Suddenly, shockingly, the world is different. Economic, political and social tsunami's have ripped through our lives and made sure that post 2008, things, on a lot of levels, will never be quite the same again.

Vibes. We all know what they are – when we walk into the kitchen at home and someone has had a ‘frot’ day, or when a work project has gone pear-shaped – and the team is mired in disappointment. The moods and attitudes of people in any environment are infectious and can go viral faster than a group whatsapp message. Think of the way you feel when you walk into home affairs or Telkom, compared to the energy and enthusiasm you experience in an iStore.

Job cuts. Restructuring. Retrenchment. Overnight these words have entered the corporate vocabulary. The big question keeping leaders awake at night is how to keep their people "with" them on this rollercoaster ride of uncertainty?

Often called alignment; engagement or buy in, this is not necessarily easy at the best of times. In the worst of times, when the people who "remain" post restructuring need to do the job of two or three; forsake their bonus; may even earn less, "alignment" is a big ask. Ironically it is in this very moment that employees' morale can make a business sink or swim.

I read something today that struck a chord. Peter Scazzero, in his book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, says, “Most of us never examine the scripts handed to us by our past.”

A script is a written text for a production or performance, or a plan of action. The quote in the book got me thinking: what script am I living by? Where am I filling a role without thinking about the character I am playing?

Picture the scene inside one of those glass high-rises that punctuate the Sandton skyline. It's Monday morning teatime. People are telling stories: The plight of the Springbok rugby team/Bafana Bafana or the Proteas; the Saturday night movie; the latest jokes. They are animated, engaged with their story and each other, passionate about their opinion and about sharing it!

Fast forward to the PowerPoint presentation later in the day which outlines the way forward for the business for the next year. It directly affects its audience (unlike the movie, sport plot lines above). They can make or break it. Yet the discussion afterwards is lukewarm at best and often non existent. By the next day the presentation is all but forgotten.

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