It’s no place for sissies!
Most of us are working longer hours, juggling multiple projects and responsibilities. We are often office-bound, seeing sunlight (if it exists) for less than 30 minutes a day, and exercising less and less, due to increasing time-pressures. There is a responsibility on both an individual and an organisation to maximise the resources at their disposal.
For the individual, assertiveness and adaptability are key. By assertiveness, I mean the ability to confidently add value within reasonable parameters, and thus confidently say “no” to work which either a.) falls outside the scope of your expertise or b.) is a distraction from your core purpose. Many people are not certain what they, and they alone, should be doing. Hence, they accept work that could or should be done by others. Knowing how you add value sustainably is the first step to being assertive. Once you have established this, graciously pass on that which is not for you alone, empowering others to deliver excellently.
Secondly, adaptability often separates the stress from the serendipitous. We perform best psychologically when we are in our Comfort Zone – we know the terrain, and can operate without stress consistently. However, growth is slow without change. Visualising and acclimatising to a new reality is important – like preparing a child to go to school, it is the difference between enjoyment and terror. If we can see the value in a goal, or change, it is easy to embrace and adapt. WIIFM – What’s In It For Me – is not a selfish question, but a drive question. If we cannot find a reason to embrace growth, we cannot enjoy it. Passive-aggressive behaviour results if we coerce ourselves (seen in procrastination, creative avoidance, poor standards of excellence or withholding), feeling we “should” or “have to” grow.
As for the organisation, according to Daniel Pink’s excellent book, “Drive”, going beyond traditional rewards and inspiring people through an environment that fosters autonomy, mastery and purpose is the answer.
Strength be yours, and may you find meaning in your work, and add consistent value by your actions!