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The Gallup 2018 survey showed that only 13% of people are engaged at work globally. Thirteen percent!!  A staggering 87% of people who come to work do so dragging their feet. They are uninspired. Unmotivated.

We must do something to change this.

Most organisations have too many of their people disengaged or resigned. 

A person disengaged at work has switched off. They avoid leadership activities because they don’t believe that what they do or think or say will make any difference. Disengaged people do the minimum to get by, and in times of change this isn’t enough anymore. When people resist and avoid change, they place a drag on the whole system.

Resignation is a step up from disengagement, and is probably the most common mindset in an organisation. Having resigned people means you have people who accept the work they are doing, and might even accept that change needs to happen, but they do so in a fatalistic way. They don’t feel they can impact in any way. 

What’s interesting about resignation, is that people usually don’t start out that way. People come to the role or organisation with some enthusiasm, but they get resigned over time. Why do you think this is? In the people I speak to within organisations I hear the following: They are not being listened too, and there is a lack of purpose or meaning. Feeling resigned is compounded by broken promises – companies or managers promising something (similar values, growth in the role, diversity) which are then not kept. This is a recipe for resignation and cynicism, and the culture will inevitably reflect this.

The upside of resignation is that it can be flipped into empowering leadership.People who are resigned were once believers and engaged in the business. Maybe you are one of them?

When you have a lot of people disengaged and resigned, you have an organisation and culture in survival mode. Not addressing this costs health, wellbeing and productivity. Additionally, it’s a huge missed opportunity for workplace efficiency: there is so much talent and potential locked in people who are resigned.Moving people from surviving to empowering should be every organisations strategic priority.

So how do you do this?

Having empowered leaders starts with being activated. Activated leaders embrace change and challenge. They understand this is the way things now are, and they lean into what this means – both the discomfort and the opportunity. They access resilience and provide a steadying hand when disruption threatens to overwhelm. An activated leader is not complaining about why work is a certain way. They take ownership and personal responsibility to make the difference and be the change that is wanted and needed. To activate leadership, people need support and tools, and, an organisation that keeps promises and walks the talk.

Once a person is activated, you can heighten their leadership abilities by supporting them as an influencer. An influential leader maximises the conditions an organisation or team faces. They look for what can be achieved and they support and influence others to step up. They are encouraging and motivating. A team with influential leaders is positive and optimistic. They face difficulties and challenges, and not be diminished. An influential leader does not work alone. They seek to bring others along to achieve the mission.

A leader who mobilises is the key to building a movement. They inspire. People follow them, not because of what they say, but because people find themselves in the vision and actions of the leader. That vision becomes everyone’s.

Activators, Influencers and Mobilisers are operating in an Empowered paradigm.

The exciting thing is, empowered leaders are made, not born. Thinking otherwise fuels an entrenched leadership myth – that some can lead and most can’t.Empowered leadership can be trained and practiced throughout an entire organisation. Calling forth an environment of empowered leadership is the only way any organisation can powerfully and sustainably respond to the evolving business landscape.

An empowered leader takes ownership for solving problems (big and small), and develops the right mindsets in themselves and others. An empowered leader develops vision, belief and responsibility, and ignites the same in others. They lead with compassion, commitment and clarity.

This is the only way to go! How are you developing empowered leaders in your organisation? Do you think it’s possible? How can you activate your own potential for leadership? Please share with me what you’re seeing in your organisation.