Look around you. How many enthusiastic, dedicated, passionate, grounded people (please count) surround you every day at work?

Not many? You’re not alone.

According to Gallup, just thirty percent of the global workforce is actively seeking ways to contribute, collaborate and grow.

Why is that? Why don’t more people show up with energy and enthusiasm for their work? While there are many good answers to this question, the most pervasive and toxic came to me through a new hiking buddy, Phillip.

After serving eight years in the U.S. Navy, Phillip took a job working in a distribution center, where he saw and felt the devastating impact of greed and egocentric organizations and teams.

“Marissa came into the job beaming with excitement to have the opportunity to work here,” Phillip shared. “She had ideas, goals and a desire to contribute. Within less than a month her spark was gone.”

“Why, what happened?”

“Her ideas were ignored and it was impossible to reach her daily quota. I got multiple weeks to learn, but now they’re cutting corners, firing people for no good reason, and then rehiring them the next week.”

“Wait, what? Why would they fire just to rehire?”

“The government gives tax cuts for every new hire.”

I was blown away, and left wondering how anyone is supposed to keep their drive and passion to serve on the highest level when the company they work for is focused exclusively on driving a profit.

On an even deeper level I wondered what might be possible for these distribution centers if they put their people above profits. Would they become more profitable by helping their employees succeed, rather than firing/re-hiring?

The research is clear: Companies perform 10x’s better when they keep their focus on helping—their employees, customers and communities—thrive.

Fortunately, individuals (Phillip in this case) also perform better in their careers and lives when they keep their focus on learning, expanding their network and looking for ways to help the people around them succeed regardless of their current work environment.

Phillip has taken it upon himself to not only continue advancing his education and exposing himself to new opportunities, but he’s also helping Marissa and other colleagues gain the resources they need to succeed.

Rather than go along to get along, Phillip is challenging himself and everyone around him to help each other as they gain the resources they need to grow into the next opportunity.

Do you have a similar story of transforming challenging work environments into fertile ground for growth? I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email at Misti@MistiBurmeister.com with your story today.

Here’s to your greatness,

Misti Burmeister