How’s Your Mood?
In the article I published on my website last Friday (February 24, 2006) entitled It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Much You Want It
I argued that the key to the success of individuals and firms is the level of drive and determination that they have.
As a follow up, here is the scale I use when I am running meetings. I put the following alternatives up on a screen and ask everyone to tell me what percentage of the people they know in the organization fit into each of these categories. (It works much better if you have anonymous voting machines, which I use a lot.)
- Burned out
- Jaded, Cynical, Skeptical
- Bored or Complacent
- Enthused and Excited
- Passionate and Energetic
I don’t have enough research to report reliable averages to you here, but I can tell you some general patterns.
First, if you ask people to use this scale and tell you how their employee / subordinates are feeling those higher up in the organization always give much higher ratings about how the subordinates feel than the subordinates do themselves. Those on top routinely underestimate the disaffection of those below.
Second, people tend to rate themselves more highly than they rate their peers (ie how excited are you right now versus how excited are you colleagues?)
I’m not entirely sure what this means, but I have learned that people tend to exaggerate their own dynamism, and they are skeptical about the engagement of their peers. Which is the truth I don’t know, but I’m always suspicious about what people tell you about themselves – my slogan is that what you think of yourself is always irrelevant data. What everyone else thinks of you is going to influence things much more.
Anyway, you can probably guess where the overall trends seem to be. Every organization talks about delivering on exciting careers for its people, inspiring them with its vision and so on forever. My polling data suggests that most firms have a ways to go.
What’s your mood right now?