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Published:August 24th, 2012 08:10 EST
Own What You Do at Work

Own What You Do at Work

By Simon Bailey (Mentor/Columnist)

The Gallup Organization states that there are approximately 100 million full-time workers in the United States. 28% of this workforce is engaged, 53% is not engaged, and 19% is actively disengaged. Jim Clifton, author of The Coming Jobs War and Chairman of Gallup, says, "The 53% of not engaged workers are just there, killing time with little or no concern about customers, productivity, profitability, waste, safety, mission and purpose of teams, or developing customers. They`re essentially checked out."  

Do you know people who aren`t engaged, not to mention actively disengaged? I do, and it`s draining when you have someone on your team who is more negative than an undeveloped piece of film.  

I became curious to find out how companies could significantly increase engagement in their workforces. I started by reflecting on my seven years at the Happiest Place in the World-Walt Disney World Resort®-and then on my work with over 1,000 organizations over the last ten years. And that`s when it clicked: When I worked at Disney, they sent all cast members to two days of indoctrination at Disney University, and that`s where I learned how to create a magic moment. That`s where I drank the magic potion, sniffed the pixie dust, and got the microchip planted in my head. I was so engaged at Disney that my wife said to me she personally thought Walt Disney himself had come back from the dead and hired me.  Engagement, as I describe it, is brilliance (insight, potential, talent) being released; it`s when one experiences The Vujá dé Moment. Engagement happens when an employee has not seen the future and so decides to create it.  

Achieving real engagement-seizing the reins and actively creating the future-will only happen when people at work and in business take ownership of their productivity. Think about owning a home:  This has, for many decades, been the heart of the American Dream. Being able to own real estate was and is a source of pride and fulfillment. Paying the mortgage on time and in full demonstrates trust and credibility to the lending institution. Over time, as the principal and interest are paid down, there is a transfer of ownership from the lender to the borrower.  

However, in business you, the worker, are rewarded for your contribution to a place of business over a number of years of service. Though you may never own the company, you do own how you choose to show up and positively impact the company. I believe that those businesses that want to stay relevant and cause America to remain the number one superpower in the world must instill an ownership mindset in the percentage of the workforce that is disengaged.  

Here`s a cornucopia of ideas that will assist you in owning your future: 

Financial Intelligence - If you are to thrive in the "New Normal," you`ve got to learn the financials. How does the company make money? What are the margins in the business? When leadership says its goal is to "cut expenses," what does that mean and how does it impact what shows up in your paycheck?  

Unleash Brilliance - Gallup Organization asked 5,000 people in 18 industries, "How productive are you?" Let`s assume the goal is 100% productivity in a given 40 - 60 hour work week; what do you think the answer to the Gallup Organization question was? 32%! That`s right!  The people asked estimated that they were only being productive at a 32% capacity. Why? According to Gallup, people said, "The organization doesn`t know what I can offer" and "I don`t think I am valued" or "I am not appreciated." 

The fact is, if you want to maximize your value, you have to stop waiting for the organization to do something for you. Get up off of your blessed assurance and make something happen. Find a project that no one else will touch, and go for it. Ask your leader what you can take off of his plate. Cross-train in another department. Teach others what you have learned so you can make room inside yourself to learn even more.  

Be a Hybrid - Recently I was speaking with a colleague who had grown up in the audit side of the Fortune 500 company she worked for and possessed a deep knowledge of the accounting side of her business. Now she has made a switch to the marketing side of the house and was recently promoted to Account Manager, responsible for a multi-million dollar client. I asked her, "How did that happen?" She said that she was able to leverage both the right brain and left brain aspects of her experience to influence internal and external customers.  

Every day is another opportunity for you to own what you do. If you don`t, then someone else will.  


The Vujá dé Moment - Shift from Average to Brilliant is now available on Kindle.  

Click here to download it today - 

Judyth Piazza interviews Simon T. Bailey about His New book The Vuja de Moment: Shift from Average to Brilliant 

Be Brilliant,
Simon T. Bailey
 Brilliance Institute