July 11, 2018 paul

Engaging Leadership Leads The Whole Worker

Over the past two decades we’ve become very good at compartmentalizing our lives. This is work. This is family. This is play. This is serious. As a result of this practice, we compartmentalize our personalities, talents, and skills as well. We bring certain skills to work and leave other skills at home.

Many of us are unfulfilled at work because the work doesn’t engage us completely. It usually engages us physically; from time to time intellectually; now and then emotionally; and rarely spiritually. However, current studies in worker productivity are showing that if the whole worker (#wholeworker) is engaged, we not only become more productive but more satisfied as well. And that satisfaction goes deep, beyond the pocket, into the psyche and spirit.

The dilemma for business leaders is that they haven’t been equipped to engage the whole worker. Why would they need to know anything outside of the worker’s professional skill set? Focusing on the bottom line was all that most managers were taught. Increasing shareholder value was the goal. But at what cost to the worker? At what cost to the organization?

With our new understanding of worker productivity, team dynamics, and corporate culture, we have the ability to move out of the old command-and-control modalities and into a more holistic and healthy approach to business. In fact, our current economic climate has actually helped us to get there. We’ve learned, the hard way, that profit at any cost can’t be the goal. We’re capitalists, for sure, but we can be healthy capitalists.

Turning this ship around is going to take looking for ways to engage the whole worker—body, mind, and spirit. The good news is that the answer is right in front of us, staring us in the face. Having a guided discussion around our differences is a simple way to start.

Discovering what skills, talents, passions, and preferences my teammates have helps me to understand my value to the team.

Discovering how our skills, talents, passions, and preferences complement each other brings us the synergies we yearn for and talk about, but rarely experience.

Discovering more about our skills, talents, passions, and preferences creates a human connection, builds team, and paves the way for future engagement.

Business leadership is experiencing a renewal for sure, and it’s coming by way of ideas that always were desired ideals, they were just rarely applied. Bottom line myopia got in the way. Those leading the way in this renewal are experiencing a paradigm shift in their thinking, productivity, and relationships.

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