I heard this great quote the other day while listening to the Powerful Jordan Peterson doing his podcast. It immediately got me thinking about our relationships with our employers.
The employee/employer relationship is currently (11/16/21) weirder than it’s ever been in MY life. And I don’t even care if ‘weirder’ is a word or not. It’s that weird that I have to make up words.
Last year, we had the biggest economic disruption in DECADES. Millions of people couldn’t work for, like, a year. Trillions of dollars were authorized to help keep everyone afloat. People were trapped in their homes, with minimal income, for months after months.
Finally, the economy starts opening up. People are hiring and people are ……. well, crickets. People aren’t really going back to work. And everyone is puzzled. Everyone has thoughts and theories.
Now, because people can’t understand something that doesn’t have a cute name, we have dubbed it The Great Resignation.
It has to be a sign – right?! I mean it has to be. Hopefully good employers are seeing it that way.
Gonna warn you now: IF you are an employer who wants to ‘demand loyalty’ from your employees – you are not going to like how the rest of this post goes. You also aren’t going to like how hiring of good people – people good enough to have options– is going to go for the foreseeable future.
Back to our quote:
Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s
Render unto God what is God’s
Do not render unto Caesar what is God’s
Rendering to Caesar what is God’s is elevating Caesar to God.
For starters: I’m pretty over the “old school” concept that Rich people are more-right just because they are rich. You need to do better than that. There are tons of sales people who make more than a train engineer – doesn’t mean I want them driving a train.
You should hire people because they are experts at what they do.
If they are experts, you should take their opinions seriously and be willing to exchange in a discussion. Find common ground. Weigh ideas. Ultimately, yes, if there are multiple viable options you might have to break the tie with “The Boss'” ruling.
But the sheer idea that a line on a flow chart is the arbiter of quality decisions and ideas is bullshit.
It is fair to “Render Unto Caesar what is Caesars.” We have a job to do, and we damn well should do it. If you accept a job, you should do it to the best of your abilities. If you are not willing to do that, you should find a new job.
Not only out of fairness to your employer, out of fairness to you. You are cheating yourself out of your full potential. You owe it to YOU to give your best. T. Harv Eker is famous for saying “How you do anything is how you do everything.” If you are half-assing it at the place you spend the most awake time – you are probably half-assing a whole lot more.
However, let’s not get it twisted. I recall a conversation with an old co-worker who made a comment like I should be scared of the owner because “he’s the guy that signs your check.” I responded with “Well, yeah. But I don’t work for a charity. He’s not just GIVING me the money. He is paying me to do work, and have skills, and know what I’m doing. In fact, they don’t pay me in advance of that. I actually have to do the work – THEN he pays me. If he doesn’t like my work, I don’t get the money. I have to do the work first. So, if anything, he should be happy I’m willing to take that deal.”
Which was a bit of a caricature of how I felt. Rum was likely involved. Though it’s not far off. Which leads us to
“Render unto God what is God’s” This speaks to your connection to the higher power. The magic energy field that delivers us ideas and karma. The Muse. The Ether. The infinite.
The things that are Gods are the important things. Your sense of self-worth. Your feelings. Your emotions. Your loyalty. Your love. Your hate. Your joy. Your feelings of well being. Your peace of mind.
These things are only meant to be owned by YOU, and your connection to whatever you call God. These are not to be rendered to Caesar (aka Your Boss). Do not let them own what is meant for you and God.
The most unhappy I have ever been in life was when I worked jobs I hated for people I disliked. People who were only concerned with their status and their power. These are people who think of their co-workers as “my people.”
Mother fucker – you don’t own people. To claim a person as “my people” is claiming for Caesar what is Gods. They are trying to elevate themselves to Gods.