Thoughts on work

Moving people

Someone once told me that the way to move your company is to “move your people”

I sat in awe of this man’s wisdom, and his words – delivered so confidently and succinctly  – seemed to make perfect sense.

He spoke about how important it was to motivate employees to do the work that would result in the company’s success.

It seemed so simple!

I am no longer with the company, but the experience of witnessing first hand the harshly enforced unrealistic expectations, declining morale and subsequent mass exodus of employees has made me question this statement or more specifically, the notion of the word – MOVE

Move your people”…what does that mean?

In the physical sense, if we want to move something we exert force against it. We push, pull or re-locate to get the item to get it where we want it to be.

We can do this with people as well, with our words, rules and punishments

– this is NOT acceptable
– this MUST be done
– there WILL be consequences
– do this NOW

Placing fear and expectation onto employees will surely get movement. It will certainly illicit action as subordinates fear the ramifications of non compliance.

Oh yes it will work. For a while…

But it is not sustainable and will no doubt lead to resentment and cynicism. Actions become robotic, joy disappears and the subsequent knock on affect to other employees and even to customers cannot be underestimated.

What would happen if we actually did MOVE our people?

If we were courageous enough to emotionally connect with them as people, understand their needs and ensure they feel valuable…

– I really care about your success
– you are so valued by our company
– I believe in you
– we are all in this together

Could we be human enough to admit we are vulnerable too and share ownership of the collective challenges with our teams? Invite them to collaborate, have a voice and believe they could be a part of the solution?

Do we want employees to wake up each morning feeling a sense of pride and belonging? To believe they are important and valuable to the company?

– I LOVE my job, and the people I work for
– I BELIEVE in what I am a part of
– I WANT to succeed

Or is it acceptable that they only feel anxious and inadequate

Which is better?

Submissive, fearful employees who feel the constant “push” of expectations which creates a reluctant movement away from discomfort…

…or happy people who are organically moved by an inner desire to succeed…creating the momentum required to achieve greatness?

We want activity, yes and productivity too but we need to question what is more valuable to an organisation…employees who simply jump or employees who happily ask “how high?”

Thoughts on life, Thoughts on work

Don’t let me die now, ok?

I’m driving through a green traffic light and thinking…

I’m only forty and I could get hit by a red light runner right now and die…

…and my life would end while I’m feeling like I haven’t really lived yet

what a shame

It occurred to me that for the past 9 years the happiest I’ve ever been in my career is when I’m leaving jobs I hate…
It doesn’t bare any significance for me that I have actually been very good at all these jobs.

I’ve earnt great money, held the impressive job titles, worked for companies others desired to be a part of and yet…

…I’ve been miserable.

Empty, disconnected and dragging my tired, yearning soul through meaningless days

It’s hard to express in words the heaviness that fills your limbs, the lack of clarity or interest in tasks you once used to like…

it’s as though your very essence is blocked, nothing feels right and it seems you are playing a role without believing the script…

And here I am again

2 days from a final goodbye that will bring familiar feelings of regret and relief, sadness and satisfaction, chaos and closure.

I both love it and fear it

I know this game so well yet I feel compelled to change course…it’s as though some quiet voice of reason is telling me to be brave.

“…you are destined for more, you’ve only scratched the surface my dear…you are different to them and better than all this and you just don’t belong here…”

One minute I’m playing a game of poker and holding the biggest pile of chips…the next I’m doing a jigsaw puzzle with a million pieces and no picture to guide my hand.

My eyes are wide open but I don’t know what to focus on

I’ve brainstormed, quiz-completed, friend-talked, book-read, passion-hunted and mind-mapped every single possibility to the point of exhaustion..

I sense the void of unemployment nudging itself over the horizon and into my peripheral

I feel the thrill of new beginnings and new possibilities…but I carry the burden of decisions I am not yet able to make and questions I can’t answer

“So what now?”

(Shrug) I don’t know

“What do you want to do?”

(Sigh) I honestly don’t know

“Yeah but, what do you want to BE when you grow up?”

I actually have no fucking idea

So please don’t let me die yet