This article first appeared in IMPO's September 2013 issue.
A few of IMPO’s regular readers do a fantastic job of providing us with feedback. Recently, one of these readers – we'll call him Paul – sent me an email lamenting some of the big business-big labor tensions that had been peppering IMPOmag.com’s news section. Paul’s point was about compromise, and how give and take was the necessary component to everything — whether it be tense negotiations in the workplace, or even a discussion with your family about how to spend your Saturday.
“A lot of your magazine’s articles have an underlying theme that says when people get together and work as a team, they can accomplish amazing things. I totally believe that premise; I have lived it in several arenas of my life,” said Paul. “People write books about making teams and crossing adversarial boundaries. And it is a really simple premise that makes all this work: You are not the center of the universe.”
I enjoyed this turn of phrase, particularly since I had recently read about a cable outage in Fairfield, CT that resulted in numerous 911 calls because it occurred in the middle of an episode of “Breaking Bad.”
You are not the center of the universe. Never has this concept been required more.
More to Paul’s point: Teamwork is an underlying theme to much of what we cover in IMPO. I don’t see any way around it. An industrial facility doesn’t function without a team of people working together and, since that’s the foundation to its efficiency and profitability, the relationships between co-workers are arguably the most important threads holding things together.