I met Louis Efron, and he seemed like a pretty low-key guy to me. After reading his latest Forbes article, however – http://onforb.es/1hvrmqq, I’m beginning to see his inner tough-love guy!
Most of the time, when you read about employee engagement, it’s all about what the company can do, how management should change, the training you must provide to your supervisors, new tools, techniques, software and communication skills. But what responsibility does the employee themselves have? Or better stated … if you are a disengaged employee, what options do you have and what can you personally do about it? Should you just wait for your leadership to hire Louis Efron, Larry Myler, Bob Kelleher or some other engagement guru to make it all better or is some of the solution up to you?
Louis shares how he took a personal flyer to follow his dream after a 20+ year career in corporate America. Now I’m not sure Louis was Actively Disengaged, but he did get to the point where he made a tough decision to venture out of his comfort zone and follow a personal dream. “…yea, that’s okay for some people, but I don’t have the guts to be an entrepreneur or run a charity or start a church or take the big pay cut to go work as a fry cook in a local diner”, you may be thinking. You just might reconsider when you read the stories of people who did, do some Goggling and see what you’re missing!
We have some friends who did just that. She was a school teacher and he worked as a mid-level manager in a high tech firm here in Phoenix. After they had their second child, this couple made the crazy decision to move to Oregon and buy a farm. Seriously; a real “…if you build it, they will come” farm, with crops and tractors and planting and harvesting and all of the stuff that most of us could only imagine. Well, it wasn’t easy, but after a couple of years, they were not only making it financially (not getting rich, but not starving) and raising their kids in a small community with great family values, low overhead, low crime rate and real salt-of-the-earth neighbors and friends.
Sure, your employer has a fiduciary responsibility to the owners of the company to make it possible for you as an employee to be as happy, efficient, productive and profitable as possible, but the rest is up to you. If you’re not the “dream follower” type, then your other options is to become part of the solution. Volunteer to help spearhead Peer Review Groups, lead Productivity Circle, offer suggestions, be a breath of fresh air to those around you, or simply stay positive and engaged. It’s your choice and you can do more to help your company succeed than you probably think. Just don’t be a downer!
But, if you’ve got the cojones to venture out after the life and career your always wanted, go for it! You might fall on your face, but you also might the joy, rewards and satisfaction that is reserved for those who set their own course. If you do the work, take the risks and get engaged in your own venture, you just might be one of the new success stories that Louis Efron is talking about. My advice … go for it!!