“Work makes you free” someone, unfortunately, used to say some decades ago. And it actually does, though in a very, very different way. And you may say that work also means strain, growth, self-sufficiency. But what it means to me is a slightly different thing, which includes most of the others.
Work = Respect
You may say:
Work to be respected (as human being)
Work to be respectable
Work to be respectful
Well, yes! All of those. But not only.
To me the reasons why “work” equals (look: not just “means”, “equals”! Exactly!) “respect” are many. Many more than I myself could imagine as I started reasoning about it.
Work means respect for those you work for: because your boss, your company are not your counterparties, they are parts of a complex system you are part of as well. And in such a system no part has value in itself, but as it fits with each other in the system.
Respect for those working for you: because it’s not them depending on you, it’s (the success of) your business that depends on (the success and well-being of) them.
Respect for those you work with: because, remember, a poor quality of your work will cause someone else to work more to perform its work and additionally fix the inaccuracy of what you’ve done. Being late at work will mean that you don’t care about other colleagues being on time and forced to wait for you: would you like it were you to wait? Treat your colleagues the way you want to be treated!
Respect for your clients, either internal or external: because they are giving you trust, attention, most importantly they are (giving) the reason and the resources why your business exists and grows! No accuracy and timeliness in your work, no money you may ask for your work will pay them back completely for their trust and for the prosperity you gain, thanks to them.
Respect for your suppliers, either internal or external: because… let me ask you this: have you ever thought what’d happen if all of a sudden you were forced to do without them? Without accounting and legal advice, without hardware, software, furniture, paper, printer ink, courier services, etc.? Would your business exist any longer? Would businesses exist any longer?
Respect for all of your stakeholders, either internal or external. Because it’s not only matter of your community’s people who buy your product or services, who provide the talents you hire, who supply the goods you need in your production cycle.
It’s also because of the hospitals that look after you, the transportation networks that carry you to your facility, the schools that nurture future talents you may want to hire, the city council who takes care of maintaining the roads and cleaning the city so that your clients will enjoy coming visit your company, your competitors who make the race tougher and tougher as days go by so that every day your company is better and stronger than it was the day before, it’s also because of all of what I mentioned above and much more that your company can exist and grow.
It’s also because of the environment that lets you eat and drink and breathe without getting sick, the facility, plants, machines, tools that you use at work without getting or doing harm, the laws and rules of the game you keep on playing, it’s only because you respect all of that and many other things that you can live and grow and prosper…
…and manage your company!