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“The true test of character is to live win-win even when promoted to positions where win-lose is possible.”

 Orrin Woodward


If you search google, you’ll find The Great Resignation is defined as an informal name for the widespread trend of a significant number of workers leaving their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s sometimes also called the Big Quit and is typically discussed in relation to the US workforce, but the phenomenon is international. I’ve also heard it called The Great Reset which is how I like to think of it. One of the opportunities in the pandemic is that people everywhere have been afforded time to slow down, take stock, and consider their lives closely. For many, they are reflecting on, “Do I like my life? My work? My organization and how it’s run? Am I the parent, partner, friend, citizen I dreamed of being? Many have not been encouraged to, nor have developed questions like, “What am I feeling and what do I want?” Without this, they have lived half-lives of disillusionment and disengagement, then got used to it.


As ever, many seek to enforce “rules of engagement” regarding POWER. There has always been an unspoken system upheld by powermongers that power is for only some people. From that has come the idea that helping others to be empowered and supported equally is counter-productive to ME; that is the ME of those business owners, politicians, religious leaders, specific races, genders, or any others who justify an imbalance of power and win-lose. In the Great Resignation, the struggle between shared power and hogged power is evident again and this time many are examining what’s at stake and why we won’t survive ongoing win-lose dynamics. Here’s just some reasons why:


  • Win-lose is no longer hidden; through technological windows more of us see what’s happening
  • We face ever-greater complexity, speed of change and globalization and win-lose destroys competency
  • Too many individuals and groups are SUFFERING unfairly and unnecessarily, and more of us recognize it
  • What once worked to dominate and control people is no longer effective (nor should it be)
  • People are recognizing alternative ways of operating that lead to win-win dynamics they long for (and deserve)
  • Dots are being connected between disastrous long-term results derived from short term wins for the few
  • What expands human potential is being recognized and gaining ground (and it aint win-lose!)
  • Business and other leaders are realizing that when anyone loses, everyone loses, even the “winners”


The crucial opportunities within the Great Reset are to collectively say “NO” to outdated and counter-productive ways of thinking and operating in life and work so that new, egalitarian, and purpose-and-values-based ways of functioning become priority. No longer can those leading in politics and religion and business ignore the needs of their people because they are the most essential element in achieving success. Your people are your greatest asset and when they’re not well-supported, they don’t support you or the innovations possible and desperately needed to save ourselves and our planet. So… see and seize the opportunities for yourself in this time of deep disruption and change. Be part of reaching for and seizing evolutionary and revolutionary solutions possible NOW. See the gift in what’s happening so you become one of many heroes that causes win-win even when you have been or are promoted to positions where win-lose is possible. Allow yourself to be RESET so you are part of making way for the only viable ways forward.


Why People Hire Judy Ryan and LifeWork Systems

Business owners, community leaders, and educators hire Lifework Systems because they want the advantages of an extraordinary workplace and recognize a systems approach ensures consistency and sustainability in the transformation process. They know that conscientious employees grow your business and improve your reputation, giving you competitive advantages. We help organizations instill into every person a common language and toolset for how to participate in a responsibility-based Teal workplace. Visit our website at www.lifeworksystems.com, and click the link at the bottom to complete a culture assessment and schedule your first consult to review a report on your feedback, all at no cost.  You can also contact Judy Ryan at 314.239.4727 or at judy@lifeworksystems.com.

This article is published in St. Louis Small Business Monthly in Judy’s column The Extraordinary Workplace, December 2021.