Ok. I admit it. I’m a fan of super-hero movies. When I found out DC’s Suicide Squad was opening on my daughter’s birthday it was a no brainer. So I loaded the family into the mini-van and took them to see it opening day. The basic plot consists of a team of dangerous, incarcerated super villains “recruited” for a top-secret mission.
Amanda Waller, the U.S. intelligence officer who assembles the team, specializes in getting people to do what she wants. She has one character’s heart locked in a box. She motivates another character by promising he can spend time with his family. The idea is that each member of the team has separate motivations. Waller uses–OK, exploits–those motivations toward a common goal.
Suicide Squad in Your Workplace?
As a movie, Suicide Squad did not disappoint. As an employment attorney, it got me thinking. I’m not suggesting employers run out and hire dangerous super villains. If we put aside Waller’s I-don’t-care-who-gets-killed mentality, and the hundreds of zombie-like bad guys put down by rapid machine-gun fire, there may be a few lessons for life and the workplace.
- A properly motivated team can overcome extreme obstacles.
- You can’t properly motivate someone unless you know what makes them tick.
- Although others can motivate us, we work better when we motivate ourselves.
- Working as a team is almost always better than working alone (except when it’s not).
- When management warns you of the consequences should you fail to follow directions, you’d better follow directions (Alas, poor Slipknot, we knew thee little).
- Failure is always an option, but we probably won’t like the results.
- A carrot is usually a better motivator than a stick.
I frequently advise employee clients that employers are not required to treat employees fairly. I also advise my employer clients that treating employees fairly is the best way to avoid problems (including legal problems) in the workplace. Consider your work environment. Whether you’re an employee or an employer, are you motivating your colleagues and yourself toward success? Are you treating others the way you want to be treated? Do you have a killer crocodile living in your sewer? If you answered yes to at least two of those questions, you probably have a stable workforce that is building toward success. If not, then think about what you can change to improve your workplace
I’m hoping to see Jason Bourne soon. We’ll just have to wait and see if I can any more bright ideas about the workplace.
Original article by Robert E. Nuddleman of Nuddleman Law Firm, P.C.
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