Your Employees Want a Mentor, Not a Supervisor

I thought I was done with the series I did on The Matrix, but I’m not. That’s what epilogues are for! It’s like a P.S. for writers, and who doesn’t like a good postscript? If you read the series, which started with Part One, you probably appreciate now more than ever that it’s a film about waking up, and that its enormous success came from something deeper than special effects and clever choreography.

The Explanation We All Crave

The success of The Matrix is rooted in the same source as the success of The Bible, The Qu’ran, the Buddhist Sutras, and The Bhagavad Gita. What do all of these works have in common?

They all provide an explanation for why we feel disconnected from some greater Truth, and they explore the path of closing the gap between a wholeness we intuit (Heaven, Paradise, enlightenment, etc.) and where we are now.

The packaging of different teachings is different, but don’t be distracted. In the end, they are all about returning to the essence of everything. Human beings have an innate desire to evolve and connect with something greater—and to become greater themselves in the process. This is why we create philosophies, spiritualities, and religions. They are a means to guide that process.

Employees Want a Mentor

So it’s no surprise that management studies routinely show that employees want mentoring. This is the spiritual impulse at work, though most professionals don’t identify it as such. Your employees may tell you they want to become a better painter, or flower arranger, or customer server, but this is just the content. Don’t be fooled.

The deeper impulse is one most people cannot even put words to, and indeed many people misinterpret the spiritual impulse. They feel the drive for more and interpret it as more money, more power, or more things.

But the desire is far deeper than that. It is the Will of Life Itself, expressing in each of us, desiring to know Itself, to express the infinite potentiality in each of us, to be the fullest expression of who we truly are.

Better employees? Or Better People?

As a manager, you have a choice that’s a lot like the blue pill or the red one. You can supervise your people, train them in skills, babysit their results, and they will become better employees. Or you can use the content of business issues as a crucible for them to become better people—bigger people. People who think more clearly. People whose awareness expands to see things they never saw before. People whose very values are molded and honed by their work experience into a code of honor that serves them for the rest of their lives. People who are stronger in the deepest sense of the word.

That’s what creates engaged employees. Period.

Either you serve your people on this level, or you can complain about second-best results forever. It’s your choice. This goes for raising children, too, by the way.

This is what real management is, and because there are not many people doing it, if you dare to do so, you’ll have a profound competitive advantage. This is what your people want, but don’t even know how to ask for.

Your Choice as a Manager

As Morpheus said, “Do you want to know… what… it… is?”

In this case, I’m talking about management. Whatever you think you know about developing people, I’ll show you that you’re still operating in the matrix. Are you ready to give up wasting your time with supervision? Your red pill awaits. Are you brave enough to take it?

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