By now, you will have heard the expression that 2022 will be the year of The Great Resignation, as people rethink how they work and live. Here’s a great article around why the meme ‘The great resignation’ is less than helpful.
Lots of people are considering not working the way they have been. People are quitting: Quitting jobs, quitting relationships, and quitting the old ways of living.
If you choose to, you could make the end of 2021 and the start of 2022 a liminal moment. A ritual of passing. A BC/AD moment…before covid and after delta.
I propose that the moment might be one where you bravely choose (or perhaps recommit) to be a thought leader, running a million-dollar practice, sharing your insights to people who value them.
It’s our privilege to help make that happen for people who choose it in a sustainable, fulfilling, low friction fashion.
It’s a privilege to be able to choose how we work and live for many don’t have that choice. For a great majority of people in the world, making ends meet and simply surviving is the only choice they seem to have. If you are reading this and following the conversation of running a thought leaders practice, then the genetic and geographical lottery that is your privilege is perhaps also your great responsibility. The freedom to create and contribute meaning, to live a life where you get to do work you love, with people you like, the way you want is no small thing.
Some of the ways we are quitting:
- We are choosing to not turn up to offices that are uninspiring.
Make your workplace a cool place to be or let us work from home forever.
- We are choosing to no longer attend meetings that waste time and showcase mediocrity.
Make your meetings an experience, not an endurance. We won’t waste our time indulging egotistical power games and mediocrity wrapped up in the pretence of work, expressed in the form of a bad meeting. If we have to meet online or in person, let’s make it worth it for all to do so.
- We won’t stay at school or go to Universities where the teachers and lecturers treat us like an inconvenience to their day.
Inspire us to learn, teach us. Don’t set homework on zoom and then turn your camera off expecting parents or self-directed learners to thrive. They won’t. Don’t upload a quiz on canvas or charge us for 5-year-old lectures that don’t inspire deep inquiry. It’s a privilege to lead a community of learning so let’s treat it so.
- We don’t want to stay in relationships that drain us, we want to be in those that sustain us.
Tolerating the intolerable is kind of a superpower but perhaps not what we should choose going forward? Think about who you are being in relationships, what you are bringing, and what do you need? I reckon fear of being alone keeps many stuck in the mud. Let’s not be d-heads at home or a-holes at work. Recruiters are reporting a massive talent shortage at the moment as people really think long and hard about the kind of work they want to do and who they want to do it with.
- We don’t want to do work anymore that has very little meaning.
Align what you do with a higher sense of purpose or meaning. If we don’t feel like what we do matters or is valued, we will move on. Corporate social responsibility or Diversity and Inclusiveness are the tip of the iceberg around making work work. Work is personal and what we are doing has to matter. If all it’s about is making money, forget it we are out. Money was always a currency of meaning, value, and honour. It’s just lately (last few hundred years) it’s become something else. Something less than the deeply held conviction that I am in your debt. It went from something highly relational to something very abstract and transactional.
The thing is none of this is new.
If your model had cracks in it before the pandemic, it is clearly been broken as a result of it. We knew that workplaces, meetings, education, and engagement were all challenges before March 2020. The pandemic has folded time and forced innovation to deliver practical pivots sooner. The obvious ones are around remote working, flexible hours, work-life integration, and our higher sense of contribution. We are shopping local, buying small as the supply chain logistics of global food miles and import reliance start to come undone.
We knew that stuff was not working but we kept working anyway. Climate change, anyone? Death of the middle-class, anyone? Two-party identity politics, anyone? The year 2020 is the year the world changed but did you? Did we?
My year nine Ancient History teacher, Gerry Prietto, used to say, “There are three types of people in the world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who say, ‘What happened?’” Choose your response in a given set of circumstances and lead the change.
We need sense makers now more than ever. We need people with insights, points of view, solutions, now more than ever. In other words, we need thought leaders. The world needs you and if you agree, then you just might need us too.