In the interest of brevity and clarity I promise this essay contains no outrageously obscure words or pompous rhetorical flourishes (in which I admit I occasionally indulge). Neither will it exceed 400 words. This is going to be straightforward and fourth-grade simple. Just answer this question: “How long would you keep your job if your performance was effective, useful, productive, correct or successful a mere one-third of the time?”
To make the proposition even more accessible, let’s frame the question using specific examples:
How long would you keep your job if you were:
- VP of Purchasing, and 1/3 of materials and supplies arrive in time for production.
- VP of Engineering, and 1/3 of the manufacturing equipment designed or purchased meets or exceeds performance expectations.
- VP Marketing, and 1/3 of the advertising produced is effective or persuasive.
- VP of Distribution, and 1/3 of shipments to customers arrive complete and on-time.
- VP of Manufacturing, and 2/3 of products produced had to be reworked or discarded.
If you answered,”indefinitely” or “what’s your point?”, to any of the above examples, you are likely beyond help and you are excused. If you answered, “not long”, then I’m guessing you are as puzzled as I that C-Level execs of virtually every Fortune 1000 company are allowed to keep their jobs when on average only one out of three employees is engaged and fully productive. I will not bore you with numerous citations, but oodles of studies now confirm that roughly 2 of 3 employees are passive, detached, or actively disengaged. This unfathomable waste of creative energy my friends is a monumental failure of Leadership – pure and simple.
“If people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s gonna stop them.” – Yogi Berra
The saddest and most devastating waste of resources in corporations today is the untapped creativity, enthusiasm and discretionary effort, lying dormant in the hearts, minds and spirit of the workforce. Discretionary effort may neither be bought nor coerced, but will be given freely by an inspired, engaged worker. Inspiration and enthusiastic engagement in the workforce are the fruits of Visionary, Conscious Leadership. Until we break completely free of the Industrial-Age-Management paradigm and learn to embrace introspection, self-awareness, sustainability, feminine leaderhip energy and pursuit of higher self, we will continue to squander the most valuable corporate assets of all.