So many of today's workers have been programmed through whatever reasons, be it from boss intimidation or from raw ambition, to succeed personally no matter what the cost. Everyone is out to shine his own star, to maneuver the spotlight toward himself. The reasoning is, if they can make their own little corner of the business look good, then that's all they need. They are a success. "My department's numbers are good, so my job is done. I have made my mark." Well, the problem is, while this guy is making his mark, another employee is making her mark, but no one is connecting the marks. Business success relies on how well all of the pieces work together. Business success comes from knowing how this action will affect this outcome across the company. The sad truth is, unless it involves a bonus or a promotion, business success doesn't mean much to the average manager these days.
I see people with an instant need for gratification. I don't see the wisdom and the long-sightedness that I used to. There seems to be competition between departments in acompanies. Maybe I'm jaded because I once worked for a startup, that grew from about 15 employees to over a hundred. At that company, you could ask any employee what another department did and he or she would know. Our IT writers knew what terms like "payup" and "renewal" meant even though those were marketing terms. They knew because their goals and vision did not stop at their monthly editorial deadlines. They knew that the quality of their output affected renewals, and renewals affected the bottom line.
Nowadays, it seems like every attempt to ask for what you need is received as a personal affront or burden to another group. The mentality is, "Why should I help you be successful when I can use my time to further my own goals?" Well, duh, because if I'm successful and you're successful and Joe Schmo over in the Thingamajig department is successful, then the company is successful. And that's the ONLY way it can happen.
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.