Business people are more empowered to make decisions than in other organizations. A personal example: I screwed around for a year trying to get hired for the Philadelphia public school system. After about a year, one day, while reflecting on the process, I hit myself in the forehead and said, what kind of organization cannot hire someone with a bachelors and masters in his subject area, has done a year of preparatory work on a second masters [including an internship], has already been trained extensively in the job by another government entity, and has two years of [pretty cool] on the job experience? It just hit me — only an organization that is screwed up beyond repair, that's what. I had a perfect score on that National Teacher's Exam in my subject area [and pretty high on the sections] and had done the background checks and all that. Still, I had to get certified by the state [which I was completing] and then by the district itself, which had its own arcane process. All to get the privilege of teaching in a school with a police precinct in it (not kidding, eight of Philly's finest every day in the high school where I interned).
So, on the heels of this discovery, I faxed from my university office a hastily scrawled together resume and letter to a local publishing house. They called me back within two days. Asked me to come in the next week. Gave me a test or two. And hired me within a week after that. And guess what — I wasn't a tenth as qualified for that job. I told them that. I can't write about business, I said in the interview, I don't know anything about business. You're right, my soon-to-be boss said. You don't know anything about business. Don't worry, we'll teach you. Within four years I had doubled my salary and was managing people, and though I've made only modest gains since then, the point was I was given an opportunity and the tools to succeed by people who were prepared to make immediate decisions. And all this was done in the name of the soi-disant* Evil Profit Motive.
And not long after that, the following idea hit me .. that the profit motive allowed me to compete on equal footing with everyone else. Results mattered, so I didn't have to compete with busybodies and well-meaning drudges. Someone who was a better ass-kisser wouldn't get a job or a promotion (although I've seen sycophants get promotions when all other things are equal). Nor would someone who was better at political power games get the job. None of that. You either brought in the money and you were a wonderful person, or you didn't, at which point you may be a wonderful person, but you would take the wonderfulness of yourself, if all other efforts failed, elsewhere.
Funny thing, I was nearly fired. Things didn't start out well on the job at all. I was struggling and had been told by my direct superior that if it were up to him, he'd fire me. I was just wasn't getting the job done. (He had a point.) I was ready to pack it in and quit, saying it was apparent the company had given up on me. But a friend from outside the company gave me an intervening piece of advice. He said don't quit, but not for any sentimental or personal-growth reasons. He said, "The thing about business is this: If you're there, you're still there." When businesses give up, they let you go. Sometimes with a couple of weeks of pay. But if you are still on the payroll, they are still holding out hope that you will get it. They want you to succeed, because if you succeed, they succeed.
So I continued to try and continued to flounder. The business shifted me to a different boss, just to see if maybe hearing if being by someone else would help. In the meantime, another intervening thing happened. I was a smoker, and one of the senior guys was a heavy smoker. I began to go outside and ask his suggestions. Now, let me tell you, this guy loved to explain things and to give advice. So I'd get my assignments from one boss, and I'd go to this other guy on a smoke break and ask him the answers. I'd get on the phones and talk to customers and sources, and I'd go have a cigarette and this guy would tell me what the angle of the story was. Within a month, things were picking up, and within six months, I was doing pretty well. The company still wasn't thrilled with my work habits, but at the end of the day, no matter what my personal failings, I had a place at the table because I delivered business results.