The “EAP” Manifesto..and the missing letter.

EAP Manifesto

Back when I started http://www.BrettWGould.com, I typed three words that would be the gps for my content here.

Perspective brings focus.

Everyone has an ability to change the world with a craft that they are uniquely positioned to do, to teach, and shape the world around them with.  Those who know me well will tell you quickly that you don’t want me to help you with plumbing, electricity or carpentry.  Left to me, the resulting work will likely (sooner than later) become a flood, burned down or collapse entirely.

Once I stopped beating myself up for what I couldn’t do,

I got excited about what I could do.

I started to notice a pattern.  Any time that I was able to sit with someone and hear what they were struggling with, I could help.

It wasn’t because I had all the answers.  It was because I could bring a different perspective.  A fresh approach to something that had been tossed around, kicked around and become stale at best. (And we ended up developing a really cool teaching tool to help people).

I could see how to tweak, salvage, build from, pour into and otherwise get more out of something than the person sitting across from me was able to.

For the first time in my life, I began to understand my purpose.

I existed so that people who were frustrated where they were at were able to get excited again about where they could go.

I existed to bring a fresh perspective, so that people had a renewed focus.

And after we met, they’d get there.

SO…

today’s post.

It’s gonna be a long one…(hey, I warned ya with the title…”Manifesto”)

But it’s also going to be an eye opener for many.

I want to lift the veil, and quite possibly scare you…errr…I mean share with you…what life looks like through my lens.

And maybe it’ll help you realize it’s time we talked.  Or maybe it’ll be an encouragement to you to focus on you instead of everyone else’s version of you.  Either way, I hope that once you finish reading this, it’s 10-15 minutes that changes your life.

It’s changed mine.  It’s made me a better husband, father,

friend, brother, son, mentor, and leader.

It will help you lead your organization to be full of people who feel the same way.

So here it is.

Your willingness to be completely transparent

will be directly tied to your success and effectiveness

as you live out who you are.

Some people will take steps to improve.  That’s good, I suppose.  But for me, it’s not enough.  I don’t think it should be for you either.  I want you to drop “good” from your vocabulary today. Replace it with “great”.  The only way to do that is to change your posture.  You have got to stop leaning on what props you up, and start leaping towards what can leverage your potential and launch you forward. (To be where you were always called to be).

As an employer, boss, organization.  As a spouse, parent, friend, child, sibling, mentor, leader, employee.

There is a business term that I wrapped into the title.  Human Resource people got all nerdy excited when they read it.  It was like me speaking directly to them in their own little language. I want to peel back that onion to show you how you can learn from it in any area of your life. Whether you are one of the many HR professionals in this world, or any other position at work, home, church…anywhere.

EAP.  It means employee assistance program.  It’s all that mumbo-jumbo jargon in a benefits package that you probably just glanced at when you got hired.  It’s the health insurance and beyond category.  It would help you deal with substance abuse issues, emotional distress, life events (birth, death and marriage), financial stress, non-work related legal issues, family/personal relationship issues…heck, work relationship issues…and even aging parent concerns.

WHY offer an EAP?

Easy.  Employers need their people happy and functioning at a high level.  Period.  It lowers medical costs, reduces turnover, lowers absenteeism…and brings the general hope that their people will be a happier and more productive employees.

In reality…it’s a financial focus.  It’s a money issue.  They need people happy, so they will be productive.  Sure…most good employers truly do care about their people…but at the end of the day the goal is to eliminate the negative so they bring the positive.

BUT…it’s not all about the employee.  Most EAP’s also offer the employer things like consultations to deal with trouble they are having in leading their staff.  Troubled work teams and critical incident services are a couple of examples.

And here is where I am about to open our eyes to some serious reality.

Everything an EAP brings focuses on one thing…

AFTER THE FACT.

EAP’s are all about reactive, best of intentions, transaction-based after-the-fact correction.  Something is already wrong, and now they need to stop the bleeding. It’s about basic needs.  It’s maintenance-mode, survival-mode and just “holding on” until it hopefully improves or gets better.

WOW.  Thanks, Brett.  That was sufficiently depressing.

Relax.

I am about to show you why I do what I do, and how one letter will change everything.

“L”.

It’s time that our approach to life shifted.

From after-the-fact reaction to before-the-fact instruction.

Do I still work with people in after-the-fact situations?  Absolutely.  But I do it to bring a focus that teaches them how to correct where they are by teaching them how to implement a before-the-fact approach to everything they do.

I don’t tell organizations WHAT to think, I teach them HOW to think.

Will there be times when we need the triage unit because circumstances existed beyond our control?  Yes.

So EAP’s aren’t from the devil.  They serve a purpose.  They can be, and have been very helpful to many, many people.

But left as the only option, they do a dis-service.

Enter the letter “L”.

It’s time to LEAP.

Go re-read the paragraph (bolded) about how EAP’s are defined again.

Then come read this description about what it means to LEAP.

LEAPing is proactive.  It’s before-the-fact teaching, not after-the-fact punishment. It’s intentional action not having the best of intentions and never seeing it happen.  It’s about building relationships that bring community rather than seeing people as transactions to take care of later.  It focuses on pouring into people ahead of time so that they will have a posture and approach to life that leaves the legacy they always wished they would, later.  It’s a foundation to build on to bring agreement, that supports a structure of healthy progress.

It’s not about maintaining the status quo, or employees for that matter.  It’s about leveraging their potential.

It’s not about surviving, it’s about adopting a mentality of thriving.

It’s not about just holding on and getting through, it’s about launching people forward to lead others to do the same.

Here is the bottom line.

Uncommon results require uncommon actions.  And you get there when you LEAP.

It matters not if you are some high-powered HR Professional in a corner office that has thousands of employees, or you are a frustrated parent that can’t seem to reach the heart of your ever independent teenager.  You may be a business owner with dozens of employees that can’t make the progress you need to, or simply not able to be who you need to be in your marriage.

This whole manifesto is about the individual.  The individual needs, for individually-unique people.

People that make up businesses, ministries and other organizations.

The very same people that make up marriages, families, and friendships.

So what stops us from LEAPing?

We know how walking feels as we deal with problems after-the-fact,

but we are scared to move before-the-fact because of how LEAPing might feel.

LEAPing is an unknown.

SO…let me encourage you as a leader in your organization.

Doing the “known” gets you where you’ve gone before.  The “unknown” takes you places that are higher, greater and better than ever before.  (Scarier at times?  Yes.  But BETTER).

“Known” is predictable, and because you can predict it, you choose it.

“Unknown” is unnerving, and because you don’t like the feeling you ignore it and rationalize how you are being responsible to avoid the pain that might come as a result.

The fact remains that the whole time…you will feel pain either way.

1.  Pain if you stay where you are (after-the-fact triage only) brings more of the same now and only regrets later.

2.  Pain if your LEAP brings change (the stuff you really wanted) and the potential of game changing, life-changing results now and immeasurable, incredible joy later.

The LEAP Manifesto is really about 2 words.

Regrets vs. Results.

Still trying to figure out if where you are now is where you should be?

Still trying to figure out if where you are now is where you should stay?

Still trying to figure out if you should…LEAP?

The pain you choose now will determine the legacy you leave later.

Your legacy as an organization, and the legacy each of your employees have the potential to leave.

It’s really that simple.

As much as this should make every HR professional, business owner, employer and organization re-think, re-assess and re-structure how they approach what they do everyday…it isn’t just for them.

It’s for you.

The person.

The dad, the mom.  The husband, the wife.  The brother, the sister.  The parent, the child. The friend.

The person who really, truly knows that they need a fresh perspective that will bring a renewed focus.

This is my life’s work.

You’ve been meaning to re-focus…I know.

That’s the whole “best of intentions” getting in the way again.

Today…choose.

Be intentional.

Choose you.  Choose your organization to be an incubator for legacies.

Choose to leave a legacy of impact.

If starting this makes you want to puke on your shoes, you are in good company.  For any of us that have taken the LEAP, we have felt that very same feeling.  Heck…it still creeps in from time to time.

But feelings don’t determine outcomes, actions do.

If you are ready to learn how to LEAP, let’s talk.

Email me : BrettWGould@gmail.com

Hit me up on Twitter: @BrettWGould

Call to set up an appointment for your organization : 716-672-9661.

It’s time you gave your organization, business, and ministry the perspective that will bring focus.

It’s time you gave the families, marriages, parenting, teenagers, parents and friends who make up your staff what they deserve…

An organization that has taken…The LEAP…so they can too.

We have packages available to teach your organization and your leadership how to make this happen.

And we have the single coolest teaching tool on the planet to bring you through your LEAP.

We can chat about those details when you reach out to us.

Thanks for taking the time to read the “EAP” Manifesto.

Now you know the missing letter…”L”.

Just don’t let it stand for…later.

Let it mean you are ready to…

LEAP.

Thanks for stopping by.

It’s an honor to be able to share with you what is helping organizations understand their purpose and the posture to make it happen.

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