Is there such thing as "good job?"

This is quite a scene from the movie Whiplash. If you’re not familiar with it, J.K. Simmons plays an overbearing, at times abusive, music professor (Fletcher), and won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, to Miles Teller (Andrew) who struggles through life dealing working with this teacher.

The scene above is pivotal…(SPOILER ALERT)…it comes after Fletcher has been removed from his role in the school following a confrontation with Andrew. Andrew goes to a local jazz club to hear some music, only to his chagrin to see his former teacher. Fletcher tells Andrew about his philosophy and his mindset that set the tone for his teaching style.

A lot of people question management and whether the companies they work for care about their staff. Just like in sports- players always question their coaches. Practice is too long, they don’t get enough playing time…

Employees, the players, always question their boss.

Yes, I am guilty of being a boss that doesn’t walk around giving credit too much or patting people on the back and telling them, “Good job.”

My philosophy? If you want credit, go to the bank.

I like to look at Steiner Sports as a place that pushes people to learn what it means to sell and what effort is required to  get customers what they want. There is a certain energy required and thought process to thinking outside the box all day, every day when it comes to marketing. What I have found is that when I do this, there’s always a few people that can be surprise- people that outperform all expectations, even mine. And, maybe to achieve that it means that the person working for me doesn’t like me and isn’t always happy with me.

It’s confusing these days:

Is it the early Fridays that make a good boss?

Is it the next title you get every 8-10 months to give you a sense of “moving up?”

Is it Bring Your Dog to Work Day? Cool snacks you get for free?

Is it flex days when you can work from home?

Is it a really cool office?

Is it getting paid a lot, even more than you are worth? 

I love this scene from Whiplash. The movie illustrates that we are in an interesting place in today’s world with our work force. It’s Old School vs. New School.

Isn’t the point of doing anything to try and be the best? For management to get the best out of its employees and to do more than has ever been done before? Don’t most of us need that person to push us to tears and to get us to that place that we never thought we could get to?

I often see more in employees than they see in themselves. In the past, I know that the bosses and coaches I didn’t like ending up being the ones I appreciate most, now more than ever, because they made me grow…not because they made me mad. 

Another quick story: 

When I was in 5th grade I was in the after school center one day about to play with my friends. My teacher, Mel Kerper, threw a dodge ball at me. To this day I still think that was at least 100 miles per hour. It really took me by surprise. I started tearing up and he came over and asked if I knew why he did what he did. My response, of course, was, “No.”

He said, “Because you got three questions wrong on your math test and you are better than that. You are my best math student and you should be getting straight A’s.”

I went on to get A’s that year and the next. It was a good wake-up call for me. At the time I wasn’t happy, but looking back if he hadn’t intervened I would have just settled with what I was doing. I didn’t even realize math was such a strength for me. Of course, then I went on to earn an accounting degree from Syracuse.

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