There is a story in the news that I have been following for a few weeks. You’ve probably read about it. The employees who work for Market Basket, a discount grocery chain, walked off their jobs and protested for WEEKS over the ousting of their CEO, Artie T. These people (and we’re talking a lot of baggers, cashiers, deli workers, stockers in addition to higher ups) aren’t a part of a union. When you’re with a union and you strike, the union helps you with partial wages. These protestors did not have that. They had principle and willpower and the belief that they were right.
I have no idea if they were right. Is Artie T. the best CEO ever? Clearly he shows interest and sincerity when he speaks to Market Basket employees and customers. That’s been talked about again and again throughout the media coverage of this event. His reputation within Market Basket stores can’t be beat. But will he lead Market Basket towards success? Will he make wise decisions for the company?
That’s really not the point. Can you imagine this happening at another company? Would Wal-Mart employees strike for their CEO? Then again, would Google? No, probably not. Wal-Mart’s reputation has nothing in common with treating employees well. And while Google’s is, employees in the tech industry are used to fast paced change. They might have concerns when things change but would they give up their salaries for six weeks? Rallies began July 15th and employees went back to work August 28th for Market Basket. Most of us our at our jobs because we need to be. So what drastic change would need to happen to make you go without for so long?
Is there anyone at your work that you would walk out for? Raise hell for? Would anyone walk out for you? Chances are the answer is no all around. Everyone’s situation is different but what does that say about you or the place that you work? What does it say about the kind of leadership qualities that people really respect and fight for? We are all leaders, whether at home or socially or at work or to a child. What can we be doing so that one day we will earn the same sort of respect?
To learn more about the Market Basket saga, go here.