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Resignation Kills Innovation: Are You Infected?

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Resignation Kills Innovation: Are You Infected?

A recent Gallup Study on the State of the American Workplace stated that 70% of workers are not engaged at work.

What is causing this and what can you do about it as a leader?

Begin by looking for the mood and/or emotion of resignation in your work culture. Resignation shows up in individuals and organizations as a rational excuse of why things cannot and will not change. If leaders or followers are in the mood or emotion of resignation what is possible? Well, not much. Possibility is the fuel that drives innovation, ambition and results. Opening up possibilities for others is one of the hallmarks of great leadership and innovative cultures. Learning how to identify resignation in yourself and in others is an essential leadership skill.

To see if Resignation is present I invite you to become an ontological observer (ontology- the study of being human) and look at three aspects of being human that shape us:

1. Language.  

The mood of resignation shows up in the language we use. The internal dialogue is something along the lines of “I can do nothing about X nor can anyone else, so there is no point in even trying.” If this is the conversation happening in our brains, how likely are any of us to make requests, or offers, or declare new futures?

2. The Body.

Resignation shows up in the following ways. Our bodies are mostly slumped with the focus forward and looking down. The shoulders are rounded and the chest is caved inward. This is the physical embodiment and practice of not looking forward for possibilities. A great way to see this in others is to look at the body from the side and see if the body is slumped and concave. The breathing and speaking of the person may also include a tone of despair and giving up.

Related: The Innovation Killer: 3 Clues That Resignation Has You

3. Moods and Emotions.

If we hear the language and see the body of resignation we will also see it showing up in actions and behaviors. Even when there are positive actions available to deal with an issue, we will not want to take these actions and, ironically, we may actually take action to thwart any attempt to change the current situation.

So, you as a leader, have the ability to now assess whether or not the mood of resignation is present. What to do with it? Well, in my next installment of the blog we will look for the clues of resignation’s opposite mood, ambition. And how creating ambition can be an antidote to the innovation killer, resignation.

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