The Goal is The Goal
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
Shit Sandwiches Are Not The Goal
Eating shit sandwiches is not the goal here. This is going to sound redundant: but, the goal is the goal. In fact, if you got anything out of this book so far, it should be that reducing the number of shit sandwiches you have to eat should be a goal. We all have to eat shit sandwiches, but if we can reduce the number of these – yet still happily achieve the things we desire – then all the better.
The Goal is The Goal
A company vice president I worked with named Jordan (not his real name) was a go-getter like none I had ever met, who held a singular goal: to be the CEO. He was intelligent and accomplished; even by VP standards. And, more importantly, Jordan ate shit sandwiches morning, noon and night. Jordan, you see, was a shit sandwich addict.
When I worked for Jordan, he was two steps from the CEO’s chair. That was over a decade ago. Today, he is a VP with a different company – two steps from the CEO’s chair. Jordan has never achieved his dream job. He has never been named to the top spot in any company.
Jordan loves shit sandwiches – which is a good thing – but his problem is that he expects each of his subordinates to be as dedicated to bellying up to bar to eat as he is. For Jordan, eating shit sandwiches is the goal; so the more shit sandwiches he and his team eats, the more likely they are to succeed (in Jordan’s twisted view).
Eating shit sandwiches is important… but we have to be realists here. Jordan was my boss, and he was unbearable.
To my knowledge, I am the only former subordinate of Jordan’s who does not hate him. Worse, I pity him, because I know how much he wants to be a CEO and I know he never will.
Jordan never understood that most of his team didn’t enjoy being forced to attend his late night shit sandwich feasts designed to help Jordan shine. He didn’t understand that because they were there against their will that they became passive-aggressive. He didn’t understand that because their goal was to live a normal life with their families, they would intentionally provide substandard work for Jordan.
More than anything, he didn’t understand that great CEOs are leaders, not tyrants; and that they are successful because of, not in spite of, their teams.
Jordan never understood the goal; he just liked to eat shit sandwiches.