Reflect and review

In the same way that you can guarantee that @FlipChartRick will tell you that there are bad times ahead, that @SukhPabial will make you feel frivolous and you’ll never get to the end of one of @KateGL’s musings. You can guarantee the next few weeks will be full of blog posts on reflection and review.

And that’s all very well and good.

If you’re only interested in the past. Which I’m not.

There is a truth in the fact that our expectations are based on experience. But our goals should be based on the future, on exceeding and going further, on pushing things harder and achieving bigger and better.

It doesn’t matter which base we are working off, how one person might be further ahead than another. How one organisation might be in a different place to another. That is, in every way, irrelevant.

It doesn’t matter what bigger, or better means to you. Just that you have ambition.

The question is, how could you go further?

HR as a profession is notoriously unambitious, insipid and timid. It has developed an institutional need to seek permission. Often without asking, just waiting.

So my challenge to you is this.

What are you going to do next year to move yourself and your organisation forward? What commitments are you going to make to achieve and deliver more? How can you push the envelope that little bit further to create something that amazes and excites?

Reflect by all means, but remember that you’re only as good as your last performance. You’re judged by recent experience of you. And people are looking for you now and not then.

Because the past is exactly that. It has gone. And it isn’t a place we want to live in.

“Commitment is an act, not a word”

So what’s next?

Your happiness is your responsibility; it’s time to quit your job

Over my career I’ve been able to identify the single biggest cause of employee dissatisfaction. That’s been working across multiple sectors, in different roles and in different conditions.

It isn’t compensation
It isn’t development
It isn’t promotion

It’s something that is completely out of our control.

It’s regret. The regret of failing to act.

Life is full of events over which we have no control, life is full of changes which we cannot influence. We can sit idly by and bemoan the fact that things aren’t what they were, that life has dealt us the hand that we didn’t want or that people are doing things or behaving in a way in which we disapprove.

We can’t change any of these things. But we can always act.

Unsurprisingly, these two things are often confused. The response is, “but I can’t do anything to change [insert cause of issue]” and the answer is always, “so what can you do?”

Ultimately we are all responsible for our happiness, we are responsible for finding our own peace and for ensuring that we make the most of our life both in and outside of work.

And that means accepting responsibility that we can act and our failure to act, not the change, leads to our regret.

In a work context, that often means leaving a company where you’re unhappy. I’ve seen too many people become under performers, become organisational hostages, become “that guy” in the canteen that everyone tries to avoid, become the source of dissatisfaction of others, simply because they failed to act.

Or it means accepting that sometimes change happens, the past is exactly that and we need to move on. In either case, this is a choice, a conscious decision that each and everyone is able to exercise.

Life is too short to sit, being unhappy and blaming others.

“Il n’y a de réalité que dans l’action.”

The only reality is in action.

The price of greatness

Every day when you wake up, you have a choice.

You continue to have choices throughout the day.

Thankfully, most of us don’t live in totalitarian states, we don’t live in repressive regimes, we have the weight and responsibility of free will hanging over our shoulders. Every action, every interaction, is a conscious undertaking.

Being in HR does not absolve you of this responsibility. Yes, responsibility.

YOU. ARE. RESPONSIBLE.

If you don’t have the fight within you to make things different;

If you don’t believe that you can change the working lives of your colleagues for the better;

If you don’t have the guts and determination to lose but then stand up again;

If you yearn more for recognition than success;

If you search for deeper meaning in work yet offer no light to guide the way;

If your inactivity is driven by a desire for permission your proactivity hampered by your lack of courage;

If you seek value in acceptance and shun value in difference;

Then get out of the profession.

There are a million people out there who would gladly put themselves in your place. If you’re not up to it. Get out.

Every morning when you wake up, you have a choice.

Let’s not become self determined victims, scared of taking responsibility for our own destiny.

Nobody asked you to do this job, nobody asks you to stay in it. Will anyone miss you when you’re gone?

Those that have nothing to add, have nothing to add. And nothing will come of nothing.

So speak again.