Working in the Machine

Cover of "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"
Cover of Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Working within the machine. This phrase is a common business phrase, and has always stuck with me.  Although it’s a common phrase… what does it really mean? I would like to make sure that we have a true understanding of what it means to “work within the machine.”  I also want us to briefly explore why it is crucial to motivation and success.

Companies today are machines with many moving parts. Each part does a small aspect of the larger process. Even independent business owners are dependent on other parts of the corporate and government machine.

I’ve watched and mourned as brilliant business people have been crushed by the machine. They jump into the game only to find themselves ground up and spit out into roles of menial importance with no future.

The reason for this can be found in the realm of Emotional Intelligence (EI). It is one thing to have a brilliant mind, but it is another thing entirely to navigate the social and political jungle that is our modern day economy.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the area of cognitive ability involving traits and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behavior. Intelligence can be broadly defined as the capacity for goal-oriented adaptive behavior; emotional intelligence focuses on the aspects of intelligence that govern self-knowledge and social adaptation.


Goleman describes emotional intelligence as “managing feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively, enabling people to work together smoothly toward their common goals.”

How does this idea play into our focus on inspiration and motivation? The answer can be found all over our companies. When we place our brilliant technical experts and our inspired visionaries and leaders into stagnant roles that communicates a message that their importance is non-existent. We are limiting what our companies are capable of becoming.

So, how do we combat this growing trend?

How do we overcome the natural human tendency to mitigate those with greater skills and abilities?

How do fight the selfish behaviors of middle managers that often try to repress the skills of the fast risers?

How do we help others (and ourselves) overcome the tendency to feel threatened by the new talent?

We are survivalist by nature and as a result we limit our organizational opportunity by heavily restricting what we don’t understand.

As leaders we must get out of our own way. In all areas of our companies and lives we must stop limiting the greatness we are capable of achieving. There are opportunities to inspire and motivate our workers without falling into an age old practice of throwing money and awards at people.

This comes down to first developing the Emotional Intelligence of our staff and even more importantly ourselves.

A great book on this is “Emotional Intelligence 2.0“.

When we develop the EQ in an individual  we make room for the IQ to show through.  We have an obligation to ourselves and to others to stop limiting what they are capable of because we cannot deal with people and the complexities that are associated with them.

What happens now though?

In many companies and organizations we have already placed highly capable people in the corner because they have not developed the necessary EQ to deal with others in the organization.

Lets take the handcuffs off and begin to train the EQ skills necessary to not just survive, but to thrive in the modern business world today. We must equip our people and ourselves to adapt to the challenges that will inevitably come.

If you and I want to reach our fullest potential we must unlock our Emotional Intelligence so that we can effectively adapt to the professional climate change that comes with dealing with people from all walks of life.

Business is people. Writing is about the reader. Singing is about the audience. Video Game design is about the gamer.  Since business is people, then if we want to succeed, we have to enhance our ability to successfully navigate human relationships in a  personal and professional manner.

I wish you success in your journey. Please let me know if I can help you reach your goals!







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