This was one of the first blog posts I wrote, a few years ago, for another website, but it is personally one of the most powerful I have written and I refer to it and the story within a lot. As it is a new year and it has an important message, I thought I would give it dust off and a revision and post it to this website, which is so important to me.
Years ago, one of my clients invited me to a one day team meeting, even though I hated these type of meetings, they frustrated the hell out of me. I found then to be inefficient, not very effective and far too corporatey, but because it was a client, as usual, I had to say yes. I had sat and rolled my eyes through hundreds of these types of meetings but this one really stuck with me.
There were about fifteen people at the meeting, mixed in sexes, ages and levels of seniority. A very senior manager, head of the division, started off the meeting by asking every one to participate in a little game. We were to go round the table and each person was to answer what they would do if they won the lottery.
Not a single person, not a single one said that they would stay doing the job that they were doing. What was even more shocking to me was that not a single person (except me) found it surprising or questioned the answers. Not even the senior managers in the room showed or said that they were disappointed that no one enjoyed their jobs enough to want to stay, including themselves.
Now the likelihood of a whole group of people winning the lottery and marching out of the door of their workplace is very rare. What is not rare, however, is for people to be doing something else from what they are doing.