Dead Man Walking – Are you engaged in life & work?

The term “dead man walking” comes from prison death row.. but that’s not the only place I’ve seen “dead men walking”.. or the more politically correct “dead persons walking”.

In an earlier article this past February I wrote about the relevance of “belief” as a fundamental factor of any change process. I’m currently working on various assignments where I’m challenging people to reconnect with their belief that things can indeed improve, and that things will only improve only with their contributions. Life is too precious to let it slip by, and if you’re not living.. then the only other alternative is dying!

Are You Awake to the Moments of Your Life?

Two articles have greatly influenced this post & one of them is Are You Awake to the Moments of Your Life?Eckhart Tolle is quoted as stating “The modalities of awakened doing are acceptance, enjoyment, and enthusiasm. Each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. You need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all – from the most simple task to the most complex.”

When I first walk into any organization that’s hired me to help them become more productive (effective, profitable, accelerate growth, customer satisfaction, etc), the first thing I’m looking for are indicators (people) who lack enjoyment & enthusiasm in what they do. I’m looking to spot the “walking dead”. Acceptance is a dangerous word, as “accepting that things can’t / won’t change is counter productive to my “belief” theory stated earlier.

At the root of lacking enjoyment & enthusiasm is a strategy that hasn’t engaged the imagination of the employee, thus leading to a lack of an overall engagement in the processes & activities required for both the individual, as well as the collective, to succeed in an enterprise. Our lives are a 24 x 7 eco-system and I have yet to meet anyone who can claim to have a “complete life” when either work or non-work isn’t fulfilling. Likewise, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs proves that you can’t experience balance, happiness & harmony if you’re not “living” in every environment of your 24 x7 life. Frustration at work impacts your focus, concentration and quality (enjoyment) of life outside of work.. and visa-versa.

A human life is worth $9.1 million

Reading this NY Times article on the value attributed to a human lifetime had me reflect on how most companies are treating their workforce. Far too many companies should rename their Human Resources Department the Human Recruitment Departments because that’s about all I see them doing. There is no real development of staff, or even a concerted effort by Human Resources Professionals to demand a seat at their corporate strategy table so that they can ensure the appropriate skill-sets, enjoyment & enthusiasm are present as a consequence of people doing meaningful work that directly contributes to a company’s required goals, objectives & bottom-line.

Two examples

Have the Best Strategic Plan; In the blog post Our Priorities Reveal our Values my good colleague Simon Sinek briefly gives an example worthy of note. How do your current priorities reflect your values (individual & company)? Are you walking your talk? Are you lacking discipline or strategy & thus working on autopilot? If the urgent always takes priority over the important, then how much do you really value the important over the urgent in your business (and life)?

Be a Great Leader; We all want to contribute, it’s in our DNA and it’s a basic desire of fulfillment. As John Dewey would say; “The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to feel important.”

A fantastic leader figures out how to bring out the “what” to contribute, but he needs to hear from his people & get their contribution. How are you giving voice to your people? What are the mechanisms in place for your $9.1 million people “to be heard” & contribute? How are you ensuring you’re a fantastic leader?

Are your people “Dead Men Walking”?

The next time you walk through the door of your workplace.. look around.. do you feel the energy of every single employee feeling like they’re worth $9.1 million? How are people in your company engaged (and contributing) in the processes & strategic planning of the company? $9.1 million (times “n”) is a significant value to let go to waste! What action can you take today to ensure that you take responsibility for yourself, believe that change is possible, believe in that dream again, and move your company powerfully forward? How are are you leveraging your own $9.1 million value?

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