By Terry Corbell
The Biz Coach
Valentine’s Day: Do You Have a Heart as an Employer?
Updated Jan. 27, 2013
A blog, “Best business advice found in an 86-year-old poem,” on MoneyWatch by Michael Hess brought brought back special memories. Mr. Hess quoted “Desiderata,” which was written by Max Ehrmann in 1927.
In drawing parallels for business, Mr. Hess quoted some Desiderata lines, including:
- As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others…
- Exercise caution in your business affairs…
- Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings…
Agreed. The poem does contain exemplary advice applicable for business. I first heard it in 1971 when it was No. 8 on Billboard. Well-known broadcaster Les Crane, who was a talk-show host on KLAC Radio in Los Angeles, recorded it (Desiderata – Les Crane, YouTube).
As a young broadcaster I was intrigued for a couple of reasons:
Firstly, I was fascinated by the spiritual approach by Mr. Crane, who was famous for his controversial shtick on radio and TV.
Secondly, the previous year I was deeply touched by the thoughtfulness of his boss, David Croninger, the president of Metromedia Radio. Metromedia was a conglomerate in related industries. Along with NBC’s legendary news anchor, Chet Huntley, Mr. Croninger was a speaker at my college graduation, the University of Tulsa.
Inspiring career advice
Both were accessible to students afterward – a true blessing. The nation was mired in a recession with unemployment approaching 9 percent and the Vietnam War was tearing the country apart. Amid this, my peers and I were apprehensive but anxious to launch our careers.
Accompanied by an NBC PR person, Mr. Huntley graciously gave me excellent advice regarding my broadcasting career. As a DJ, I had worked my way through college on radio stations, but I was still a porous sponge in wanting career counsel before returning to my home state of California. He explained to me how to make a transition from being a DJ to radio news to TV news.
Mr. Croninger, who as Mr. Crane’s boss, gave me a shot of confidence. I’ll never forget his compliment: “…you are impeccably dressed.”
Wearing a striped tie with a navy blazer and gray slacks, that was heady stuff for an impressionable young college grad. I thought it was a professional appearance for broadcasting, but I wasn’t sure. I appreciated his comment as I was about to call on Los Angeles radio and TV stations for employment. I also enjoyed hearing his comments regarding Mr. Crane, as his employer.
Both broadcasters were inspirational for my career.
So the memory of Mr. Crane’s rendition of Desiderata along with the gracious sharing of wisdom by Messrs. Huntley and Crane prompt this question: Does your business have a heart?
Here are 12 questions to consider:
- Do you set a good example?
- How often do you use the phrases – please and thank you?
- Do you compensate your employees adequately and fairly?
- Are you kind and precise in giving criticism and direction?
- Do you hire and fire fairly?
- Do you train employees on an ongoing basis for personal and career development?
- Do you maintain a safe, fun working environment?
- How about job security?
- Do you communicate regularly with employees about the company?
- Do you listen to criticism?
- Do you solicit ideas?
- How do you motivate your staff?
From the Coach’s Corner, here are employer resource links:
- Power Your Brand with Employee Empowerment
- Strategies: If a Valued Employee Wants a Raise, and Money’s Tight
- Profit By Not Letting Your Stars Become Free Agents
- Leadership Strategies to Profit from Employee Respect
- 12 Errors to Avoid in Evaluations
- Strategies for Productive Meetings to Improve Your Company’s Performance
- Human Resources – Slow Motion Gets You There Faster
“The worst mistake a boss can make is not to say ‘well done’.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.