March 15th is a day like any other day, unless you happen to be a Shakespeare buff and know the origin of the phrase, “Beware of the Ides of March.” For those in the know, the Ides of March mark a dangerous day to be weary of based on the bard’s historical drama, Julius Ceasar, which tells the story of the great leader’s fall from grace and assassination.
Prior to the date becoming synonymous with Ceasar’s downfall, the Ides of March marked a festival celebrating the goddess Anna Perenna which was noted as a jubilant affair with drunken revelry and plenty of celebration. Whether you’re celebrating the goddess today, remembering Ceasar, or just enjoying the 15th as another day in passing; what the Ides can remind us to be ready for change that can shake your world.
Leadership should be the first to take note. If your power in an organization has risen to such a stride that people only praise you and are afraid to bring criticism to your attention, then you have somewhere along the way turned your ear and your back to those people who might otherwise support you.
The higher you rise, the harder your fall. Let’s hope no one is conspiring against you as was Ceasar’s case and that you relish open communication with your teams to rectify problems and share success to get everyone working together.
For persons at any level within a company, we must remember that things can change and shift drastically at any moment, sometimes without notice. There are no guarantees. Businesses and jobs and people can be here one day and gone the next.
You may have a job one day and be interviewing the next while in complete shock of your predicament. You could be happily working within a team you love only to find a management change and a break-up of your department. You could be asked to change from telecommuting to working from an office. You could be promoted and find yourself alone, not knowing how to step forward in your new role.
One thing is certain, with or without you, everything will move forward, for better or for worse. This is why it is important to build relationships within the workplace and strong networks outside of it, whether you’re job interviewing, in the midst of your career, or even at the end of it. Having a positive network of supporters may help you from being stabbed in the back as you grow your career, and avoid Caesar’s surprise and dismay, “Et tu, Brute?” (His words to Brutus, a conspirator and his loyal comrade that turned on him)
Relationship is the key word. Not numbers of contacts, not who’s on your team, but building real, tangible, honest relationships with the people you come in contact with. True honesty breeds growth within any relationships.
Businesses can often breed greed, dishonesty, envy, and other negative paths, but those that take a stand to open the lines of communication and support their teams can weather any storm united together rather than be torn apart.
So beware of the Ides of March. And, don’t be like Caesar and let your arrogance get to you in thinking that your day will not come, for as the soothsayer replied to him, “Ay, Caesar, but not gone. But take your wariness of such a day and turn it into a positive and build relationships that will help everyone grow great together to weather whatever the future may bring.
What are your thoughts on how we can build stronger companies and organizations based on integrity and honesty? How do you build and grow strong relationships in your network? Please share your thoughts and comments below.