As a brilliant Princeton Professor frames one of his courses involving dynamic highly complex network systems – (which I love, thanks Prof. Chaing!) he structures informational transference (teaching/learning) in the form of questions. That may not seem all that uncommon, but his questions are special because their ingredients promote thought and lead you toward significant learning.
Here’s my question or POP (Point of Ponderment) – yes I made that up – “ponderment” is a compounded word not yet recognized by Mr. Webster… and I’m not looking for recognition, just communication.
Q: Why do so many executives feel the need to have a profile picture (“LinkedIn” or other social/professional network) that represents them without a smile or the happiness that generally precedes one?
Here’s my answer:
Business and the money that it represents was traditionally an environment that demanded a military-like presentation – a “theatrical seriousness” which never really had anything to do with being serious. Further considerations beckon me…
Consideration 1. Business is a human construct. Humans are emotional and importantly so. Being happy does not equal any lack of seriousness. Somehow, someone, (I think the “Quakers”) got these two things confused.
Consideration 2. Today’s business belongs in today. Today we have evolved to a place that understands (through many “serious” experiences) that one way is not always the right way. Thankfully, we (humans) are starting to understand the need for total transparency – and specifically that we all realize we are human.
Consideration 3. Business is a person-to-person transaction – regardless of the business environment, purpose or product. This being so, a person representing grief or unhappiness dissuades personal involvement and one with a smile welcomes the potential for happiness and good performance – because…
Consideration 4. Human performance improves greatly within activities that allow happiness and its many beneficial side effects. Nobody who is honest with themselves wants to work or labor without happiness and/or with those that do.
In conclusion: Smile.
The deeper message is to find work that you actually love to do – and allows for greatness. I suggest looking for a career that includes great purpose – much happiness is received through these positions. If you are at one that you can’t stand, then don’t. If you are in one that matters but doesn’t fit your dreams – “whistle while you work” until you can find the one that makes you sing.
POM (Point of Motivation): Please remember that none of us live forever, most of us don’t live all that long, and far too many of us live fully while we are alive. Make it count!
The 2nd moral of the story:
The “Warning” in the beginning was just that – many times in life we start into something – a conversation, a job, a relationship, and get derailed because of our first impressions (my obscurely boring first paragraph) that get us to “discontinue attention” i.e. reading… have patience with things and people. Are you glad you kept reading?
Last Question: Do you think this post will affect my ability to raise start-up funding/investment? Or is it an effective filtration method to avoid the wrong kind of money”?