All for one, and one for all
Do you feel overwhelmed, overworked and pushed to the max at work? Owing to the downsizings of recent years, pressure on remaining employees has markedly increased. Small wonder that people complain about stress, inability to get promoted or even to keep pace in their current job.
Bob Stearns, CEO of Powerful Potential in Wexford, counsels organizations and employees on how to maximize their collective and individual potential. He maintains that, despite the challenges of today's work environments, there are opportunities to advance our careers and maximize our potential, but he finds most people unwilling to step up to them. Ideally, Stearns says, there is an interdependence between employee and employer.
Consider this situation Stearns faced: A manufacturing company asked Stearns to help it to maximize its potential by identifying how to reduce output that did not meet quality standards. The company had been scrapping about 400 units a month for years, and someone in management decided it was time for a fresh approach.
Stearns went straight to the manufacturing floor and learned that no one had ever asked the workers' opinions. But now that they were being asked, they had answers. Initial changes based on the workers' recommendations yielded a 75 percent reduction in scrap. Then, an employee came forward unsolicited and offered another suggestion that led to the total elimination of scrap. These employees saved this company millions of dollars simply because the company created an environment conducive to full participation. The interdependence of the company's need for improving processes and the individual's need to contribute to the company's success led to a ramping up of potential for everyone.
Years ago, I heard someone say that organizations survive in spite of themselves. I chuckled, but as time goes by, I find myself repeating that comment more and more. Organizations are comprised of humans and, being human, we are flawed and imperfect. If you are frustrated about not being able to achieve your potential in your current organization, I suggest you take a hard look from two perspectives. First, consider if your organization is a place that allows your input, encourages you to engage and actively develops you through your daily responsibilities and through training and development. If not, you may want to move elsewhere.
But if your employer does offer ways to maximize your potential, you need to determine how well you are grabbing hold of whatever is at hand. Are you actively participating in meetings or just showing up? Are you pondering creative ways to solve a work problem while you are commuting or are you zoned out listening to Lady Gaga? Do you seek out ways to accumulate experiences in other departments in order to make yourself more valuable, or are you just holed up at your computer? See where the issue really lies and make appropriate career course decisions.
Chris Posti, president of Posti & Associates in Pittsburgh, is author of “The Shortest Distance between You and Your New Job.” Email questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Brown calls Sanders’ comments about Roethlisberger ‘terrible’
- Rossi: Pirates must land Lester
- Elizabeth Township police chief put on leave, manager terminated
- Steelers hold high hopes for pass defense
- After years of lobbying, Big Ben has Steelers running the no-huddle
- East Allegheny teachers respond in contract dispute
- Joe Greene only 2nd player in Steelers history to get number retired
- Glassport police name new chief
- Area first responders interact at active-shooter workshop
- Beloved teacher at 3 Western Pa. schools hears from students across nation
- Pirates notebook: Trade rumors for Red Sox pitcher Lester still swirling