A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON WORK & ENGAGEMENT

Do we treat people like a one-night stand or do we show the level of commitment we would give someone we want to marry? And once we marry, do we work at keeping the relationship alive, or do we take each other for granted?

I can’t think of many people who don’t want to love what they do and feel they matter. On the other hand, we hear of the difficulties organisations have in engaging their people.

So I thought I’d have some fun and draw a parallel between work and love to identify the ingredients that can help unlock engagement. Let me know what you think 🙂

“Luck – when preparation meets opportunity.”

Just as you are unlikely to meet Mr or Miss Right if you don’t make an effort to go out and meet anyone; a job isn’t going to land in your lap if you do nothing.

When you apply for a job, do you know what you want? Do you know what skills, talents and interests you have? Do you know where and how you can best add value? Or are you so desperate you’re just looking for something that pays the bills? Likewise, when you date someone, instead of looking at the entire list of criteria they should possess, have you taken a close look at yourself to see what you bring to a relationship?

Oh how exciting, someone wants me, they’ve asked me for an interview/date.

The question itself seems to validate someone’s worth. Someone noticed them. Hope rekindles.

And then the panic sets in. What questions will they ask me? What should I wear? Am I ready? All along masking the underlying question – am I good enough, will I be accepted?

So you plough through endless blogs and articles, studying the dos and don’ts, making mental notes of what to say and not to say, all along contorting yourself into a bag of knots.

The bigger question is – if you haven’t accepted yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?

It’s fine (for now)

Have you ever known anyone who is dating someone who they’re not planning on marrying? Have you ever heard anyone accept a job offer saying they’ll look for something else? It begs the question – what’s the point? Is the other person aware of the lack of intention or are they investing in something they hope will lead somewhere?

It’s not in what you say; it’s in what you do.

Do we have all experienced people who have promised the world, but have they come through? Are they a person of their word or do they come up with platitudes and countless apologies while still showing the same behaviours?

As human beings we want to believe what people say, believe in them and that this time it’s different. And yet we keep experiencing the same letdowns. At some point, one needs to realise the common denominator to these disappointments is ourselves. Are we discerning enough? Do we look for consistencies between what a person says and does? Do we have the courage and belief in ourselves, what we stand for and represent to say ‘this isn’t for me’ and look for what is right?

Many people seem to behave like one of Cinderella’s ugly sisters – so eager to fit into the glass slipper; they’ll contort themselves into all kind of shapes and sizes to fit in and be accepted. But after a while, those feet will hurt – just as the pain of not being oneself will one day become too hard to bear. So if you want engagement, use the four-letter word rarely uttered in the workplace – love.

COMPANY CULTURE STARTS WITH YOU

COMPANY CULTURE STARTS WITH YOU

Ask a person the reason they love to travel, and often they say to experience different cultures. Human beings seem to be intrigued by the social norms and ways of living of their fellow man in different cities and villages around the world. Having the experience and...

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP – A MIDDLE EASTERN PERSPECTIVE

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  There is a general look of surprise, even bewilderment when people hear I love working in the Middle East, for the simple reason that I’m a woman. I understand how there is a perception that women are not respected or highly regarded in the Middle East,...

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON WORK & ENGAGEMENT

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON WORK & ENGAGEMENT

Do we treat people like a one-night stand or do we show the level of commitment we would give someone we want to marry? And once we marry, do we work at keeping the relationship alive, or do we take each other for granted? I can’t think of many people who don’t want...

IN SEARCH OF WEALTH

I recall being at dinner with the Chinese Ambassador in Malta some years ago. My boss and mentor had invited me, so as they were in the throws of a discussion about power and money, I sat listening.

The conversation was leading down a path where there was no delineation between power and money. That money gives you power and being in a position of power brings you money.  I still recall the unease within me – the restlessness that comes with knowing there is another truth.

Not being able to hold my tongue any longer, I posed a question “Did Mother Teresa have power?”

They looked at me stunned, and then smiling, the Chinese Ambassador nodded at my boss.

I don’t know about you but discussions of this nature have always intrigued me, and how we all too simply assume that one brings the other. Of course, this is very much the truth in some cases, as can be seen amongst some of the regimes and heads of state that exist around the world. But it is not the whole truth.

A similar debate ensued with a group of Russians, some of which were sons and daughters of oligarchs. This time the discussion was around the difference between being rich and being wealthy. If a person is rich, are they necessarily wealthy? If you have lots of money but are not happy, are you wealthy? If you don’t feel free to do or be what and who you are, would you feel wealthy?

In my opinion, wealth goes deeper than the number of digits behind a dollar sign and is more closely linked with the quality and richness of life. By this I do not mean just about how we create a quality of life for ourselves by buying things. Rather how our character, way of being and manner of doing things impact the quality of our experiences internally and externally. In a way, wealth is more closely linked to legacy, purpose and our role as members of the human race – humanity.

Nelson Mandela had once said, “In judging our progress as individuals, we tend to concentrate on external factors such as one’s social position, influence and popularity, wealth and standard of education…but internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one’s development as a human being; humility, purity, generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve your fellow men – qualities within the reach of every human soul.”

In doing your own search for what is important to you, here are some things for you to think about and consider:

  • If you were to find out a product you buy was produced in a way that conflicts with what you deem to be moral, fair and ethical, would you still buy it?
  • Do you care enough to ask the extra question and find out?
  • Do you consider and understand the ripple effects of your decisions and the impact they have?
  • Do you have the courage to speak your truth and not follow the status quo?
  • Do the means justify the ends, and how do you balance these?
  • Where do you draw the line about what and who you care about and what you are willing to do about it
  • In the final count, is wealth perhaps about our ability to enrich the lives of others?

 


 

Deborah has the ability to sense the underlying potential of people and their ideas. Previously a successful headhunter, she is a catalyst for business as a force for good, and works with founders, entrepreneurs, successors and innovators in building businesses with purpose and profit.

Did this resonate and you’d like to know more? Please get in touch for your confidential one-to-one.

inSight - Salty not Sweet

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COMPANY CULTURE STARTS WITH YOU

COMPANY CULTURE STARTS WITH YOU

Ask a person the reason they love to travel, and often they say to experience different cultures. Human beings seem to be intrigued by the social norms and ways of living of their fellow man in different cities and villages around the world. Having the experience and...

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP – A MIDDLE EASTERN PERSPECTIVE

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP – A MIDDLE EASTERN PERSPECTIVE

  There is a general look of surprise, even bewilderment when people hear I love working in the Middle East, for the simple reason that I’m a woman. I understand how there is a perception that women are not respected or highly regarded in the Middle East,...

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The world is starving…

“The world is starving, but not for food, for love.”  Mother Theresa

I was recently having tea with a friend. I hadn’t seen him for some time so we were catching up on life, work, love, relationships and everything in between. It’s always such an honour to have the time and space to have a proper heart to heart – some of my most treasured moments.

He was sharing the challenges he’d been facing, his hopes and fears. At one point I asked him if he was spiritual. Before I lose anyone here, let me just say that whether you are Christian, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist or any other religion or creed, the following is not a debate about religion.

Life doles out its challenges, trials and tribulations to every one of us, some making us stronger – others making us question and doubt some of our fundamental beliefs. And my hunch told me, that my dear friend was experiencing the latter.

He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his lap, hands clasped together in front of him. His head lowered, eyes looking downwards, I could see he was contemplating, searching within for what he felt was true. After some time he looked up.

“I don’t know Deb. If God existed why would all these bad things happen to children.”

And it is true – the atrocities that some children in this world experience are shocking. What ensued was an interesting dialogue about God. I am sure you have all experienced some form of God debate at one point or another, blaming some outside force for the ills that exist in this world. But, taking a close look at the main troubles that exist on this planet, there is no unknown force behind them – sadly they are the making of our fellow man.

So my response to my friend, was “But that is not God’s doing, it is people’s doing. And then people like you exist and come about to right the wrong.”

The anguished look he had upon his face until this moment disappeared, replaced by his sparkling eyes and beaming smile. If there is one thing my friend is passionate about, it is the wellbeing and welfare of children. It was just the dose he needed to hear, reinstilling his own inner belief in his efforts.

Regardless of how old we get, as human beings I believe we all need that safe haven, the quiet port away from the stormy seas. In our busy lives, we sometimes miss when someone needs that quiet place, that time and space to feel safe, to share their heart’s desire and rest a weary soul. So in this holiday season, I hope you find your quiet time and space, and please remember to create that safe port for others.

 


 

Headhunter turned talent spotter, Deborah creates the connect between people of character and companies with principles. The Founder of AMANI™, she is an advocate for business being a force for good, vested in the impact business has in both economic and social terms across various strata of society.