Caution – could be a controversial read!
In a conversation with a colleague the other day we started to reminisce about how the work world was such a different place than when we started several years ago. At that time in the 70’s and 80’s the competition was outrageously fierce for each and every role we were seeking out. The criterion almost seemed unfair to even be able to initially qualify for the first interview. The demand was high and the talent to fill those roles was also very available. So begins the competitive action to climb the ladder of success.
Today the demand for talent is as great but the pool of talent is quite different. Some might say that the forthcoming workforce is lazy or some other way to brand them. I won’t dispute that the need to work and the desire to work appears to be different. In days gone by work was a way to demonstrate capabilities. To have pride of worth and contribution. It allowed individuals to showcase their ability to be part of a team and by their efforts build a reputation which gave them an opportunity to advance. It was pretty cutthroat to climb the ladder and achieve that next level of success. As crazy of a time as that was it appeared at the time that even though we were driving each other to higher levels we also focused on ourselves, and the future as opposed to seeking ways to discredit and drag our competition down. If we won, we wanted to beat the best not win by dragging the best down to step over them.
Granted that times are very different today, but it appears that the path of many is framed more around the dismantling of their colleagues, so they appear better rather than stepping up, building oneself up and motoring past them with excellence.
Right about now, some readers have decided to stop reading because they might view this a stereotyping or whining or any other way to jump into the pity pool party. It is just based on simple business observations of people, teams, organizations, and the talent challenges of today’s marketplace. To some degree, those upcoming resources who keep their heads down, work and contribute have it so much easier than 50 years ago. Real leaders can pick them out of the flock of people very easily. Once they are identified they are upgraded even more quickly than others into leadership roles. This causes the rest of the flock to desire to drag them back down even more rather than building themselves up.
It is a little sad to even write about this, but the nature of the work world must deal with the challenge. This by no means is trying to say that future workforces are all like this – absolutely not! Although there is no research study that wants to tackle this perspective, using again general observation, it is likely that the Pareto rule applies here as well. 20% of the workforce is trying to drag the other 80% down to make it easier on themselves. Likewise, 20% of the workforce is capturing 80% of the leadership roles of the future because they are not being slowed down to drag others down but investing in building themselves to even higher contribution levels.
Your challenge this week should you decide to accept it is to step back and look at your flock. What can you as a leader do to help each and every person in your organization focus on building rather than tearing down. Whether it be fellow colleagues, vendors, customers or even the community, what can be done to help the collective be better at building up each other for the future.
Looking to build rather than tear down? – Give JKL Associates c call at FL (407) 984-7246 or MI (313) 527-7945 and speak with a Promise Guide about your needs and aspirations.
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