When I Grow Up

We tell ourselves stories all the time. Stories that help us make sense of our days; stories that help us simply make it through our days. On occasion, we tell ourselves lies.

Sometimes all it takes for us to understand how false our stories are is to hear their lines uttered by someone completely unexpected. That’s the experience I had watching the brief video below that is the brainchild of organizational strategist, Kevin D. Jones.


In this video, children absolutely skewer the attitudes and platitudes that have become a part of the working lives of far too many people. Kevin Jones calls these people cogs and has mounted a campaign to redeem their work lives. He calls himself a “decogofier” and is dedicated to a mission that is long overdue: “We aim to help others out of an emotional workplace poverty and put them back in control.  We also help orgs decog their workforce.”

How do you know if you’re a cog?  The deCOG blog suggests that you ask yourself the following questions:

1) Are you a corporate slave or someone who is in charge of his/her own career?

2) Do you bring your whole-self to work, or just the part that needs to get the job done?

3) Have you forgotten what it feels like to be passionate about your work?

4) Are you holding out, hoping a restructure or layoff doesn’t happen?

5) Do you use phrases like, “Back to the grind,.” “Will this week ever be over?” “I can’t wait ’til the weekend.”

6) Do you know WHY you work? Or do you work for a paycheck?

7) Do you feel that you can act, or do you feel acted upon?

8) Do you feel comfortable rocking the boat when you need to, or do you fear retaliation more?

9) Do you know what your work values are and are you true to them? If the company violated those values, would you leave?

10) Do you feel empowered enough to be able to create huge amounts of value?

In this economy, it truly is a great thing to have a job. But you need to be sure that the job you have is the job you want.  Above all, it should be job that brings out the best in you — not a job that brings out the worst of the stories you tell yourself.

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