AABP Award 728x90

Say thanks; don’t ask questions


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I have said and written many times that I love my job, my company and what I do for a living. As I travel and speak at conferences, I know I am not the only one. There are a lot of people in this state who are passionate and highly engaged in their jobs. That said, I know that an even larger number of people are not happy in their jobs and are barely engaged.

I am addressing today’s article to the unhappy. If you are reading this, more than likely you are in some type of leadership position within your company. You are probably scanning the publication for information that can help you in your job or can help your company gain some type of advantage. You saw my headline and were intrigued.

Now, though, we are at a crossroads. If you are unhappy in your job, I have to ask why. Is it the economy? Is it the company? What did you lose somewhere along the way from the day you started and were excited to get the job to today? At one point, it must have seemed you were at the best place to work. Think about that for a minute. During the interview process, what made this the company you wanted to work for?

I will bet you had big plans to make big changes and move the company forward. Somehow the plan got off track. You lost your fire and since then have been doing a decent job. Maybe even a better than decent job. But you still have no satisfaction in your work and even feel somewhat removed from it.

I would bet that what made this job worth taking was the hope of what you would be able to accomplish. That hope was, and maybe still is, your driving force for moving your department or company in a new direction. The good news is that hope can always be reignited and engagement can always be regained. I challenge you to go back to the basics of your job and rise above the mundane activities that may have zapped your strength and progress.

There is no better time than now to take control of your career and recapture the hope that fired you up and excited you about work. Find new and innovative ways to challenge yourself, your department and your team. Be accountable and vulnerable to your staff working through the current fog. Be a leader.

Don’t shrink in the face of hard economic conditions and lower than normal profits. Don’t hide, hoping that lying low is the best form of leadership. Put achievable substance in concrete plans and move forward. Reclaim your love for what you do. Draw a line in the sand, gather your department and tell them: “I don’t care about the past. I don’t care about what used to be. From this day forward, we are changing how we do what we do.”

Leading by example and giving your employees something to hope for is the substance that will help you overcome these tough times and engage your employees at a level that you may previously have never seen.

Nick Reddin is the business development manager for Manpower Inc.’s Des Moines office.

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