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Bay Jordan

Steve,

As always, a thought provoking piece. However, I have a couple of issues with your analysis.

In point 2 you question the "employer" perspective. In doing so, you imply the existence of a single employer who could give a counter viewpoint. How valid is that? For a survey like this it is arguable whether the "employer" is the interviewee's manager or a more generic description of the interviewee's perception of the organisational structure. The former might confirm or contradict the interviewee's perspective, but their own opinion would still be shaped by their perception of their own manager. On the other hand, if you take the survey as portraying the corporate culture, you have a clearer picture of a distorted line-of-sight which conveys the reason for the lack of employee engagement and hence a lack of organisational integrity.

Remember too, that the survey deals with manager's perceptions. To validate the findings you really need to see whether their employees' perceptions agree with theirs. You just have to watch any talent show to recognise that self-awareness does not necessarily resemble reality.

That point leads nicely to the issue of potential. You are quite right that potential is always something that is "out there" and thus never attainable. That is why I prefer to use the term self-fulfilment. An employee does not necessarily have to achiev their potential to feel fulfilled. A sense of belonging, making a difference and a healthy dose of being appreciated go an awfully long way to creating the sense of fulfilment. Combine that with a sense of personal "continuous improvement" and you begin to approximate a sense of achieving one's potential. Managers who help their subordinates in this way will deliver better results and so be more likely to feel they are nearing their own potential.

I guess these points go some way towards answering your final point.

Donald Brownlie Fleming

Hi! This is such a great article and I am sure a lot of entrepreneurs are going to benefit from this. I have been giving advice like these to many up and coming business people and have been successful so far. I am Donald Brownlie Fleming, an Australian Entrepreneur, ebook author (Master Selling by Donald Brownlie Fleming) and a Philanthropist. If you have time, maybe you can visit me too.

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