What’s Missing in Our Work Ethic?

How is it that everyone is so busy yet it seems like nothing ever gets done? Listen to those around you. I guarantee someone is talking about how busy they are—and another person will soon up the ante. We’re competing to win at busyness. Why? Is it to demonstrate that things can’t go on without us? To make us indispensable at work? To prove we have value? We all know that the pace of work life has increased. But are we accomplishing more? No. But we all know we’re supposed to look like we are.

Jobs for many are insignificant, not tied to what they really care about. There are often too many bosses resulting in people being bossed around too much. People rebel through slowness or depression. Yet are often full of anxiety…what if I step on toes? Get out of line? Get fired? The irony is that all this anxiety is about keeping jobs that put money in our pockets but don’t feed our spirits.

In my opinion, the point of life is to make or do something that has some worth. In many workplaces today competing interests get in the way of productivity. When those at the top aren’t incentivized to work together you end up demoralizing those on the front line who work hard but never see any progress. Wouldn’t it be great if people went to work and actually accomplished something instead of just removed obstacles, stayed clear of extra bosses or worried about whether they can keep their jobs?

Amanda Mitchell is an executive coach and strategist specializing in helping senior executives deal with disruptive drama within their teams. An advertising agency veteran, she experienced first-hand the business implications of corporate drama both with her Fortune 500 clients and within the Manhattan ad agency she led. She founded Our Corporate Life (www.ourcorporatelife.com) to help executives solve the problems no one wants to deal with. She has been published in Bloomberg Businessweek, and quoted in Fast Company, CNBC.com, and Monster.com. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

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