Re-Evaluate the "Warrior Culture"

When I started working, it was a badge of honor to work a ton of overtime, come in sick, and generally push yourself beyond your limits. The idea was quite simple - to get noticed by management, you had to do more. More meant results, but it actually meant effort.

One story - in one company, I was responsible for completing customer requests for proposals (RFPs). Due to a mixup in another group, an RFP for a got lost and it got to me 36 hours before it was due. I worked 24 hours straight, only leaving my desk to go to the bathroom. Then I gave the final product to our account rep who flew them to the customer (this was when people still demanded hard copies of everything).

People at the company treated me like I was a hero. They saw me as a warrior - I was an idiot.

The idea of pushing yourself that hard has short-term gains and long-term pains. When we glorify this type of Warrior Culture, we actually hurt our company and our people. It creates burnout, resentment, and pain. People come in sick, which gets others sick. People come in tired, which means we aren't getting their best work. People are seeing relationships suffer, which means they are bringing extra stress to work.

One of my great managers once told me something I never forgot when he saw me near burnout. He said "I need you at your best. That is when you add value. When you are like this, you are of little value to anyone, your family, yourself, or the company."

Stop glorifying warrior culture.