In Times Like These, Resist the Urge to Gripe

A business owner friend of mine was telling me about his plans to lay off some of his employees. He said he had prolonged the decision as long as he could, because he found the task so unpleasant.

I asked him how he was going to make the cuts. He said a few of the layoffs were easy — he was going to outsource an operation he had been doing internally. But the others were going to be difficult, because all of his employees, he felt, did good work.

He had hemmed and hawed over it, and finally decided to get rid of the “sourpusses and whiners.”

“Some of them are very good at what they do,” he said, “but they are negative. They make comments. They make faces. They let everyone know that they don’t like what they’re doing. I used to tolerate it. But I can’t anymore. I need a completely positive working group if I’m going to be able to get through the year and build the business back up.”

When it comes to making a business succeed in tough times, a positive-minded team of hardworking people is the key. Your boss knows that — and you want to make sure he sees you as being an indispensable member of that team. So if you’re a complainer, stop — and resist the temptation to associate with those who are.

[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]