I assume that you are about to get back at it for the new year. The holidays are over, and now there is work to be done…
So, how engaged will you be in the work you have to do?
The statistics, as you know, are not good. The Gallup Organization has asked folks for years, and this is pretty much the finding:
About 30% are engaged
About 18-21% are actively disengaged (working against the very success of the team/organization)
And the ones in the middle are simply not engaged.
I am presenting my synopsis of The Power of Full Engagement this afternoon. It is a very good book; not new (published in 2003), but very good. After reading this book, and newer books like The Organized Mind, and Focus, and many others, here’s my wording for what “fully engaged” looks like in the actual work moment:
Fully engaged means utterly focused on the task at hand, and only on the task at hand.
And here is what the book describes as essential for full engagement:
Fully engaged requires these four realities:
Spiritually aligned with a purpose beyond our immediate self-interest.
Do you remember watching a first-year-kid’s soccer game? The players are somewhere between toddler and 1st grade (It’s been quite a few years for me; I don’t remember the age of our sons when they first played). You could tell pretty quickly – there were fully engaged players, and there were others who literally looked at something to the side, off the field, as the ball and player went right by them.
They were… distracted; looking at other things; not focused. Definitely not engaged.
And, guess what – too many players like this on a team, and the team had no chance of winning. Call it the The Puniness of Partial Engagement.
Here’s the thing. Anytime you are focused on anything other than the work at hand, you are not at that moment engaged. And the work suffers because of it.
In other words, the most effective, productive work is done by people who are able to focus utterly on the work at hand.
In the book The Big Short, Michel Burry (one of the ones who got it so very right) had the ability to completely focus, day after day, hour-after-hour, over the long haul Most of us do not have such ability.
But, I think it is safe to say that the better you (I) get at being more fully engaged, focusing fully on the work at hand, time after time, the better you will be at your job, and the healthier your organization will be.
So, do some reading on how to be better focused and more fully engaged, do some de-cluttering of your mind and workplace, and learn to better focus, to better concentrate, to be more fully engaged in 2016.