I have had the opportunity to have worked at 3 SMEs, 1 MNC and a cooperative.
SME – Small, Medium Enterprises
MNC – Multi National Corporations
SMEs often get a bad name when it comes to extension of benefits to employees when compared with say, an MNC.
This was true of SME #1 and SME #2 I worked at.
SME #1 had us walking through a dimly lit corridor and working in a lighted area surrounded by darkness. Frugality versus ambience or correct working conditions?
We worked in squalid conditions with boiled water to drink as a colleague brought an old fashioned kettle for us to plug into electricity on the quiet.
SME #1 had a boss who had 3 branded sports cars ranging from Porsche, Lamboghini and Ferrari. The last I heard he owned a Rolls Royce. He graduated from a university of sorts. He sported Patek Phillipe watches.
SME #2 had a boss who drove a porsche and also had a degree of sorts. Unsure if paper milled though as he had difficulty spelling words.
He sported all sorts of branded watches to match his attire.
Adjectives that describes this Boss would be quietly flashy, inwardly selfish to minions and uses holy water to douse any contracts before going to bids.
Selfish gain for self only and to hell with the minions.
Minions are not humans and drink out of a water cooler with no change of filters.
Dirt and grime unseen to the naked eye but water quality akin to the Ganges River though this is “unholy” water.
SME #3 has a boss that is openly telling minions and the world that he had little schooling and created the company with his 2 bare hands.
Minions do his reading and paperwork whilst he rose ground up building his empire. He is a grease monkey.
Minions get branded cars for their hard work and are given all you can eat biscuits, coffee, 3 types of teas all free flow.
Boss drives a 300S class Mercedes and wears simply with no Patek Phillipe or Constantine brand watches.
He stops to greet and chat with minions.
What have I learnt from all 3?
It is the head honcho that leads the company.
Visionary with hands on experience to get on the ground and get dirty with grease wins!
Visionary with practicality and compassionate to minions double wins the heart of minions.
Visionary with a conscience and a mind to succeed without ill treating minions actually succeeds.
I have surmised from these personal experiences that leaders can take on any form.
Some can spout “love” freely but fail miserably in truly “loving” or caring for minions.
Words do not carry weight but actions do.
MNCs are seldom runned by the owner with the largest share holdings as compared to any SME.
MNCs hire talent and like any talent it is a glorified minion with a bigger pay check and beefed up benefits package.
A delicate balance is important for SMEs.
Revenues versus costs.
Top line versus bottom line.
Survival of the fittest and minions must accept the culture, work ethics and be prepared to sacrifice for the right SME whose head honcho is prepared to reward for achievements.
Few and far between but assuredly, these bosses of SMEs do exist. Not all, but some 🙂