If You’re Stagnant And Spinning Your Wheels, You May Be B.O.B.

Leadership Lesson: If you don’t take advantage of the skills and knowledge your people want to contribute, they’ll burn out because they have no platform in which to burn off that energy.


Are you Burnt Out Bored? So much of your talent, not only not taken for granted but not taken…at all.  You might have been hired or brought into a position that you now feel doesn’t necessarily tap into your true ability and drive.

It’s safe to say that there are limitations in the candidate interviewing stage as an interviewer and an interviewee can only get to know each other so much over the course of the process. In that stage, there’s no way to know the full potential of what can be delivered by both sides of the table to that transaction in a possible subsequent relationship.  Both sides should try to learn as much about the other side as possible, but obviously, at that point, it’s near impossible.

The interviewing stage is one thing. In that stage, time is limited and questions might go unasked due to the finite length of the process or because they have escaped our minds in those moments.  Also, true personalities might not be honestly shown as, typically, only the best attributes are shared with the other party at that time.

But after the interview exists a separate process entirely in terms of getting to know with whom you’re going to be working. Whether it’s either an actual or symbolic working test period, there is always a feeling-out period in which both sides get to see the credentials, reputation, and demeanor conveyed in the previous vetting and interviewing actually play out.

Again, this acclimation process is for both sides. The new employee and the organization both have responsibilities to each other.  The organization will expect that the employee will, in fact, deliver on their self-lauded skills while the employee should ask whether or not the organization delivers on what it conveyed. Although there are risks for both sides, in this relationship the organization has the upper hand as they compensate the employee and so the employee feels more vulnerable. But although the organization has this upper-hand, it does not mean that there should be no accountability on the organization’s part to the employee.  The return to the employee should be growth, knowledge, and development, among other things.

Much in the same way the organization will continue reviewing the employee to make sure that its expectations of the job are being met, so too should the employee give regular consideration to, and have expectations of, their needs being met as well.  Although the organization’s needs in a job description are standard no matter who is hired, the employee’s needs will differ from candidate-to-candidate, making this group’s needs harder to fulfill.

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It’s important to make sure that the energy you have or want to have for your work, life, or career is being tapped into.  Are you in a situation where only a certain percentage of your energy is being utilized, leaving a balance untapped or underutilized?

Certain people might actually feel drained if they are in a job that does not ask much of them or, at least, does not ask the right things.  Again, the company is not tapping into the interests, motivations, and ambition of the new hire and so the employee becomes disengaged. Having all this untapped energy without possessing an outlet through which to unleash and put it into motion can be a hindrance and sometimes toxic.

Below are but a few possible steps to take if one is in such an environment. These are a means to keep one’s mind as active as they need it to be, which varies from person-to-person. Each of these is meant to serve as an effort to reconcile a person’s energy level to their actions and keep the person balanced. They are only starting points:

Volunteer for more projects – Use that excess energy to benefit the organization in other capacities

Volunteer to mentorStep up and use that reserve to help others by sharing both knowledge and experience

Volunteer to evaluate one’s job description – Determine the possibility of reviewing the responsibilities to see if there is room for expansion or diversity

Seek out passions outside of work that satiate that need – Satisfaction and fulfillment do not only come from the workplace

Take the time to make improvements at workVolunteer untapped experience to address other issues inside and outside the workplace

Most people today seek a challenge–to be challenged, not TO challenge.

Leaders need to make sure they are harnessing all the skills and attributes of those they lead so that they do not feel as if they are spinning their wheels. Typically, acknowledging such needs won’t cost any more than some time and development.

Those being lead need to break out of the unhealthy cycle they might be in and be proactive in achieving what they deserve.

Whether inside or outside of an organization, leaders shouldn’t want to pay good money or provide resources for a great person that feels like they’re going nowhere.

So…What About You?

  • Do you understand the true needs you have and value you can provide in a job or mission?
  • How do you tap into those needs, whether inside the workplace or not?
  • How do you think the landscape of your workplace would be different if people’s true needs and motivations were harvested?

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