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A Brief History of “Work Survival Skills” - It Explains Sooo Much!

The AROSE Group - corporate and individual consulting and guidance

Here’s how it all began… We were born, and very quickly realized that to survive we needed adults (aka leaders). And that they needed to like us. The survival skills lessons began…

Lesson #1 - Life is about survival. You need to be close to people with resources and power if you want to be safe and secure. And they better like you! A lot. Even better, love you.

We also learned eventually that, just like us, the people we needed for survival were imperfect.

Lesson #2 - You need to adapt to others. They will not adapt to you. Oh, and you will spend your entire life, starting now, striving to be perfect. Maybe you’ve continued striving for it even once you realized that no one gets a pass from being imperfect.

Then along came siblings, cousins, and pets to co-mingle with.

Lesson #3 - You need to stand out from the crowd or you will get lost in the mix. These others are distracting the adults from focusing on your needs.

And even more people entered the picture. Friends, classmates, teammates, frenemies. Lesson #4 - Our needs? Ha! They are secondary to the new survival task: figuring out how to fit in.

Thank goodness these new adults - teachers, principals, coaches - are finally here to save us!

Lesson #5 - Nope. These adults might care, but they have so many people to take care of. Oh, and they rate us against each other, so we see our value in terms of who is worse or better than us.

But it’s okay, we finally get to grow up, leave our homes and schools and go to that amazing place called work! Yippee…

Each and every one of us gets to bring all that we have “learned” and finally put it to work at work! Which explains so much.

These life “lessons” we bring with us as baggage into the workplace leave us very little chance of making work easy. But you know what the best part about being a leader is? We get to rewrite the story and build the skills, relationships, and new practices to create the conditions we were really longing for: connection, collaboration, and a chance to make an impact that matters.

Trust me, I am not saying this is easy.

We have a lot of unlearning to do.

We have a lot of new learning we need to acquire.

And we have a lot of learning to create, because we are building a different way of leading, working, and really living, that feels more like us.

So where do we go from here?

“Let’s Talk, People!” is…

  • the title and purpose of my new podcast, and I’m SO excited to share it with you! Here’s the link to the trailer and stay tuned for the launch on November 14th!

  • what we love to do! My team and I at AROSE Group work with organizations of all shapes and sizes, helping leaders to lead and teams to thrive. We’re thrilled to share with you what we are learning and offering. Just send me a note back so we can chat!

  • a movement, because, collectively, we have the opportunity of a lifetime to evolve our way of working to work for us; to be more human as the way to spur greater results, profitability, and innovation.

It’s time for us to create the new future of work.

As my 12-year-old son, Charlie says, “Let’s goooo!!!”


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