“It was the best of days, it was the worst of days, it was the day of wisdom, it was the day of foolishness.” (with apologies to Charles Dickens)
We recently had the opportunity to present Voltage content at an offsite for a Financial Services group in a large city in the Southeast USA. It really could have been anywhere and our program centered around two main points;
A. Tell us about their best day at work in the last 100 days and why?
B. Tell us about their most challenging day at work in the last 100 days and why?
Here’s What the Best Days and the Worst Days Had in Common
Many said the Best days were days in which the team hit their marks, delivered time sensitive work product, or where everybody had it “going on” and everybody knew it. These days were full of meaningful interaction between people and energy. The team pulled together to hit the finish line strong. There was satisfaction for a job well done and recognition for those doing it. They had earned a certain swagger.
Likewise, on the Worst days, many said these days were full of chaos and confusion about who was doing what and why. Nobody had it “going on” and everybody knew it. After a certain point this led to tacit apathy. It was an exhausting, draining experience where the buck was passed for accountability and energy was expended deflecting attention. Not only was there was no swagger, there was anxiety about what the next day would bring.
1. Time – In both cases Time is static / fixed, therefore priorities and rationales about them mattered.
2. Energy – In both cases Energy is variable, the Best days were when Energy levels and Time were managed.
3. People - In both cases, Work was being done through and with People. The Best days acknowledged that fact.
4. Communication - In both cases, it was often the Cause of or Solution to a Best day or a Challenging day.
Our goal should be to make every day at work the best it can possible be, aka “the day of wisdom”. This means leaders must live in a less transactional space, where they are paying attention to how these 4 variables are being managed and applied. If they are out of balance, do not be surprised to hear about the “day of foolishness”.
For a deeper dive into how to help establish and foster contagious positive attitudes at your organization, check out this episode of the Voltcast radio show.