A while back I worked with someone who was constantly saying that we were going to do something, and then we didn’t. This person always told me who he knew, how he did this activity, or that activity, or talked to this person, that person. We were doing a project, and he kept saying that the data said we needed to take this action or that action. At first I believed him, and we did it, but it failed miserably. That is why I ask to see data now. Show me the data, then I will believe you.
Credibility is something when lost is hard to regain. Peggy Noonan discussed the loss of American credibility in the world in the WSJ over the weekend. “If an American President says there is a redline and the redline is crossed, there is no question: America must act.” Saying something and not doing it creates a credibility gap.
Being quick to listen and slow to speak, can help one with the perceived credibility gap. However, I feel, just like credibility, we have lost many of our old values. Honesty, trust, and hard work seem to be values that are missing in our modern culture.
Bob Funk, president and founder of Express Employment Services, was interviewed for an op ed that ran in the WSJ over the weekend. He discussed “Where the jobs are and how to get one.” He did make one comment I thought especially interesting, Obamacare is helping his company, a $2.5 billion business, because employers don’t want to hire full time because they’ll be required to provide medical benefits. However, this is not the focus of this blog.
Monday his company will issue a report that argues that a great shift has occurred. With the declining labor force participation rate, America’s quality of life is at risk. “With millions of people giving up job searches, the U.S. labor participation rate is the lowest in 35 years.” This is a bigger problem then one might think. On the other hand Funk argues that anyone who wants a job can have one. Interesting, especially with 20 million people out of work.
Funk says there are three conditions to finding a job. First, you need to have integrity; second, a strong work ethic; third, you need to be able to pass a drug test. Funk thinks, “the notion of the dead-end job is poisonous because it shuts down all sense of possibility and ambition.” I also like his comment, “a job, any job, is the best social program in American and the ladder to success.”
The conclusion of this opinion piece demands that we ponder over its truth. “If Bob Funk’s warnings about unemployment and the jobs market are accurate, then almost everything Washington is doing to address the problem is either beside the point or counter-productive.” Therefore, we should revisit our current actions and adjust, especially if our standard of living is in question.
It may be more basic than this though. It may be that we, as a nation, have lost the hunger to work. We now want to lie, cheat and steal to get what we want, hours in front of the TV. I think there are lessons to be learned from the Eastlake Community in Atlanta, Georgia. The community came together and worked hard to change it from a crime-ridden burg to one that is a model for community improvement and education achievement. We all should look at and see how credibility, integrity, willingness to work hard, and the ability to pass a drug test came into play at Eastlake.
The time is now to stop talking and saying what we are going to do, and take some action. Oh and by the way, this person that I used to work with, I never trusted a word he said.
And that is my thought for the day!