Home Coach Reggie's Play of the Day Propellers and Boat Anchors (The Workplace Version)

Propellers and Boat Anchors (The Workplace Version)

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The propellers are the creatively excited and the whole heartedly committed in your organization.  The ones that you look at and say, “I wish I had to ten more like them!”  The boat anchors are the people on your team that are toxic rebels in your organization that are keeping your business exactly where they want it…where it has always been.

A recent Gallup survey of American companies showed that an average of 24% of the employees in an organization are highly engaged “Propellers”, 56% are moderately disengaged “just along for the ride” and 20% are highly disengaged “Anchors” that are consciously disobedient rebels that are about to quit.

My experience has been that managers and business owners hang on to their boat anchors waaaay too long. They have built a people dependent business vs. a systems dependent business.  When you are highly dependent on people it makes it TOUGH to fire a boat anchor even if they are causing damage to your company.  It not uncommon for an owner to be held hostage by an employee because they know if they cut them loose, they are likely going to have to fill the gap. 

It has been cool to watch the changes that happen in the business once they untie themselves from that anchor.  Usually, it is at that point when the ‘real stories’ about the dismissed party come out. How they undermined leadership efforts and served as a roadblock to improvement. I have seen so many business catapults to the next level when relieved from the ties that bound them.

Who are the boat anchors on your team? Who are the propellers?  How are the anchors impacting your team?  Your customers?  Your supplier relationships?  Your company’s financial results?

Next episode I look forward to sharing “The Friends & Family Version”


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