Growing up in Montana, I was surrounded with a community primarily comprised of happy Workers. Most of the people I knew certainly took pride in their work, but they also lived a balanced existence, with reward and guidepost tools that included achieving their professional goals while balancing family and lifestyle issues. Although they were hard workers and did the best job possible during their eight-hour workdays, they put equal effort into finding happiness and balance at home, in their friendships, and in their leisure activities.
Sometimes, they could be Workers in the workplace and Warriors when it came to their families or other passions. They also tended to take their hobbies quite seriously, sometimes even slowing down commerce for the opening of hunting season or some other activity that enjoyed tremendous appeal throughout the community. This “heartland attitude” is typical of the successful middle-to-upper-middle-class of. It also tends to slow down the pace of life, as it necessitates making the time and emotional investment to build the family unit and friendships.
Although making enough money is always important, it is not “the most important thing” in these types of communities. And in these communities, those who have achieved big financial success tend to be much lower key about it, because showing wealth is looked down upon. The financial goal tends to be centered around stability—first achieving security via sufficient savings, owning one’s own house, etc., and then layering on some of the toys (boats, weekend homes).
These attitudes, if managed properly to maximize productivity, can be quite healthy for a company if there is a Warrior or Warriors in the mix to add the necessary aggression needed to maintain growth and innovation. People tend to “job hop” much less, so there is a core of trained people who understand the business. They take pride in years spent with a company, and they are not as susceptible to outside employment offers that would cause friction in the workplace.
Of course, this is in tremendous contrast to the environment one tends to find in the major cities. When I first started doing business in Los Angeles, I was especially struck by how much the social environment really resembles the cliché jokes that are made about it. The entertainment industry has had a negative impact on Workers in Southern California. There is little value placed on stability and relationships. Instead, people are driven by a celluloid version of life, where success is judged by the ability to attain the right car or a low body-fat ratio. It is an environment in which Warriors thrive, because everyone is always looking to do a deal, but it is problematic for Workers, because it tends to emphasize all the wrong motivations. It also creates financial instability for everyone, as people acquire unmanageable debt levels just to own the toys that give them the appearance of success.