Times are tough. I hear quite a few stories about the difficulties that some DBAs are having out there in their jobs, their companies, or unfortunately, even in finding a job.
I've worked in a lot of American companies in my career and it's been rare that I find a group of people that provide strong leadership, or sometimes even any leadership at all. I heard recently from one person that their entire management committee had resigned without a word to the employees. That's typical of what I'd expect, with management not having respect for the staff that does most of the work for a company. There's often a fundamental lack of respect from those in charge, somehow viewing everyone below them in the organizational chart as less important than those at their level or above them.
I think it's important for management to provide a good example for workers in a company. They need to show that not only are workers not easily replaceable "resources", but that they are also appreciated and respected. I ran across this interesting article from the Harvard Business School about helping employees to remember their purpose at a company. That is important, trying to help people remember that work can be so much more than a place where you earn a paycheck, but you can't fake it. You can't write words on paper.
Building a team, building teamwork, and creating the synergies from people working together is hard. It takes an investment, and it doesn't come from company meetings that preach some vision statement. It comes from truly interacting with your employees, showing them respect, and helping them march with you towards a common goal.
Business has its ups and downs. There will be boom times and bust times, and with them the need for layoffs at times. A well run business, and a well-led business, will make decisions methodically, with reason, and with a respect for everyone that works there, not just the people in charge.
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