I recently heard a speaker that started off by addressing the group with the following: “I can talk all day, show you pictures, give you the tools to succeed- but not matter how hard I try, I can’t make you do anything with this. So tell me, how are you going to show up?”
How are you going to show up?
Whether it’s in the workplace or in the classroom, engagement is a buzzword for the ages: consultants, professors, and managers alike are wondering the same thing: How can we engage our students? How can we engage our employees?
In taking this view, these leaders in their respective environments put all the pressure on themselves. In doing so, the big picture is pushed aside for what is comfortable. We know that we can change ourselves, so we lose sight of the idea that there is another group of people involved. We're asking ourselves the question, "What can we do to make others show up?" JFK said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” In doing this, he did not ask the country to do something; he asked the individual.
Students, ask not what your school can do for you. Ask what you can do for your school.
Professionals, ask not what your company can do for you. Ask what you can do for your company.
I ask again, how are you going to show up?
If you're an employer or professor, start with the expectation that your students are there to learn and that your employees are there to aid in the company’s success. Communicate this to them. But at the same time, they are not people to be taken advantage of. This social contract is what I call the 200 Percent Rule: what you put into something is what you’ll get out. If both sides put in 100 percent, there is no reason either the business or the employee nor the professor or student shouldn’t be engaged. If the engagement and energy is directed properly, there is not a single reason that the combination of efforts shouldn’t total 200 percent.
Professors, managers, and employers, put 100% into your employees. Give them the support and the environment they need to succeed. Students and employees, put 100% into your professors, managers, and employers. Show up for them, and go above and beyond your expectations.
If both sides take the time to really care, you’d be surprised at what can be accomplished. If one side shows up, that’s great. But if both sides do, that’s when the magic really happens.
I myself, your manager, your professor, your parents, your brothers, sisters, subordinates, or students can’t force anyone else to do anything. But I can still issue this challenge: how are you going to make yourself show up and give your 100 percent today?
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