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Work Less, Live More?

I find it hard to believe that so many people find work so onerous. Is it true that so few of us actually enjoy our work? The amazing proliferation of all things to pamper at leisure seems to be a firm testament to that state of affairs. Sad reality is that we often need “…a vacation to recover from our vacation…”

Rest and recreation are extremely important, of course. I’m not against them at all. What I do call into question is the lifestyle of having to “endure” our work while anticipating the blissful breaks at the weekends or during our vacations. I mean, do your sums! Is meaningful life confined to blissful breaks only? No wonder so many of us are miserable! Ask yourself – how many people do you see with smiles on their faces as you drive or commute to your workplace? Precious few, I trow.

To me, this is puzzling. Everyone with whom I raise the subject seems to know that people are generally unhappy at work. That people have issues with the boss, co-worker or even people reporting to them! Yet very few seem to be going about making things better or moving on to do something that they really like. The “assured” income seems to be a very big draw. Assured income for delivering what, in the eyes of many, is equitable value. However, in the eyes of many employers, that perceived equitable value is not equitable to them at all. Here, I am talking about employers who believe in giving a good and just wage for value delivered by their employees, and who would reward those who go beyond that. So, when employers start demanding, rightfully, for equitable value from their people, many employees start to become “stressed”. You shouldn’t be stressed, you should be bucking up!

As leaders, we need to create conditions and influence mindsets towards the concept that our work is a very big portion of our self-expression, self-esteem, self-worth, whatever else you want to call it. Start on these things:

1. Create conditions that make work fulfilling.

2. Hire and develop people who are a good fit for your culture.

3. Invest in your people by ensuring that they grow.

4. Grow your company so your people can grow in tandem.

5. Grow yourself.

Start with these first. You won’t go wrong. You’ll be a lot happier, and your people will be, too. That improves your value and profitability no end.

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