From Peacocks To Penguins
A delegate on a recent course that we delivered, shared a profound analogy of people starting their careers being a little like peacocks: lots of confidence, swagger and pride. Over time however, they become more like penguins: shuffling, with less energy and battling against the environment.
It’s an interesting point, that I’m sure will resonate with many people who have started their new career with the intention and attitude to make a positive difference, but now find themselves just turning up to work for the pay cheque.
This began to make me question why so many companies are working with only a fraction of the potential that their staff could really deliver? One of the critical factors has to be managers. Managers are the people who have the responsibility and license to develop, support, inspire and challenge their direct reports but sadly it doesn’t always happen. It seems that many managers see their role as a position of status and enhanced salary. It could and should be so much more.
One of our clients held a management amnesty several years ago, a brave and inspired move that enabled them to recognise they had a number of managers who had gained the role of manager by default.
So are managers being wilfully negligent? Some maybe, but surely not all, or even the majority. I believe that the role of a manager is pivotal, and as such must be actively supported by the business. Without this support then organisations will continue to turn their brightly coloured peacocks into dull, lethargic penguins.