“The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better.”
If you’re struggling in a poor work environment – not a toxic one, mind you but one that is marked by ineffectual leadership and uninspired co-workers – you can do one of three things:
- Stay and join in the misery
- Make it better
Important to note that choosing #3 does not require you to make the whole thing better, just the three foot circle of it that surrounds you everywhere you go.
You could choose to have a radically positive and affirming attitude. You could choose to be on time in the morning, for all appointments and meetings and with your work as well. You could choose to compliment and recognize other’s contributions. You could choose to offer support when someone needs help. You could choose to abstain from complaining about what can’t be controlled and begin conversations about what can.
Your efforts may not yield the ripple effects necessary to shift the environment in a more favorable direction, but they might. And in the process, for as long as you choose to stay, you will feel better about yourself, most likely do better work, and be a light for others who are also trying to find a better way.
DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world.