“In most organisations nearly everyone is doing a second job no one is paying them for - namely, covering their weaknesses, trying to look their best, and managing other people’s impressions of them.” - An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organisation (Kegan & Lahey, 2016)
A profound statement!
Because, many people simply don’t feel safe enough to be themselves at work. There is a latent vulnerability that is at stake. It’s not ok to “fail”. We must get top marks, etc… This topic comes up time and time again at public events, in TED talks and other online forums. For decades, authors have suggested you just look at what people can achieve outside of work through their hobbies, community service, etc… for evidence that organisations only get a part of an employee when at work.
And, personally I think that there may be nothing wrong with this. Most of us would prefer to spend our time and effort doing things we enjoy, that we believe are important to us and that make some difference. There’s just that small matter of funding our lifestyle and work tends to be the preferred way to do so.
As human beings we seek meaning in life and, as work takes up such a large part of life for many people, it’s inevitable that we question the worthwhileness of a job: if we don’t enjoy it, if we perceive unfairness in how people are treated or we don’t see the point of what we’re doing for the greater good.
Therefore, many people tend to put on a mask go to work and do the bare minimum to be able to collect a pay packet at the end of the month. And look forward to being themselves when they leave the workplace!
Because it significantly affects your organisation’s results, whether you have a bottom line or not. Forgive the analogy, but it’s a bit like having a football team made up of one-legged players. You won’t win many matches if you’re up against a team of able-bodied players.
Even though organisations (and the people who run them) seem to understand the need to do something, especially with more and more millennials in the work force, they are frequently stuck in models and paradigms that are no longer useful or relevant. They lack the right tools to create a culture where people can actually be themselves, flourish and thrive. And they often pay a lot for well-intentioned but ineffective advice that makes no tangible, measurable difference.
With the right combination of tools you can reduce the inevitable risks associated with culture change and bring out the best in Everyone. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about these tools…
Coming up Next - How to be Yourself at Work
I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.
― Oscar Wilde
People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
― A. A. Milne, Winnie The Pooh
Yes I am weird, weird is good. Normal is overrated.
I'm painting a blue square in my backyard so Google Earth thinks I have a pool.
My ethics are so clear and transparent that you can't even see them.
I'm so hot that I contribute to global warming.
If you’d like to learn more about Performance at work let us know.
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