I came across an interesting article about a former Google employee who taught his fellow coworkers mindfulness and emotional intelligence during his 20% “me” time. At the end of it, the goal was to teach one to pursue his passions that were unrelated to his or her work responsibilities but that would ultimately benefit the company. His approach was to recruit other big names in the industry and have them speak (on the company’s dime) with a central message of always doing the right thing for Google and the world. What he didn’t know was whether or not Google would condone the message or not. In his words:
“The secret of my success in Google is to always do the right thing for Google and the world. And then I sit back and wait for them to fire me. So if they don’t fire me, I’ve done the right thing for Google and the world. If they do fire me, then I’m in the wrong company. So either way I win.”
He went on: “This is one of those situations where I just do the right thing and then, if it doesn’t work out, just ask for forgiveness.”
What is your secret in the workforce? My view is that one should always do the right thing for the company. Shoot first and ask questions later…or firing from the hip can be maverick, but sometimes asking for forgiveness later is the quickest way from point A to point B. I agree that this won’t work for every employee, but there are definitely situations that warrant this. Be nimble and flexible, and use an agile, well thought out approach for every situation.