Freeloaders and Avoiding Responsibility

British Airways ConcordeAnother excellent article from Nathan Hangen this week, with which I totally empathized.

It continues the theme I referred to here with the point that there’s a ‘freeloading’ mindset today.

Along with ‘freeloading’ I would add ‘responsibility avoidance’. And it’s not healthy.

I see it reflected in so many ways.

It’s the kind of mindset that the British Airways union leaders demonstrated before Christmas when they tried to organize a 12 day strike over the holiday period.

Had that strike gone ahead it could have done irreparable harm to BA’s financial health, quite possibly resulting in its going into liquidation.

Apparently the thought of their employer going into liquidation didn’t weigh too heavily on their minds – presumably because they had the safety net of social security.

No, the unions were concerned with their rights and making sure their members didn’t have to work too hard. ‘It isn’t right, Guvnor’. ‘We have our rights’.

What about the company’s responsibility to make a profit, provide a return for shareholders and financial income for its employees? What about the employees’ (and unions’) responsibilities in that scenario? And what about the employees’ responsibility to provide for their families?

Talk about getting priorities wrong!

Another example affected me directly a couple of years ago.

I was part of one of those direct sales business opportunities (that I’ve since learned to steer well clear of) and someone signed up through my link.

I did actually make money from that business, but I didn’t like the way things were done. Way too much hype and a focus on the wrong things, so I got out of it.

But it was possible to make money from it.

Anyway, this person signed up. They did it while I was asleep one night. They did it purely on the basis of reading my landing page and making a decision to get involved with the business.

It was entirely their decision, without any persuasion from me (I was asleep) or anyone else (as far as I’m aware).

And it didn’t work out for them.

So they processed a request through their bank that resulted in SafePay (another thing I steer well clear of) refunding their initial investment and all the subsequent monthly payments.

And they did this by simply removing that money from my account without any prior notification to me.

I was totally floored.

I was floored by the fact that SafePay were legally able to do something like that without prior notification to me, and I was floored by the person in question refusing to accept responsibility for their own decision.

I’ve always lived by the principle that if I make a decision it’s my decision, and I own responsibility for it.

Including if it turns out to be wrong.

Making a decision, for me, includes assessing the downside and deciding whether I’m prepared to accept that if it doesn’t work.

It does not involve me saying ‘it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work – someone else will pick up the tab’.

I think something’s wrong when a society has built in so many protections for people that they no longer accept responsibility for their own decisions.

And one of the fundamentals of succeeding in business is a willingess to make decisions and take full responsibility for them. However, they turn out.

OK – rant over!

Martin Malden

What do you think?