I’ve written before about optimism, but I think this cartoon catches a different element of the word.
Note the suited man (or man-like figure) buried up to his waist in the midst of a barren desert. Another soul is not in sight, yet he declares, “Someone will come.”
Not likely, my friend, not likely.
As I’ve mentioned, optimism is important, but it requires a dose of realism. This guy needs help. He needs a bailout. He needs a rescuer.
But he’s not going to get any of that in the form of a handout.
It’s people in this situation who are my specialty: people who are, in a word, screwed.
This guy has an emergency situation. The only thing that’s different about him and the people I deal with is that those I’m dealing with are generally missing a proverbial arm, buried up to their chins, and there are lions, tigers and creditors – oh my! – coming from all directions.
Have you ever been in an awful situation like this? Was it worse or better than this guy’s situation?
This cartoon makes me chuckle because it makes me think about all those companies that I go into where the CEO or President isn’t listening to anyone in the entire organization – and that’s to his detriment.
You have to have good communication up and down the line or you won’t know about the myriad ways that you could be improving your organization.
One of the first things I do when I go into a distressed company is reassure the employees that everything will be handled and that I will do my best to make sure they’re informed and taken care of as they deserve. It’s safe to say that many CEOs are not operating with this mentality.
The other thing I do is scour the organization for overlooked talent. I always need a new management team, and there are often great people on the inside with a profound understanding of the organization. If you are in upper management, utilize the talent beneath you. Listen to people. Don’t overlook their suggestions.
One of the key markers of a successful company is that it’s a place that all employees are heard about their issues and thoughts. It is very demotivating to be an employee and to know that you aren’t being heard.
Today, listen to someone’s thoughts who you haven’t heard before and see what they can do for you.
What ideas have you gotten from people lower down in your organization?
I love this cartoon. This is another one of those that’s been hanging in my office for a decade and a half.
This is NOT my mindset – that if you screw up you’re fired. I think it’s a shame when things are that way.
However, as someone who’s been a part of hundreds of businesses, often trying to figure out how to keep morale up and motivate employees, ensuring that they’re on board for whatever big changes and overhauls I have to implement to keep sinking ships afloat, I certainly understand the sentiment.
What’s your favorite business cartoon?
Never ask about severance pay
This is a hilarious Farcus cartoon that I cut out of the paper 17 years ago and have stuck up in my office.
Every time I look at it I laugh.
Sometimes, and I hate to be the one doing it, I have to give people – and entire divisions – the ax. That’s never my preference, but if I have to cut off a limb to save a body I’m going to do it.
Farcus just puts the harsh reality of those moments in cartoon form.
What do you think? Do you have a favorite business joke or cartoon? Share it with us in the comments.