Susan Dunlop: Lead Believe Create

The Cost of Workplace Drama and the Path to Empowered Leadership

When I first started facilitating the 3 Vital Questions programs, we began by discussing the Costs of Drama. The bottom line is that The Empowerment Dynamic (TED*) and the 3 Vital Questions offer a healthy, positive antidote to both workplace and personal life drama.

Understanding the Cost of Drama

Before the pandemic, it was estimated that managers spent between 25-40% of their time managing drama, with the global cost of drama reaching an astounding $7 trillion annually. These figures highlighted the significant impact that unaddressed workplace issues could have on productivity and morale.

The State of the Global Workplace in 2023

Fast forward to 2023, and the landscape had evolved. According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace Report, the cost of low engagement had skyrocketed, now estimated to cost the global economy $8.8 trillion, which is 9% of global GDP.

This figure underscores the critical role that effective management and leadership play in driving both economic and personal wellbeing.

Jon Clifton, CEO of Gallup, aptly summarised the stakes in the report:

“This spring, the World Bank’s chief economist Indermit Gill made a startling claim: ‘A lost decade could be in the making for the global economy. The ongoing decline in potential growth has serious implications for the world’s ability to tackle the expanding array of challenges unique to our times — stubborn poverty, diverging incomes, and climate change.’”

The message is clear. Economic growth is slowing, and without a change in how people are managed, every other problem becomes harder to solve.

The Role of Leadership in Addressing Engagement

Poor management doesn’t just lead to lost customers and profits; it creates miserable lives. Gallup’s research finds that having a job you hate is worse than being unemployed, and these negative emotions inevitably spill over into home life, affecting relationships with family and friends.

If you’re not thriving at work, you’re unlikely to be thriving in life.

Closer to Home

The State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report highlighted the following telling statistics in the Australia and New Zealand Regional Summary:

Employee EngagementDaily Negative EmotionsJob Market
Thriving at WorkEmotions experienced
during a lot of the
previous day
Job Climate
EngagedStressGood time to find a job
Quiet QuittingAngerIntent to Leave
Not engaged15%Watching for or actively
seeking new job
Loud Quitting
Actively disengaged
Gallup State of the Global Workplace 2023 Report (page 65), Gallup Inc. All rights reserved.
From Drama to Empowerment

So, what can leaders do to potentially save the world? Gallup’s findings point to one clear answer: Change the way your people are managed. This is where the principles of TED* and the 3 Vital Questions come into play.

Our leadership programs aim to transform workplace challenges into opportunities for growth. By equipping leaders with the strategies to foster empowered teams and drive innovative success, we help organisations create cultures of trust, communication, and co-creation. This transformation moves teams from a state of stress and inefficiency to one of engagement and thriving performance.

The Path Forward

Imagine a workplace where leaders and their people are engaged, connected, and aligned with their purpose. A place where the daily grind is replaced with strategic thinking, personal growth, and constructive conflict resolution. This is the future we strive to create.

As Jon Clifton notes, “If we don’t increase global GDP, every other problem gets harder to solve.” By improving workplace engagement, leaders can make a significant contribution to not only their organisations but also the broader global challenges we face.

Champions of Change

The cost of drama is too high to ignore. By embracing the principles of TED* and the 3 Vital Questions, leaders become champions of positive change, transforming their workplaces and fostering environments where people thrive both professionally and personally.

TED* and the 3 Vital Questions have been embraced by organisations globally for more than 10 years.
Case studies are available for situations where the challenges included:
  • employee engagement;
  • finding company purpose through purposeful leadership;
  • building a culture of long-term shared purpose; and
  • stepping into bigger service and leadership.
The response was TED* and the 3 Vital Questions.
The results were:

‘engagement up – by a lot’, ‘engagement up – 9X profit increase is just the beginning’, a dramatic turnover downturn’ and ‘personal transformation, professional growth and a wide ripple effect’.

TED* and the 3 Vital Questions are now in Australia

In 2021, I became Australia’s first certified trainer in TED* and the 3 Vital Questions to bring this work to visionary leaders and their teams closer to home.

We have delivered the program to the entire staff of an English-speaking special school in Hong Kong and to small start-up businesses. This work suits all sizes and types of organisations, regardless of their geographical location.

Are you ready to be recognised as an organisation of transformational leadership that fosters high-performing teams, is admired by peers, and is seen as a pioneer in cultivating a positive organisational culture?

Contact us today to start your transformation journey.

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