How Is a Business Like a Plank?

Updated: Nov 15, 2018

“The Plank” is a favorite of personal trainers and I’m not talking about wood boards from Home Depot. In the exercise world, a plank is when you hold your body up from the floor using your forearms or hands, and your feet and maintaining a firm position like a board for a predetermined amount of time. This exercise builds strength and endurance and I know because I do a lot of planks with Abby @ Tiny House Fitness next to Finders Keepers Furnishings. Working out with her has made me much stronger.

One morning while holding a plank for what seemed like an eternity, I started thinking about the exercise and how if I require all parts of my body to engage and commit to the position, it is much easier. But if my core starts to sag or I let my head drop or arms droop, it puts a lot of pressure on other muscles to take up the slack so that I can stay up. When I keep all muscles tight and engaged, the load of my body weight is more evenly distributed and the plank is easier to maintain.

The same is true in business. The leader of the organization sets the vision and is the head in the plank position. Leaders must keep their eyes on the goal, head level and remain strong. All others in the organization fall into position to do their part to get the job done from regular business to disruption to change management or whatever is going on at the time. But, if one part of the group or team disengages or lacks commitment, the rest of the team must take up the slack, making the work harder. Engaged, fully committed employees keep the organization strong and moving forward and those who aren’t drag the team down and create more work. Studies report that over 75% of employees are disengaged from their jobs in this country, hurting productivity and costing businesses and organizations a lot in terms of profit, customer retention, efficiency and innovation.

Fully engaged, committed employees are a rare breed and make businesses hum.

Can you make the choice to show up and engage with co-workers and customers? I love my job so it’s easy to go to work with the mindset to give 100%, make a difference and do my part well. The day flies by. In your job if you can’t do that or don’t want to, maybe it’s time to find a new job where you can engage fully and contribute meaningful work.

Either way, everyone currently “holding the plank position” with you will appreciate it.

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