Workplace blogs
Workplace blogs

It’s not Personal? Oh Really!

Here’s another of many business cliches that should be eradicated from our language: “It’s nothing personal, it’s just business!”

Oh really?

Nothing personal you say?

So I toiled away on a diet of Kraft Dinner at university for five years, constantly sacrificed time with my children and family for the sake of work,  met my spouse through a work connection, created some of the deepest  personal friendships through my work,  developed new skills,  found a profound sense of meaning in my life,  grew emotionally as a human being,  developed creatively as person and lost countless hours of sleep stressing about work-related issues and you’re telling me it’s not PERSONAL?

Here’s the deal, at least as I how see the cards played:  You can’t, on the one hand, ask for my undying loyalty and for me to put my heart, soul and passion into this business and then turn around and play the “it’s nothing personal” card.

Inspiring leaders understand that work is intensely personal.  Moreover, inspiring leaders understand that one of the keys to great leadership is to ensure employees do take their work personally and that employees become emotionally invested in their work. Great leaders understand that the best employees are driven by deeply personal, intrinsic motivators to do the best possible job they can, to champion new ideas and new ways of doing business.

If you seriously don’t think work should be personal, then here’s my sage advice: hire a robot.   (Just don’t complain when they crash and burn out on you.)


Michael Kerr, 2012,









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