I am excited to introduce this new video blog (vlog) series: purpose@work. SIGN-UP for my infrequent newsletter to get the latest Conversations That Matter. The one thing I am focused on with this series, and all my services, is how to increase employee engagement from this very sad 15% globally (according to Gallup). There is a lot of research that proves, purpose-driven leadership is a key element in having more inspired employees (even higher than engagement). ASK ME for my white paper: The Playbook for Purpose-Driven Employee Engagement where I've curated the latest research on the current and future state of engagement.
In life and in work, how often do we connect with our fears? Truly connect. Not hide, repress or deny them. Not sugar coat them with “positivity” or brush them under the desk. We know that a key trait of a great leader is taking ownership for outcomes and results: “The buck stops with me.” We also know that being authentic and vulnerable is a great way to build trust. Yet, most leaders shy away from owning their fears, those things that haunt them and they are reluctant to admit.
It’s one thing not to name them to others, but the first step is to be aware of them with ourselves. When we are unwilling to admit to ourselves we fear a situation, an outcome, a person—the situation often persists and gets worse. It becomes a cancer. And soon we are so consumed by it, we forget its origin and why we are giving it so much energy. It becomes a habit. Check-in with yourself and see if any of these examples are true for you:
Find me one person who feels they are not tight on time and we must talk. Even retired folks are so busy these days. Multi-tasking has been proven to be counter productive. There are endless distractions from being online constantly to our phones buzzing with notifications. Oh and then there's "back-to-back" meetings.
The only real solution all of us have to take control of my time is CHOICE. I get to say "yes" and "no" at every decision point. The question is--are we conscious of this fact? Do we take deliberate action to be mindful of how we use our time?
Spoiler-Alert: If you haven’t watched “The Lorax” and may want to—some of the story may be revealed in what follows…
Here’s a quick recap of the story-line. Twelve-year-old Ted lives in a place virtually devoid of nature; no flowers or trees grow in the town of Thneedville. Ted would very much like to win the heart of Audrey, the girl of his dreams, but to do this, he must find that which she most desires: a Truffula tree. To get it, Ted delves into the story of the Lorax, once the gruff guardian of the forest, and the Once-ler, who let greed overtake his respect for nature. In the movie, the creator and business tycoon of Thneedville is O’Hare.
Thank you Disney, Zootopia and Shakira (video and lyrics) for the inspiration to reframe the lessons in this film to leadership and company culture. Quick clarification--I am a big fan of Yoda's "Do or do not. There is no try." This Try is different. It's about learning and growing. It's actually about doing.
Let's look at a few lines from this song:
"I messed up tonight" How often do we admit to ourselves when we mess up at work (and in life)? Self-awareness and ownership is the beginning of change. Having the courage to admit it to your leadership/peers/team is powerful stuff.
Yes. I'm guilty of mindlessly playing games on my phone as an escape. No. Not at the point where I need to find a 12 step program to let go of this addiction. My current favorite is Merged. Do watch the video.
Here's what occurred to me and how this relates to business and people development:
The objective is to connect three similar colors and they disappear--they open space for you to progress. In business, we set goals, we get things done and then we open space to do other things we deem important.
Most companies have integrity as one of their core values. Enron did. The question is how exactly do you define it as a company and even more important how do individual employees define it?
The first definition I saw at Dictionary.com take the path of moral and ethical principles. That's perhaps about being honest, but then say honest. The second definition is more generative for a co-creative culture:
"The state of being whole, entire, or undiminished."
Napoleon Hill said all creation happens in these three stages: conceive, believe, achieve. The challenge is, the middle. Most of us have a hard time really believing anything is possible. That we have what it takes to follow our bliss and create the life and work of our choice.
Recently, my nine year old daughter brought this play on the word "impossible" to my attention: I'm possible. Wow! Perhaps you've heard this before, but it was a first for me. Here are three tips to reframe those things we believe are impossible:
Let's face it, most companies create corporate core values and they get relegated to posters, fancy slogans and initiatives. The companies that are committed to walking the talk of their core values are those that integrate their values into everything a business does--with both employees and customers. From the way you hire, onboard, provide feedback and the day-to-day way you conduct business to those "moments of truth" when you take the higher road in challenging situations.