say when you get there you’re part of a team,
But when push comes to shove, all is not what it seems.

So all of you bosses in ivory towers,
Don’t lean on your teams much past 40 hours.
They’ll take it much better if treated with care,
Treat ‘em as you would like treatment – that’s fair.

While there’s times when a push can get stuff out the door,
If you do it too much they’ll all fall on the floor.
The bugs will increase, you might never get done
And working ‘till midnight each day is no fun.

Don’t lean on the fact the economy sucks
To hold ‘em all there while you save a few bucks.
The cost of your problems is way more than that
(…just give us a call, we’ll have quite a nice chat!)

Sure there’s many out there that would chomp at the bit
If you give them a chance to just show you their…stuff.
But to use this as leverage to keep yours aboard
Would be just cold and ruthless, you’d be out of your gourd.

While it seems to work now, it might seem a good bet,
The flock they will flee the first chance they will get.
They won’t stick around you to pull an all-nighter,
Especially when the economy’s brighter.

Please don’t tell your clients that they’ll get in two weeks
What would take 20 DBA’s, luck and 5 geeks.
You’ll find that their motivation really goes down
When they’re sweating the job while you’re out on the town.

In working like this you don’t see past your nose –
While times seem fine now, you’ll soon see the woes.
The tasks won’t get done to the targets you’ve set
If you cut their guesses in half, or worse yet.

‘Cause times will get better, just watch it, you’ll see,
And those who’ve been stepped on, oh then they will flee.
They’ll go to the places where loyalty’s true,
So treat them the way you’d like them to treat you.

Your team is fine china, your team is what makes
You get in position to get the good breaks.
Without them, where are you? You walk a fine line.
The cash doesn’t flow like in old ’99.

Your crew’s not expendable, despite what it seems,
You can’t just go out and buy up a new team.
If the gang got you this far there’s value in that –
You can’t just ramp up at the drop of a hat.

Note their culture, they’re human, they do want a life.
The job’s not so good if it is filled up with strife.
Give them a reasonable plan to move forward;
Support them through tough times, you’ll reap the reward.

They can read an intent to just leave them in dust –
You need to build loyalty, you just can’t fake trust.
So look at your team as a key part of you
If you deal with them fairly, they’ll know just what to do.

And as you read this, is it you that you read?
Do you just drive and push, or do you really lead?
So ask yourself this in this holiday season:
Are you treating your team well? And if not, what’s the reason? – JB


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