Episode 8: Balloons On The Precarious Edge Of An Explosion

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Josh Allan Dykstra is a recognized thought leader on the future of work and company culture design. He is an author, TEDx speaker, and the CEO of #lovework, where they use technology to help heal burnout and create astonishingly great places to work.

Today I want to talk about what this time could teach us about our work

Obviously the variation in what each of us do for work is enormous, but for many of us I suspect this time is illuminating some important things

For example…

If you didn’t like your job before you might now realize that you actually hate it

It’s possible you had enough things “around” your work that made it bearable before — colleagues you enjoyed, happy hours, travel to cool places, whatever

but now, you’re left with just the WORK, so if what you’re working on doesn’t intrinsically energize you and feel meaningful, you could be feeling REALLY drained right now

Or — maybe you had a super toxic work environment, or DIDN’T like your coworkers all that much  — in which case you could be much happier now

Joking aside, both of these things are red flags — they’re telling you something important about your work

This situation hasn’t really changed our jobs, but it is likely exposing some things that were a bit hidden 

Likewise the pandemic isn’t changing any of our company’s cultures — it actually amplifies them

If you had an intense, hard-driving culture before, that’s still there — and you’re likely seeing senior leaders trying hard to figure out how in the world that approach translates to this new reality

The current health situation is putting additional stress on the way we work, from practically every angle

And stress is like squeezing a balloon — the same balloon is still there but we’re now seeing the sides, stretched thin and on the precarious edge of an explosion

Put another way, the kind of tension we’re in stretches us to more extreme versions of whatever was ALREADY THERE

And just like a balloon, this pressure makes everything more translucent, so it’s easier to see what‘s under the surface… good or bad

So pay attention to what you see — it’s trying to tell you something important about the work you’re doing, or the company you’re doing it with

See you next time

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