The next eleven years of engagement
Engage-11. This post was written on November 11, 2016. It is the 11th anniversary of my focus on strengths and engagement. I am calling today, and the next 11 years of my work, Engage-11. The name is to honour Remembrance day and all those who made it possible for me to be. It is named Engage-11 because my work in engagement has been going on for 11 years. It is also called Engage-11 because I intend, health of myself and my family willing, to work for 11 more years on engagement.
Retirement November 11, 2027. I have set my personal retirement date as November 11, 2027. I will be 73 at that time and ready for a change. I set the retirement date not as a countdown to get out of work rather as a marker to create urgency to get more into work to maximize my contribution to engagement in the time I have left.
4 books, 7250 engagers, and global work. It has been a good eleven years to date. I wrote 4 books on work, have travelled the globe working on engagement, and have founded and host a 7250 member community for employee engagement. I have learned so much about engagement and have spent about 20,000 hours on the topic. They say it takes about 10,000 hours to become an expert and I believe the second 10,000 hours of my 20,000 hours have brought me back to being a novice.
Wearing the white belt. I understand in the early days of martial arts you were given a white belt and it only became black with the dirt and sweat from much practice and then as time progressed if would begin to fray and fall apart and become white again. I am very proud to be a new white belt novice in engagement. Today I am committing to 11 more years of work on engagement, perhaps I will achieve a second black belt and have enough time for it to become white again and retire as a novice.
Little Gidding. At T. E. Eliot so eloquently wrote:
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
The next 11 years. I am forecasting a number of changes in my work over the next 11 years. I will slowly disengage the word employee from employee engagement and focus on engagement, or more specifically engage. I hope to help shift engagement from a survey, program, or initiative into how we work, manage, and lead. At a very micro level I have changed my zone of engagement, or E-Zone, to 11 minutes and 11 seconds. I also plan to have my major work for each day completed before noon. I will offer my 20,000 hours of experience in a more focused way to individuals and organizations and will be quite selective in the work I will undertake.
Supportive and challenging. I believe my clients will find me both more supportive and challenging.
A return to teaching. In my final eleven years I will return to teaching engagement on my own terms. I taught Educational and Counselling Psychology at the University of Manitoba for over 25 years and I hunger to teach again. I plan not to teach within a university but to fully explore and utilize the exciting and contemporary ways we can now teach and learn.
Engage. Engage along with me, the best is yet to be.
David Zinger is a white belt novice in employee engagement. He has spent 20,000 hours on engagement, written 4 books on the topics, and consults around the world on engagement. If you want to be one of his first clients in the next 11 years email him today: firstname.lastname@example.org.