Newfound Need for Self-Esteem at the Workplace

Although many organizations fiercely resist accepting it and struggle to hang on to a time that is irretrievably gone, a modern business can no longer be run by a few people who think and many people who do what they are told– the traditional military command-and-control model.  Today, organizations require not only a higher level of knowledge and skill among all those who participate in the process of production, but also a higher level of independence, self-reliance, self-trust and capacity to exercise initiative– in a word, self-esteem.  Self-efficacy and self-respect are traits endemic to any productive and capable employee.

In the past few decades, there have been major developments in the professional sector that require more self-esteem from all persons involved, from CEOs to entry-level personnel.  These developments include:

Foreman and Worker
  • The shift from a manufacturing to an information economy; the diminishing need for manual or blue-collar workers and the rapidly growing need for knowledge workers with advanced verbal, mathematical and social skills.
  • The emergence of a global economy of unprecedented competitiveness, which is yet another challenge to our ingenuity and belief in ourselves.
  • The increasing demands on individuals at every level of a business enterprise for self-management, personal responsibility, self-direction, a high level of consciousness, and a commitment to innovation and contribution as top priorities.
  • The entrepreneurial model and mentality becoming central to our thinking about economic adaptability.
  • The emergence of the human mind as the central and dominant factor in all economic activity.

It would be impossible to have an organization that nurtured innovation and creativity and yet did not nurture self-esteem. Likewise, it would be impossible to have an organization that nurtured self-esteem while stifling innovation, creativity, excitement and loyalty.

There is virtually no aspect of business activity – from managing teams to engaging in research and development – that is not significantly affected by the level of one’s self-esteem.

An individual who experiences profound doubts about his or her ability to think, understand, learn or cope with the basic challenges of life is at a severe disadvantage, especially when confronted with the new and unfamiliar.

After all, what is fear of making decisions but lack of confidence in one’s mind and judgment?