To the Editor:
Thanks so much for the Connection's “Wellbeing” section. I think the wellbeing efforts in our community are a serious benefit to us.
I attended George Mason University's recent conference on “Leading to Well-Being in Workplaces, Organizations, and Communities,” held at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church. My takeaway: Marching to your own true self or identity not only promises individual health and well-being, but also enhances organizational health and success.
Regarding organizational success, best-selling author Daniel Pink (“A Whole New Mind”) spoke to these Gallup poll results: 30 percent of workers in organizations surveyed are engaged, 50 percent are not engaged, and 20 percent are actively not engaged. “Humans are not engaged by management, they're engaged by self-direction.” They're engaged by authenticity, being who they really are, not what they're expected to be.
"Being you" is not a new idea, but surprisingly it's practiced by relatively few organizations. Pink cites Google as one of the few, but one with notable results. Google's 20 percent program (employees work one day per week on their own self-inspired, self-directed project) is credited with a substantial number of its successful products.
“Real you,” “true identity,” “inner self,” “bigger self,” “self-awareness,” “know yourself” — all were offered throughout the conference as the basis for healthy individual growth and productivity in an organization.
The truth of that message naturally resonates. But it also begs important questions touched on surprisingly little over the two-day conference: Is there work to be done by most of us to know our “inner” selves better? Are we practiced enough at being true to our inner selves to provide the authenticity required for successful leadership? If not, how do we fix that? Through psychiatry? Meditation? Spiritual practice? Questions, perhaps, that require their own conference.