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Are Your Employees Ready for Democracy?

That's what I call a Veteran's Day-related HR Capitalist post title.

It's Veteran's Day.  I'm hawkish when it comes to the military.  A Grandpa I never knew died over Germany in WWII when the Super-Fortress he served on got shot down.  Strong % of GDP towards military spending?  Check.  Bullish on the ability to launch planes from America and go anywhere on the globe?  Check.

Here's where it gets complicated.  Go in and overthrow a dictator or deal with a chaotic region because the people of that country deserve democracy?  Che....wait...

On Veteran's Day, we'll see countless stories of the sacrifice our soldiers make when we deploy them to foreign lands.  It's frustrating when you see what's happened in Iraq.  All those lives, limbs and a Trillion dollars later, it's anarchy.  It's almost like all the sacrifice and investment made by the American people never happened.

Of course, the real issue isn't the effectiveness of the American efforts - it's whether people in question were ready for - or even wanted - a democracy.  We've got a great tradition of promoting democracy - but not everyone shares our world view and values.  

It's the same in your employee population.  You expect people to want to act like owners and be accountable in the same way that you are.  But is your employee base really ready for the workplace version of democracy?  Probably not.  Better to lead and meet them in their comfort zone - just tell them what do do and treat them with dignity - but don't expect them to act like owners or anything more than what they are.  Most of the time, employees aren't looking for that responsibility.  The ones that are have a name - future leaders.  The ones that aren't?  They're simply well placed.

If you served in the military, thank you for your service.  The older I get as a moderate Republican, the less willing I am to support you being in harm's way unless I'm convinced the risk and sacrifice has a good chance of being rewarded. 

Not everyone deserves a democracy.




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