In our previous posts, we have been talking about the steps to engagement. There are four steps and we have discussed the first two so far: 1. Be Intentional and 2. Create Significance. Making an effort on either of these areas will have an immediate impact on your workplace.
Today we are diving into the fascinating concept of “Find Meaning.” I recently revisited this concept after listening to Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on what he calls the “golden circle.” I fondly refer to this talk as “Know your Why.” If you haven’t watched it before, take a moment out of your day and watch. It is simple and profound. The focus is on “why” we do what we do, as people, as leaders and as organizations.
Essentially, finding your meaning is asking to find your “why.” For leaders, knowing your why is critical to guiding us through the myriad of decisions we make each day. It allows us to be grounded in what we are doing and where we are going. For everyone in fact, knowing your why can change the way you engage with your work, with your friends and family, and with your life. As a leader, one of the most impactful things you can do is to help someone find their meaning. Better yet, when you see someone who is shining because they have found their why, tell them! Show them that you see how they are contributing and making a difference because they have found their gift and they are giving it away.
One of the things about meaning is that meaningless work brings meaningless effort. Help your employees see the meaning in their work and you will see better results. This comes full circle back to the importance of knowing your why as an organization and sharing it with all your employees. If employees know that the work they are doing is connected to a bigger purpose, a bigger meaning and to something that they can be proud of, then there is no such thing as meaningless work or effort.
Your assignment: Do you know your why? Do you know the why of your organization? Take some time to think about this and to share this with your employees. Add in a discussion to your next staff meeting. Take a manager out for coffee and share your story and ask to hear theirs. You just never know what kind of energy this will create!
Next time: Step Four – Walk Your Talk