When I was a kid I used to hate being told that I couldn’t do something by my teachers. One of the things I always hated being told was I couldn’t play the drums. Then later on I got older and I couldn’t play the drums for Mr. Morrow’s class because he told me, “You’re going to play the cowbell instead.” I said, “That’s not going to happen. I love drumming and I’m going to learn drumming.”
I finally mustered up enough courage to ask my parents, “Hey guys, get me a teacher to teach me drums because I love it so much.” They got me a teacher and I learned how to drum and I became part of an awesome music community that I loved and had people who respected me. I could create cool new music with them and I appreciated working with them, and we had a common ethics around what we did.
I was always relegated to the cowbell by Mr. Morrow. He told me to go play the cowbell, but I went home and I asked to become part of a larger community. What I’m asking you, everybody, to do is don’t relegate your employees to the cowbell. Give them the opportunity, create a culture of respect, of ethics and integrity, of appreciation, a positive future, a wonderful collaborative culture that makes it impossible for anyone not to love the workplace, and I guarantee you you’ll reap the benefits.
One of the Top 100 Coaches, and Founder and CEO of Best Practice Institute, partner to Newsweek on America’s Most Loved Workplaces, and the author of more than 10 books on best practices in leadership and management, including Change Champion’s Field Guide, In Great Company, and Best Practices in Talent Management. Thought leaders and executives voted him as one of Global Gurus Top 10 Organizational Culture thinkers worldwide.