There was a time when I worked for a company that provided heavy construction equipment to a nation that, while it wanted to build, was not able to do so at a pace we were accustomed to.
America is still building and moving at a slow pace.
As is the case in all economic downturns, it was the construction industry that felt the challenges first.
Painful layoffs occurred throughout our organization – any layoff is painful.
It was time for the company to act – to dig deeper, in order to save jobs.
First – all upper management received a pay cut of 15%. We did it to save every job – not just ours.
After some time had passed everyone received a 10% pay cut, across the spectrum.
We all understood.
We were a team.
So, as Vice President of Marketing my salary decreased by a total of 25%.
I’m not pointing this out because the situation was special in any way, or because we were different than millions of others.
Though the cut was not pleasant for my family, and it was not of my personal choosing, I totally supported it.
It was during this time when I worked not only for my salary, but even more so for the team. All of our employees, across five states, were important to me – as were their families.
I worked harder and with even more resolve than before.
It wasn’t just my personal fight – it was a fight for all of us, and by all of us.
I’ve always believed that leaders step up and work a little harder, during times of crisis.
For me it was a time to lead by example, as well as to test my own limits.
It was a time to dig a little deeper.
My attitude was no different than millions of others during this time – especially those who depended heavily on commission sales.
I challenged myself to work harder than even our territory managers, because I owed my very best effort to the company, the employees, my family, and to myself.
That is why I have an especially difficult time understanding the “Kabuki Theater” we have witnessed coming out of Washington during the past few years.
The actions – or inactions, many have noticed would be hard to swallow under any circumstances.
And then there is the fact that our leaders in Congress took only enough time away from bickering, to increase their own salaries.
It sure would be refreshing to see our leaders work a little harder, during times of crisis – having a few less press conferences, a little less blaming.
Spending cuts are necessary, and understandable. What isn’t understandable is the blanket cuts, without any differentiation regarding spending in one area versus another.
America is yearning for a rebound.
It is time for those whom we have elected to dig a little deeper, and to work a little harder – for the team.