The more I write about engagement and motivation for business, the more convinced I become that there are a finite number of rules in the world and those rules are simply repurposed for whatever context we humans play (or work) in. The rules that govern how we should act at home are pretty much the same as the rules we should follow at work. Remember the book – “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”? That.

We have few rules – but we have many ways those rules can be applied.

Now, I’m no “law of attraction” guy – and I’m not a “new-agey” spiritualist (pay no attention to those pyramid shaped crystals under my dreamcatcher) but I do think the 12 Laws of Karma is a pretty good starting point for the “list.” Some would argue the 10 Commandments are a good starting point, and I agree there are a couple of good ones on that list too. But quoting Karma laws doesn’t seem to raise the collective blood pressure of folks below the 37th Latitude as much as getting into the “big 10” does.

So here’s my riff on the 12 Laws of Karma – and employee engagement.

The Great Law

“As you sow, so shall you reap.” Also known as the “Law of Cause and Effect.”

To experience engagement you must be engaged yourself. To be disengaged and expect others to be engaged goes against the basics of engagement.

The Law of Creation

Engagement requires our participation to happen. It does not happen by itself.

The Law of Humility

One must accept something in order to change it. You are part of the problem and the solution. You must accept your role in the negative and the positive in order to make a change.

The Law of Growth

It is we who must change and not the people, places or things around us if we want to have engagement. We must change and grow in order to affect the system in which we work and play.

The Law of Responsibility

If there is something wrong in one’s life, there is something wrong in them.

We mirror what surrounds us, and what surrounds us mirrors us; this is a Universal Truth. One must take responsibility for what is in one’s life. If there is disengagement in your work – look to yourself first.

The Law of Connection

The smallest or seemingly least important of things must be done because everything builds on the small step before it. There is no “more” important element of engagement. None of the elements work if the smallest, least significant one, is ignored.

The Law of Focus

One cannot think of two things at the same time. Engagement is the focus. Not ROI. Not business outcomes. Just engagement.

Those other things we try to hold simultaneously with engagement happen after engagement happens – they are not available to think and talk about until after engagement occurs. Focus on engagement. The rest will follow.

The Law of Giving and Hospitality

If you believe it is possible to be engaged you must practice and demonstrate that belief. Belief must be put into practice.

The Law of Here and Now

Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior and old dreams prevent us from having new ones. Blaming and recounting why we are disengaged doesn’t help us become engaged. Focus on today’s issues, not yesterday’s mistakes.

The Law of Change

History repeats itself until we learn the lessons that we need to learn to change our path.

You will fail. Accept that. Endeavor to keep making changes until you find your next level of failure.

The Law of Patience and Reward

All Rewards require initial toil.

Rewards of lasting value require patient and persistent toil.

True engagement comes from doing what one is supposed to be doing and knowing that the reward will come in its own time.

The Law of Significance and Inspiration

One gets back from something whatever they put into it.

The true value of something is a direct result of the energy and intent that is put into it.

Every personal contribution is also a contribution to the Whole.

Lesser contributions have no impact on the Whole, nor do they work to diminish it.

Loving contributions bring life to and inspire the Whole.

Engagement is a karmic experience.

As I repurposed the 12 Laws of Karma with an engagement spin I had to resist the impulse to leave them alone. The laws, as they were written on the site I “borrowed” them from, could easily be taken in whole with no edits and they would apply to how you should approach engagement in your own organization. In fact #12 is a direct quote – I didn’t change anything from the site.

See – there are so few rules. Learn these. Apply these. Your engagement will soar – as will the overall engagement in the organization.


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