• What difference do YOU make?

    What difference do YOU make?


    10,000 yrs of development and have we really changed?

    In terms of engagement at work and overall satisfaction with life generally I often hear clients talk about ‘wanting to make a difference.’

    This is a very evocative statement for most of us, despite being incredibly ambiguous…  What sort of difference?  For whom?  How will they know I’ve made a difference?  How long does it have to last?

    Why is it so evocative I wonder?  As a species we have evolved over thousands of years.  Much of what was important for our survival 10,000 years ago is still programmed or hardwired into our brains, even if the physical environment we now find ourselves in is completely different.   I believe that our early survival depended on our ability to form and operate effectively as a group.  If we were unable to make a contribution, to make ‘a difference’, our place in the tribe was jeopardised.  It therefore stands to reason that the individuals whose genetic disposition was focused towards this trait (or traits) would prosper and see their lines, and those traits, continue through our evolutionary history.

    So fast-forward 10,000 years to today.  We’re no longer locked in the same battle for survival against nature and predators (although that statement may be debatable by those who live under tyranny or those who are concerned about the way we’re treating our habitat).  As our lower order needs of food, shelter and safety are met we tend to focus on meeting higher order needs of love, belonging, esteem and sometimes-even self-actualisation.

    Many Australian workers want to ‘make a difference’.  Engagement research suggests that making a positive and meaningful (to whom?) contribution is one of the pillars of an engaged employee.  Not only do they do things they enjoy doing and are good at, but also they feel a sense of pride over the outcome or result.

    What is troubling is that exactly what that difference might be often eludes us.  In over 15 years experience working with people and organisations undergoing change, I am still stunned by how many people are stimulated by the desire but have absolutely no clarity as to what that difference may be.  Perhaps it’s staring us right in the face?  Maybe it’s the difference you make to those you work with on a daily basis, your family and friends around you.  Perhaps we’re not meant to change the world single-handedly, maybe we’re meant to do it in a group?

    How do you or your organisations change the world?  And perhaps more importantly…. Do you really want to?



    Please help me to spread the word by sharing.

      Sean is an experienced coach, speaker and facilitator who is passionate about improving the relationship between people, their work and the organisations they work for. If you want to get the most out of your managers, supervisors and their teams and think that work can or should be a rewarding and enjoyable component of a productive and meaningful life it might be worth a chat.

    One comment on “What difference do YOU make?

    1. Yelhsa on said:

      I am forever indebted to you for this information.

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