“I hate going to work everyday,” he quickly admitted after our call had just begun. “It’s like they know I’m needed to fill a spot but I don’t feel needed in any other way. It’s like they don’t see what I could bring, my unique skillset and experience. I don’t know how much longer I can take this.”
That was quick, I thought, as I searched for what to ask next.
“What do you feel you could personally bring different to your job if the opportunity were offered you?” I asked.
“Actually, that’s the problem, I don’t even know at this point. I feel engaged but it’s like I’m actively disengaged in doing nothing productive. That’s terrible but it’s the truth,” he admitted.
I probed further, “Like what? What are you doing that’s disengaged from your work?”
He offered, “Well, for example, I take extra long to finish a project just to fill the time. I scroll on my phone and look at social media most of the day. I respond in short answers to emails and requests that I feel don’t fit my skillset. Anything I don’t want to do I make it painful for everyone to expect me to do. I let everyone know I’m not easy to work with and I wear that on my sleeve.”
I confessed, “Thank you for admitting that, at least you are aware you’re doing them. Would you be willing to change that behavior at some point?”
He replied, “Of course, if they’d just let me do what I do best.”
I asked, “Do you feel this is a practice unique to a you on your team, or are others doing and feeling the same?”
I could hear him thinking over the phone.
“Yes, most of us on this team are like that, I’d say, because our manager doesn’t even know what we would be better at bringing to the table,” he finally admitted.
In essence, he was feeling guilt for a lack of integrity in work time spent, knowing full well he could have been doing more, but was merely putting in the time to keep a job. Active disengagement due to a lack of leadership from a manager who didn’t see him as a person but rather as a means to an end.
Lacking purpose, this 40-something year old had become one of the 87% Gallup finds are actively disengaged at work, costing the US economy trillions annually. Conversely, Harvard Business Review shows that performance is increased by 33% in employees who are actively utilizing their skillset and purpose in the onboarding process, resulting in billions of dollars gained when leaders can keep a new employee actively engaged from the moment of hiring.
What is The Promise of The Leader in this instance?
Admit an incongruence in engagement, and then help the disgruntled employee to re-discover their purpose, share their unique strengths, and add life to a waning team.
Employee Example #1 was recommend to go through the revolutionary ICM Process along with his Manager, and now they are in a mentoring relationship that offers both great purpose and satisfaction, resulting in a renewed lifeblood for the team and entire company, which in turn will benefit everyone in the long run. Projects finished quicker, creativity encouraged, accountability ensured. Happiness at work at an all-time high.
This is The Promise of Leadership and Engagement.
Employee Example #2
Sitting next to her I could feel the positive energy and encouraging power she exuded over her influence in the workplace.
As she spoke about her intentions and excitement for every day I was also more focused to do my job well as a consultant.
Being hired to come in and determine the challenges in the company, I was referred to her as the example of what can happen when one person discovers their Leadership Promise. How refreshing to see what was possible when an employee knew her reason for being an important part of making the engine go.
“How did you get to this place of being so satisfied with your work? You seem to be in a space of complete dedication to your work and excited for it every day,” I asked in all sincerity.
“Oh that’s easy,” she said. “I noticed my co-workers were struggling to find meaning in our projects, completing tasks in a timely manner for end-users, and were losing morale. So I took them through the ICM Process over the course of an entire quarter.”
“And what did you find?” I wondered aloud.
“It’s incredible what happens to the engagement of employees when they know their purpose, who not only know what they should be doing but are encouraged to do what they’ve identified what they are best at contributing,” she stated matter of factly.
“Can you show me how you took them through this?” I questioned, almost desperately.
“Sure, it’s simple. The ICM Process is:
- IDENTIFY, or Discover, your Strengths, Talents, Gifts and Skills
- CLARIFY, or Refine, with your Co-Workers (we prefer to call them The Family at Work)
- MAGNIFY your Promise
…once all of this is complete, we discuss it as a Family at Work (our Team) and make sure everyone is utilizing their Signature Moves everyday in every interaction. It’s our Promise Proclamation!” she exclaimed.
I sat there stunned. How simple of a concept, and yet how profound.
- Giving time to all employees to Discover and Identify their talents, gifts, strengths, and skills….
- Confirming and refining those through a Clarify exercise with co-workers….
- Magnify the words they identify and clarify as their own, which becomes their Signature Moves they are uniquely known for, becoming the effective Leaders they were born to be.
“How did you come up with this ICM Process?” I asked, “Did you hear it somewhere or read it in a book?”
She admitted, “I saw a speaker share it at a conference I attended a while back. He promised it would change our lives if we tried it out for ourselves. It worked so profoundly in my life I decided to bring it to work. We are now in the top 3% of our company in sales, attendance, performance, and the most committed to each other of any team I’ve seen. Before we were in the bottom 25%. This ICM Process works!”
“Where can I learn more about this and is there a workbook for it?” I asked.
She looked around her desk, and then said, “Oh, here, it’s in this book. It’s not even released yet, but they gave us a copy at our event. Chapter 2 is the ICM Process. I recommend everyone try it and figure out their Promise.”
“Where can I buy this book?“ I inquired.
“The Speaker said it’s not available yet, but will be soon. Seriously though, it’s such a simple concept, the ICM Process, most people don’t even try it out. After seeing the profound effect it had on our team I took it home and my family went through it. It changed the lives of my children and spouse as well. You should do it,” she said.
“I will,” I proclaimed.
“Do you Promise?“ she asked.
Leadership Expert * Author * Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer
The Promise: Become a Legendary Leader and discover your Signature Moves
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