Do You Feel Like An Organizational Cog?

cog“I just feel like a cog in this organization.” “We are just a bunch of cogs.” “No one really knows what I do.” “We are cogs in a big machine and if we do our jobs okay, we will be okay.”

I am sure you have heard these sayings before – people feeling like they’re cogs within their organizations and they don’t matter. Many organizations do have people working like cogs, doing their basic job, putting out a lot of fires, answering all their emails, and feeling drained and unmotivated.

Often this leads to negative feelings towards the organization and eventually towards clients and customers. The challenge is whether organizations in today’s business world can afford  to operate this way. Regardless of the business you are in, we are now working within a global economy requiring an organization’s people and teams to be efficient, effective, creative and innovative. The “cog” way to operate is a dated business operating model.

High-performance athletes have really mastered the skills of being efficient, effective, creative and innovative to perform well in very competitive environments. They enjoy the process of setting personal goals and achieving them. Here are some tips that you can use with your people and teams as you move them from being cogs to being high-level performers.

Establish SMART personal goals

Everyone has experienced the process of setting SMART goals for an annual performance achievement plan. But far too often these goals are established at the beginning of the calendar year and have little personal meaning, so there is little motivation towards achieving what really needs to be achieved. Adding personal meaning to help you achieve these goals could include, for example, receiving a bonus at the end of the year that will allow you to travel, or receiving a promotion that you personally have been striving for. Whatever the personal meaning is, attach it to the SMART goals.

Review your goals regularly

I advise my clients to review their SMART personal goals at least once a week. This way they remain focused on the personal meaning of the goals as their lives become busy, and it gives them the opportunity to celebrate the small wins towards achieving their larger goals.

Enjoy the process

I’ll be the first to admit that there will be days when you or your team members will still feel like cogs — just doing your work well until it’s time to go home. I’ll let you in on a little secret of high-performance athletes. Focusing your attention on the simple tasks before you, and removing all the distractions will give you the feeling of not being a cog. You will start to feel more like a high-level performer moving towards achieving your personal SMART goals.

 All the best in achieving your highest performance.


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