Living in the Land of Wild Things
The recently released movie, “Where the Wild Things Are”, may not be as much of a children’s movie as we think. The current atmosphere conveys that a lot of adults are camped out where there’s a lot of terrible roaring and gnashing of teeth. Just taking in the evening news is enough to make you want to do both.
Research released this week shows a strong downward trend in worker satisfaction and states that 45% of Americans are not satisfied with their jobs. That news, coupled with the plethora of articles bemoaning the dismal failure rate of New Year’s resolutions has me more than a tad concerned about the mental health of the American marketplace. Personal experience with disgruntled workers confirms there’s an epidemic of lousy customer service and a distinct loss of optimism among management.
The report by the Conference Board Research Group says that the primary reasons for worker dissatisfaction are 1) workers haven’t gotten pay raises to keep pace with inflation and 2) rising health care costs have dipped into take-home pay.
I say “hogwash” – I don’t buy those as valid reasons. The problem goes much deeper than take-home pay. After all, just a year or two ago, we were reading about the trend of American workers leaving the rat race to pursue their passion, choosing reduced salaries over higher paying jobs in corporate America. The focus was on personal satisfaction and making a positive difference in the world. Have people changed that much in such a short time?
Loss of hope and lack of vision are more than likely the issues underlying the dissatisfaction we are witnessing. Hope is defined as the anticipation of good; a trust that there will be a fulfillment of things desired. It would be easy to blame the media for the widespread disillusionment, but that would be a cop-out.
The government is not responsible for individual well-being, nor is our health care system or any system of this world responsible for our success in life. We are all too ready to believe that there are huge, uncontrolled forces trying to destroy our lives or at least manipulate our futures. I’m here to tell you that’s not so, and there’s no valid evidence to support such a belief system.
As a business coach, I sing the song of the importance of a clearly defined and well-communicated vision until people are sick of it. But until others learn the words and apply them to the point that they are productive and showing a good measure of job satisfaction, I’ll keep singing.
If you need some help crafting a vision statement, that happens to be a specialty of mine. I want to infect you with hope for your future! And show you that though we may live in a land where wild things dwell, we can tame them and ultimately triumph over their tyranny with our success.