Do you want your kids to be happy? How would you like them to feel in 20 years … at work?

Do you want your kids to be happy? How would you like them to feel in 20 years … at work?

Part 1/2

If there’s one person in the world that I want to be happy, then it’s definitely my son. I’m sure you want the same for your children…

I have a seven year old boy. He’s happy and joyful.  Sees fun and laughter behind every corner. He plays, uses his imagination and creates the most beautiful things.  He is who he is. No pretending, no mask. He still dares to be his true self.  He’s unique. Like every child.

What I want most is that he stays this happy. Also in 20 years  at work.

I hope he finds a way to continue loving himself the way he does now, through the long journey of growing up and becoming an adult. Unless he chooses to become an actor, I sincerely hope that he will find a work environment where he can still fully be himself. Where he’s not required to play a role to fit in.

Most of us are very busy role-playing every day

I see people in workplaces doing a second job for free all the time.  That’s the job of being an actor. A not paid actor.  They put a lot of energy, every single day, in trying to please a boss, elbow rivals for promotion, defending silos, trying to be right and look good, blaming problems on others, ….

How we develop cultures that esteem great achievers above team players

This has to do with our western economic system. A system that thrives on profit and growth. There is nothing wrong with profit and growth. What’ s wrong in my opinion is the belief that reigns in how to get this profit and growth. Here’s how it goes as explained by Frédéric Laloux in his new book Reinventing Organizations

– Our western economy beliefs that people can only be motivated by money.

– Leaders who hold such a belief will naturally put in place incentive systems that match their belief: people should be given ambitious targets and lofty bonus if they reach them.

-This belief and the incentives will affect people’s behavior: people will behave individualistically; they will be tempted to cut corners if needed to make the numbers.

-That makes control and command necessary.

– As a result a culture will develop that esteems great achievers above team players.

How we take away creativity and self esteem

Once you install the belief that people can only be motivated by money in your company culture, you also install people being actors. You take away their creativity, their self management and worst of all their self esteem. Employees will focus on what they think is expected of them. Not on what is really meaningful to them.

They play their role, to assure they fit in the system. No wander this is the age with the most neurological illnesses: burn/ bore-outs, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, suicide. Long term absenteeism peaks (2,27% source Securex)

I have good hope that our children will be able to work in a system where people are valued for who they really are. 

I have this dream that in 15 or 20 years or so, the consciousness of people will have risen enough to be able to see that there are also other economic systems that ensure growth and profit but at the same time value people for who they are. Where people are asked to show their full potential, where purpose is the main driver. Where people are valued for their ability to be themselves rather than their ability to fit in.

In my next blog I will write about what we can do right now, to make sure that our children will be able to work in supporting, more people oriented environments.  What can we start doing right now to prevent burn/bore outs, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, suicide, … to govern our future work places?

Do you spend a lot of energy in trying to please a boss, in trying to be right and look good or in trying to fit in?

Worried that you’re headed for a burn out?

Take the free SELF TEST on Personal Leadership and find out!

Free SELF TEST Personal Leadership Skills
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook. Thank you!
So grateful to have shared this with you!

Live on purpose,


P.S.: On the 17th of February I’m giving a workshop on employee engagement with Martine Tempels, Senior VP Telenet for Business. For more info and registration click here.

P.S.: Do you want to strengthen your natural leadership skills, be the leader people love to work for, who achieves exceptional results? Exclusive Leadership Road to Freedom open training on the 30th of March. For more info and registration click here.

Ann Baeke

Natural Leadership wants to help people, teams and organizations with their self-realization in an authentic and effective way. Self – realization brings freedom. People will feel happier and energized. Their performance increases. 

I put the mission of Natural Leadership –  finding self – realization and the freedom to unlock your full potential – to work by doing two things:

  • First helping leaders in strengthening their personal leadership.
  • Second helping teams and organizations in creating a culture of engagement.

Both reinforce each other and transform people and organizations. Result: Increase in well – being, profit and growth.




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