In recent blog posts I have written about how to positively and constructively communicate to people in your organization that they should “be happy they have a job.” As I was reading The Ten Commandments of Baseball, Principles for Success in Baseball (and Life) there was a compelling story about one person’s experiences during the Great Depression. It reminded me of the pictures of the Great Depression I have seen of the long lines of unemployed and how truly grim it was.

Then I thought about a two of my colleagues who has been out of work for well over a year. Both are incredible professionals with stellar track records of success in their fields. I was unemployed for 11 months in the big recession in 1981….it sucked! The thing that amazes me about both is that I have NEVER heard either of them whine about it. They keep driving on……they refuse to quit. I venture to say most of us have friends or family out there right now who are in the same boat and respond the same way.

That’s why I have the deepest admiration for people like my two colleagues and other people who suck it up, never whine and keep moving forward. For that reason it drives me crazy when I think about people in other organizations where I used to work who whined about everything when I was in a Human Resources leadership role.

In your role as a leader in your organization you need to constructively confront those people….but more importantly….you need to keep on doing it AFTER things turn around and your organization is making money again. You need to have a comprehensive long-term strategy to create a “No Whine Zone” in your organization. If you only say it once when you are irritated the whiners will blow it off. It takes a concerted, well thought out strategy to create a culture where whining is not acceptable.


If you are interested in some great examples on comprehensive strategies mentioned above….give me a call and I will tell you about a few that I have seen work well.