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When a conscious choice is made to actively engage in workplace negative forces, there is a price to be paid that is the result of negligent thinking and not bad karma. The complex, fast-paced nature of today’s business environment leaves very little room, at least theoretically, for additional nuances, quirks and addle-brained behavior that is garnering more frequent recognition of late. Whether it is the on-going annoyance of another downsized facility, the nose dive in the mortgage industry or the public flogging of the state for being Michigan and not Texas, there is clearly an unknown toxin being inhaled by too many people waiting to exhale. The work cube is the new wrestling arena and long term lunacy is the ‘pop’ diagnosis for employees looking for a reason to act out in accordance to the loop hole in their benefits plan. What is the catalyst for this attraction to behavior beyond the bell-shaped curve? In a word….Anger! It is not a violent anger or a political anger (although there are moments) or a social anger. It’s anger about uncontrollable change and toward institutions that have had their cradles rocked. It has everything to do with the past and absolutely nothing to do with the future. It’s the realization that promises made, in fact or inferred, have been broken and lifestyles have permanently altered. The streets, once paved with gold, have become cobblestone remnants of a once proud machine. It happened without input from the people for whom it has the most powerful impact and it has triggered higher levels of anger. When anger goes unchecked, it feeds off the uncertainty and insecurity of its equally fearful and less vocal counterparts. From there, it becomes an active part of the negative mindset, already looking for a reason to stay angry, and takes on the lives that it now owns. At that point, anyone having a bad day is susceptible and frequently seeks out others to share in that bad day. The alignments start, each group lobbies to represent the least to most angry categories and the ‘Blame Game’ starts the open bidding process by asking its contestants, “Do you want to go with the established angry group or bid on the group behind door number 1?” It is the most non-discriminatory process to join because it only has one qualification for membership. Fortunately, it is also an easy process to abandon once the realization kicks in that anger does nothing for your soul. Whatever turnaround process needed to jumpstart the march into the new millennium, won’t happen when work cubes are war zones and not strategic planning zones. Only SOLUTIONS can quell an angry spirit. What better time, than now, to align with a mindset focused on bringing about large scale change that restores some of the luster to a tarnished industry? Festering in a cube in hopes of tripping the next person carrying out-of-the-box ideas is not the answer to what ails you. All energy is channeled and is best received when it has some beneficial outcome. The business environment is one of the most active energy centers to ever connect with a community. It only works to efficiency when employees look beyond their cube, away from their computer screens and into the competitive world that now dares us to ‘step over that line.’ The real question for all of us becomes, ‘Do we step over the line and dare to be pushed back or do we retreat further from the line because it was never there in the first place? It is not the end we seek that stalls an angry crowd, but the process of change that strengthens an immobile workforce.

© 2013 Lee E. Meadows
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