by Judy Ryan
“The true test of character is to live win-win even when promoted to positions where win-lose is possible.”
— Orrin Woodward
If you search Google, you’ll find that The Great Resignation is an informal name for the widespread trend of a significant number of workers leaving their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s also called The Big Quit and is typically discussed in relation to the U.S. workforce. However, the phenomenon is international. I’ve also heard it called The Great Reset, which is how I like to think of it. One opportunity that has emerged from the pandemic is that people everywhere have been afforded time to slow down, take stock and thoughtfully consider their lives. Many are asking, “Do I like my life? my work? my organization and how it’s run? Am I the parent, partner, friend and citizen I have dreamed of being?” However, many haven’t thought of asking, “What am I feeling and what do I want?” Without such introspection, they have lived half-lives of disillusionment and disengagement, then gotten used to it.
As ever, many seek to enforce “rules of engagement” regarding POWER. There has always been an unspoken system upheld by powermongers that power is only for some people. From that perspective has come the idea that helping others to be empowered and supported equally is counterproductive to ME — i.e., the ME of business owners, politicians, and religious leaders as well as specific races, genders, and others who justify an imbalance of power and win-lose. In The Great Resignation, the struggle between shared power and hogged power is evident yet again, and this time many are examining what’s at stake and why we won’t survive ongoing win-lose dynamics. Here are some reasons why:
- Win-lose is no longer hidden; through technological windows, more of us see what’s happening.
- We face ever-greater complexity, speed of change and globalization, and win-lose destroys competency.
- Too many individuals and groups are SUFFERING unfairly and unnecessarily, and more of us recognize it.
- What once worked to dominate and control people is no longer effective (nor should it be).
- Individuals are recognizing alternative ways of operating that lead to win-win dynamics they long for (and deserve).
- People are connecting the dots between disastrous long-term results derived from short-term wins for the few.
- What expands human potential is being recognized and gaining ground (and it aint win-lose!).
- Business and other leaders are realizing that when anyone loses, everyone loses, even the “winners.”
The crucial opportunities afforded by The Great Reset are to collectively say “NO” to outdated, counter-productive ways of thinking and operating in life and work so that new, egalitarian and purpose-and-values-based ways of functioning become priority. No longer can leaders in politics, religion and business ignore the needs of their people because the latter are the most essential element in achieving success. Your people are your greatest asset, and when they’re not well-supported, they don’t support you or the innovations that are possible and desperately needed to save ourselves and our planet. So, see and seize the opportunities for yourself in this time of deep disruption and change. Be part of reaching for and seizing evolutionary and revolutionary solutions that are possible NOW. See the gift in what’s happening so you become one of the heroes who champions win-win even when you have been or are promoted to positions where win-lose is possible. Allow yourself to be RESET so that you are part of making way for the only viable ways forward.
Judy Ryan (judy@LifeworkSystems.com), human systems specialist, is owner of LifeWork Systems. Join her in her mission to create a world in which all people love their lives. She can also be reached at 314-239-4727.
People hire LifeWork Systems because we help businesses become agile and manage their priority system: their human system. I hope this article helps you make sense of what’s most crucial to your evolving organization!