(A BIG thanks to Marcia Conner for her inspiration on the video.)
Isn’t it interesting how we are so energetic and full of life – until we go to work. We then drag along and look forward to the end of the day and Fridays where we can go live a real life.
How can we be passionate about a hobby and willingly pour hours of extra effort into a task just to perfect it – until we go to work. We then we try to do the least we can and “not work too hard.”
Why do we care so much for those around us and will do anything to help uplift and inspire them – until we go to work. There we think the worst of someone before we know the whole truth.
At home, something has value just because it exists – like a child, a painting, or the kind note someone sent. Then we go to work and feel that everything needs to have proof positive ROI before we can value it.
Isn’t it interesting…
Love (Did I say “love?!”)
… it isn’t often you find these words displayed in modern businesses. Sure, they are in the values statements which are posted in the hall for all to see. But when someone makes a mistake why is it that the person is judged as incompetent instead of inventive?
Somehow when we go to work we leave the best of us out in the street, on the subway, in the car – before entering the building – and pick it up again when we leave.
This is death to the soul. Spending 8-12 hours a day in something that you have to recover from for the rest of the night before you go back and do it again. There is NO reason to live like this.
But why do we? It’s not intentional. Rather it is a function of our environment. We are creatures that react to and blend in with our environment. If work is toxic, we naturally tend to shut down to protect ourselves. Have you heard of flee or fight? At work too often it is stay and surrender.
Except for those few. Those few who bring their whole selves to work. Those that change the environment when they walk in the room (for the better). Those who you WANT to work with because they do not let the environment suck out their best qualities.
Those who feel that the company hired them for the whole package, not just part of it. Those who will trust, forgive and use their imagination, passion, joy and ambition.
THAT is who I want to be. And if we want to make some real changes for the better, we must be bold.
A new friend wrote me recently and said, “Just sent a blog to our CEO… Maybe I can come mow your lawn this summer when I’m unemployed.” He wasn’t being toxic, just finally calling out the elephant in the room and he was a bit nervous about doing it. But from what I know of this CEO, my friend won’t be fired, he will be promoted.
When we bring our whole selves to work, we can watch the quality of our work improve, the satisfaction with which we do it, and everything we touch.
As managers, we need to create an environment that makes it easy for our teams to bring the best of what they have to work. When we make the one, seemingly small change, the productivity will increase dramatically.
So, what do you need to do to create that environment? What characteristic have you left at the door in the past, but from now on will make a part of your every work day?