Office holiday parties are like bosses who use the word "family".
There is no middle ground in using the word "family" at work.
- Some bosses are afraid to use the word "family". They don't love what they do or the community they've built at their company.
- Some use the word "family" to justify insecure and narcissistic leadership. Bad human behavior.
- Some use the word "family" because they mean it in all the right and beautiful ways. Good human behavior.
(Sidenote: I asked an owner of one of my favorite companies that I work with, "Why do you do it? You've achieved enough you don't have to be here." He said, "I love helping people grow". He says "family" and it rings true.)
Office holiday parties are a similar clue.
- Some business owners throw the big party like a religious festival from the tribal/nomadic era. Let's go big as an effort to cover up for the past year's sins and how we treated the people. Bad human behavior.
- Some throw the big party because they are generous and want everyone to feel celebrated. It's a congruent action that fits with how they treat people all year long. Good human behavior.
THE BEST business owners and bosses understand a reality that makes them healthy as leaders:
A business owner isn't responsible for the livelihood of others.
Here's a conversation that happens often,
BUSINESS OWNER says to Chris: "I drive up and see the cars and think about all the people depending on me to take care of their families."
Chris says to BUSINESS OWNER: "That's a burden that will suck the passion out of your mission. Over time it will cause you to resent the team. Mix that in with some frivolous legal battles from people who want to take advantage of you and you will become calloused."
Chris says to EMPLOYEE: "You don't want to outsource your provision to someone else. One day you'll have a painful wake up call to reality when that check isn't there."
Chris says to BUSINESS OWNER: "You're responsible to create and advance the infrastructure and environment for them to show up, work, and lead. You're not responsible for their livelihood."
Chris says to EMPLOYEE: "You're responsible to figure out how to contribute at your highest level in cooperation with main objectives. Show up fully present. Pay attention. Learn fast. Be brave to move the mission forward. Keep improving systems. Work to have healthy relationships and reduce politics."
The best holiday gift you can give yourself is to assume responsibility for your own livelihood.
Run thru the tape with your work and mission before the year is up. Earn it. Rest.