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Speaking the truth at work

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Jonar Nader

Jonar Nader says that bosses want to see their employees taking charge of projects and leading the ways. The old culture of appeasing the boss, does not produce results. Further below is a transcript of the video.

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Here is the transcript:

Jonar Nader: I’m good in predicting huge failures in corporate life.

Lisa Weir: In the business world, relationships are everything, right? Well, my next guest has a different philosophy on how to achieve career success in a changing work place. His thoughts are outlined in a new book entitled “How to Lose Friends and Infuriate People: Leadership in the Network World.” Welcome to Jonar Nader, a digital age philosopher.

Jonar Nader: Hi Lisa.

Female Speaker: Welcome.

Jonar Nader: Thank you.

Lisa Weir: Now, explain the basic points of your workplace philosophy.

Jonar Nader: Well, as we are growing up, we’re often taught just one side of the truth. We are taught, for example, that patience is virtue; impatience is just as powerful. We need both. We are taught, for example, about fear. “Don’t touch this, don’t touch that.” Fear is an important part of life and decision-making, but how can you ever arrive at a conviction if you don’t do it with courage? So, fear balanced with courage; opposites. In a modern world, we need to do opposites simultaneously. And so, the philosophy says that, “We mustn’t always take the one side of the story unless we actually understand the other side.” So, when people say, “Go out and win friends,” I say, “Well, but, do you know how to lose friends? Do you know how to stand up; follow your heart, do what is right?” Why must you always be popular in winning friends? That shows a lack of heart, a lack of self-confidence.

Lisa Weir: Now, what are the benefits of the – of this new type of attitude, and how will companies benefit from adopting this?

Jonar Nader: Absolutely, truth. The benefit is that, you know, as kids in a playground, we tease each other a lot because kids are brutal. They, you know, if they didn’t like your dress, they’ll say, “I don’t like your dress.” Because I’ll tell you adults are exactly the same, but they won’t tell you. They’ll tell someone else. And we often sit in meetings and we think, “Gee, this is a joke. This is a waste of time. The boss doesn’t know what he’s doing or what she’s doing.” But they never tell you. What I’m saying is speak up because if…

Lisa Weir: Oh, right. Sure, sure.

Jonar Nader: Yeah.

Lisa Weir: Yeah, I’m going to tell my boss.

Jonar Nader: Well, I know, yeah, there’s a risk.

Lisa Weir: Jon that was a stupid idea, right?

Jonar Nader: Yeah. Well, it’s a risk, but, why are we kidding ourselves? Because at the end of the day, all you have is energy. When you – it all boils down. And if you are wasting your energy on diplomacy, on bureaucracy, on back stabbing, on red tape, what have you done? You’ve stolen your life. And at the end of it all, life is so precious. If someone steals your lovely car or your gold watch, you can report them to the police, you’re angry. But if someone steals your time, you don’t do anything about it. But time is life. And stealing time is stealing life. And what more could be so important?

Lisa Weir: Well, we’re always taught in American businesses that the number one thing that you have to be able to do is get along with your boss or be able to impress your boss. So, you know, by telling you boss that, you know, his or her ideas are stupid and we need to do it this way. And, you know, what are the chances that you’re going to be successful?

Jonar Nader: Right. Well, I don’t say go out and do that unless you actually understand some basic things. But first is you need to understand yourself, what value do you add? There’s no point just going out to your boss and just speaking your mind. You have to say, “I have a better idea; let me show you.” Second, the thing is you need to understand your environment, your networked world. So, the benefits, then, will be that your boss will love you for it because your boss is really after success, they want someone who has some sense of conviction, and they want someone to lead. Bosses are desperate to find someone who’s actually sure of what they’re doing. And in the absence of strong leaders, bosses tend to rule. I mean, people say to me, “Jonar, you’re a control freak.” I say, “No, I’m only a control freak when I don’t know who’s in control.” But if you’re in control and you know what you’re doing, you can be in control. And so, I think bosses would appreciate some honesty, some stability, some truth, but don’t open your mouth unless you know what you’re saying. Therefore, train yourself, develop yourself. Yeah.

Lisa Weir: You also bring up another interesting way of handling a company where you suggest that you take the salary pools of everyone, divide it by the number of employees and give everybody the same pay. Why don’t you describe that and how it – how it would work…

Jonar Nader: Sure.

Lisa Weir: … and how it has worked in actual company.

Jonar Nader: Yes – well – that – I saw it in a company once where the lights for the warehouse and the air conditioning for the warehouse cost $100 an hour to run. And over the weekend when no one was there, they were still running. And I just say to people, “Why are we wasting all this money?” $100 an hour is a lot of money. If you’re trying to make it in net profit after tax no one cared. Why didn’t I care? How hard is it to flick a switch? Well, when I said to everyone, “Look, this is costing us $15, 000 a month of wastage. If you can bring it down, I’m going to share whatever you bring it down to in half. So, if we can save $10, 000, $5,000 will go to you, and same with paper, same with electricity—anything else.” So, now, we share together, we win together. Same with profits; I said, “Look, we can all earn the same salary because now we’re all as one group. If we make a profit, we all share the profits together. Now, you don’t have a “Them and Us” situation. People cared. They know that if I damage this item, it’s going to come out. You have a sense of ownership because there’s a lot of jealousy; they see the boss driving a fancy car, $30 million salary. And they go, “Oh, well. I’ll let them worry about it.” Meanwhile, the people who are losing customers are the people earning $20, 000 and $15, 000 a year. So, why are we rewarding bosses in millions when the real action is happening at the floor? Let’s have some equity into it. Not so that, you know, I’m not saying reward people because, you know, I just want to give people money, but I’m saying, “If you want to be successful, watch out who’s ruining your customer base.

Lisa Weir: You’re from Australia, do you think that the culture in terms of the corporate world is different that would allow people to think this way more because I’m having a hard time thinking that, you know, big companies are going to be able to make changes in the corporate culture?

Jonar Nader: That’s right. That’s why I sometimes say the only way out is out and I’m good in predicting huge failures in corporate life. The Australian organizations are no different too.

Lisa Weir: They are no different, okay.

Jonar Nader: No.

Lisa Weir: Okay.

Jonar Nader: Absolutely.

Lisa Weir: Okay.

Jonar Nader: You know.

Lisa Weir: Well…

Jonar Nader: I call it, you know, American culture right there in Australia.

Lisa Weir: Oh, okay. Well, thanks for being our guest today.

Jonar Nader: Thanks Lisa.

Lisa Weir: And good luck. And I hope you don’t lose too many friends.

Jonar Nader: No. Actually, I’m doing well.

Lisa Weir: That’s it for today. Thanks for joining us on Making a Difference. And we’ll see you next week. I’m Lisa Weir

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