Internationally known motivational speaker discusses the need for engagement in the workplace, in church
Internationally known motivational speaker and author Matthew Kelly brought his “Living Every Day with Passion & Purpose” message to 900 people who filled All Saints Church on Sept. 19.
Mr. Kelly spoke in three sessions, with interludes by musical guest Eliot Morris, that lasted nearly four hours.
In the first session, Mr. Kelly talked about a “spectrum of engagement” at workplaces that ranges from 100 percent to zero. He had a name for the people who are 0 percent engaged.
“Way on the other end of the spectrum you’ve got what I call the Q and S people. They’ve quit and they’ve stayed,” he said. “You say to these people, ‘How long have you worked there?’ ‘Ah, 20 years.’ ‘When did you quit?’ ‘About 16 years ago.’
“You know if you’ve ever had to work with a quit-and-stay person, say ‘uh huh.’ They will suck all the energy out of you. They will poison an organization. They are toxic. They will make your life miserable.”
Human beings not only disengage at work but also “in everything we do,” such as in relationships, marriage, parenting, health and well-being, politics, environmental concerns, personal finances, and even Mass, Mr. Kelly said.
“If you went into any Catholic church on a Sunday morning, what you would discover is that there’s a spectrum of engagement,” he told the audence.
“You’ve got some people 100 percent engaged and guess what? We’ve got Q-and-S people in the Church. In the United States we’ve had 30 million American Catholics who have stopped practicing their faith in the last 20 years. We’ve got an engagement problem.
“We look at the Church, whatever we think the problems are, what we think the challenges are, whatever we think the opportunities are, at the core of all that we’ve got engagement problems. We’ve got to wonder what do the highly engaged people have that the disengaged people don’t, and how can we give it to them? How can we broaden engagement within ourselves, how can we increase engagement within our parish, within our community spiritually, within the lives of the people around us? That’s essentially the challenge,” he continued.
Highly engaged people are “hungry for best practices,” Mr. Kelly said.
“If you ask them to do something they haven’t done before, the first thing they do is ask ‘who is the best in the world at doing this, and how can I learn from them?’ They want to know what is the best way of doing something.
“Interestingly, we tend not to be hungry for best practices. We tend to be hungry for our practices. We don’t want to do it the best way; we want to do it our way.”
People who are highly engaged also are “committed to continuous learning. They want to learn new things,” Mr. Kelly said.
“I make my living as a business consultant. I go into a lot of businesses. I can tell in five minutes if they’re a great business or if I’m in a world-class organization . . . because of the number of people who have pen and paper and are taking notes, because in a world-class organization, no one goes anywhere without pen and paper.”
Pen and paper are rarely seen at Mass, Mr. Kelly said.
“On Sunday in church when Father gets up to give his homily, all of a sudden everybody takes out their pen and paper and takes notes, right? No, in fact you probably don’t remember the last time you saw somebody taking notes at church during the homily. In fact, it’s actually worse than that. People don’t actually bring pen and paper, which tells us what? They decided that even before they came to church that Father wasn’t going to say anything worth writing down.”
Mr. Kelly’s talk was hosted by the All Saints Parish spiritual-life committee.