Such a great piece. Detailed. Nuanced. Empathetic.

While reading, I wondered about American educational system. College education is up a lot since the mid ‘60s so, at first blush one might think w/ more ppl being “better” educated, system would, should be more efficient/productive et cetera. A happier group of ppl, knowing what they want & getting on with life.

The doesn’t seem to be the case for the clear majority of Americans. Much worse, the discontent ( wealth effect) among them has jumped dramatically over the years.

I can’t help but consider the workplace issues raised have a not unimportant factor to do with an educational system that has failed so many Americans to leave them with one single lesson: do what you are passionate about whatever that is irrespective of the degree you end up with.

I’ve never experienced “get to work to do my job & get paid” ( still to be respected) with anyone that has risked doing something on her/his own. The SITG, accountability, the razor sharp consequences for making dumb decisions is worth 10x Dr, PhD, degrees when you eat your own cooking. None of that is taught ( I guess) in Highschool, college, graduate schools today. In fact, that kind educational experience isn’t even essential but, don’t tell the educational system that. They might lose billions in tuition et cetera.

Anyway. Work issues stated when folks started doing things only for the money &, not what they really are passionate about doing I guess. That’s my advise to my children.

Expand full comment

I would personally avoid judging people who quietly disengage. People tend to hit their career ceiling quickly as modern day organizations tend to have flat structure. It is also true that many jobs are just uninteresting. Those who quietly disengage may be working on their second career. If they do the job, it seems not a problem.

Expand full comment

As long as there is no deception and people are doing their job, there's no problem. Not everyone is ambitious. That was sensationalized into the "quiet quitting" story that's been the subject of so much attention recently.

Expand full comment

You state not everyone is ambitious, but everyone does have something the strive for. The Leader's responsibility is to someone tie the career to that goal. The 'job' maybe a tool that gives the person the ability to travel that they want to do so badly. Or, if the employee has a passion for kids or community projects, how can the leader help them? Engaged employees need to find value in their positions. It could be fore career growth, or something completely unattached to the company. As leaders, we want to make sure the 'job' isn't holding them back in their other pursuits.

Expand full comment

Deception is definitely not great. I doubt if many people doing that. Just wanted to point out it is easier to move horizontally in one’s career now. It may not be entirely employees’ fault for them to be less engaged.

Expand full comment