Against. Against. Against. It seems that’s the political model of late. What one party is for, the other is against. Even before an idea makes it to twitter or the blogosphere, opposing party pundits and candidates are railing against whatever approach is being considered.
However, before smugness gets the better of us, I’d suggest we take a closer look. The against-it-resist-it road is alive and well in most workplaces, too. Of course the labels are different. It’s not those Democrats or Republicans; it’s those employees or that management; the boss or the staff; the finance department or human resources; or the front line versus support areas.
Being against something is so much easier. We don’t have to stick our necks out if we can grumble against budget tightening instead of proactively sharing fiscal responsibility by cutting our favorite projects or limiting our spending.
We don’t have to risk failure when we can identify flaws in a coworker’s approach rather than develop, pitch, and execute our own ideas. We don’t have to look inward at where we work and shop when we can rant over executive compensation, rather than standing firm for working at or buying only from companies that offer fair compensation at all levels.
When you follow the against-it-resist-it road, you don’t have to be in the spotlight, voice what you believe in, or offer solutions. You can finger point or blame or identify problems without engaging in ideas or solutions.
This may seem like semantics. But, the difference between being for something versus being against something is significant.
You see, when you’re for something more backbone is needed, more independent thinking is required, more integration between who you are and how you operate is necessary. When you’re for something, you’re working towards what you want to bring about or contribute to, and that shifts accountability, energy, and commitment.
Being for something requires strength of convictions and a willingness to stand up for them. And people who are winning at working know it’s the way to create sustainable change, develop solutions to twenty-first century problems, ignite a thriving economy with plentiful jobs, have meaningful work, and engage personal talents and passions.
People who are winning at working know that it’s when they tap into a purpose bigger than themselves that they offer the best of who they are to their work, and the world. They’re full of ideas, self-motivation, trust building approaches, and meaningful contribution when they work for something they care about.
What about you? What do you aspire to bring about in your life? Be for that. What do you value? Be for that. What do you want more of in your work or workplace? Be for that.