Teen Leadership and Mentoring Blog

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Dan Blanchard award-winning author, speaker and educator

Presenteeism! What the heck is that? Did I mean absenteeism? No, not exactly…

We all know what absenteeism is. And we know how it can be very detrimental to our success if we are absent a lot. But, do we know what presenteeism is and how detrimental it too can be to our success?

Presenteeism is when you do what Woody Allen says and you show up just because you know that showing up is half of the battle, and by just showing up you have already beat out half of your competition. But… my question to you is… what about the other half of your competition?

Well, this is where many of us run in to problems. We show up and think it’s enough. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to just show up physically. If you just show up physically, but are not mentally, or emotionally there, then you’re suffering from the syndrome of presenteeism. You have physically shown up, but that’s about it. You may have beaten out 50% of your competition by just showing up, but your still at the bottom half of the other 50%. And that’s not good!

What grade was a 50 or even a 55 on a test in school? It was a big fat “F”. You failed! Just showing up and practicing presenteeism is not enough!!! Do you want to succeed or not? Do you want to accomplish something special or do you want to be ordinary or even worse, invisible?

Okay, hopefully you’re not totally invisible. but do you want to live large and feel fully ALIVE, or do you want to be less than alive like the shadows on the wall in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave?

Are you going to hide in the shadows of your classroom and later the corporate shadows at work for the rest of your life, or are you going to come fully alive and visible and stop practicing the syndrome of presenteeism? Are you going to be mentally, and emotionally present for your fellow human beings?

I guess in the end, it is all on you to decide. Should you show up? And if you do show up, are you going to be really present?

Now, please share with us how you plan to fight the presenteeism bug and practice the secret of success of not only showing up, but also really being present.


Thanks for your time,


Daniel Blanchard

Author of the Granddaddy’s Secrets series

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