What’s the Elephant, you might ask? “Destructive behaviors that no one does anything about,” say the authors, two leadership consultants who have a strategy for change. By raising the enthusiasm the workplace, they claim you can form a smoothly functioning team that radiates respect, competence, responsibility and enjoyment.
Enjoyment. Pleasure. Excitement. That’s what the Elephant has trampled in the office. Everyone feels the weight, but it takes a major attitude shift to get out from under it—stomp it, in other words, using pachyderm as metaphor. Left alone, the bête noir grows toxic; tension, mistrust, nitpicking, backbiting, and arguing rule the day. But it can be stopped. The book offers tested ways for leaders to foster constructive change and prevent loss of morale, loss of money, and damaged lives.
A culture that addresses problems reactively instead of proactively is suffering from toxicity of bad attitude. It stifles initiative and individuality, and highlights weakness and failure rather than solutions and strength. Happily, what is good for the culture of the workplace also applies to schools, homes, and communities. Getting people to work together effectively is “the mother of all strategies.” The authors’ tone is upbeat, confident, and strong (without stomping). Proponents of a “wellness culture” and “the humanity factor,” Vannoy and Ross do care about the traditional bottom line. They want employees to have an ownership mentality: commitment, not just engagement. In the vast majority of companies, employee morale drops sharply after the first six months and keeps going down. No one wants to be on a mediocre team, the authors emphasize, yet that is often how they feel.
There is magic in the message of this book. It lights the way to greater success and a better life for leaders and team members, parents and children, teachers and students, doctors and patients. Just about anyone can read Stomp the Elephant in the Office for fun and profit.