Most of us don’t walk around aspiring to live a marginal life, or to lead a mediocre career or to have a bunch of average relationships. Instead, we are creatures of possibility. We wonder what is possible – for our partnerships, our organizations and ourselves.
Organizational leaders imagine what it would be like if employees were more invested in their work; and think about how much easier business targets would be reached if everyone were more willing to invest discretionary time, effort and energy to the larger purpose of the organization. Maybe you’ve heard this, coming from a colleague or maybe yourself: ‘I wish people around here just cared as much as I do about our results!”
We aspire to greatness and sense the potential of that in our people and our teams.
And then immediately get stuck in the question of, “How exactly do I make that happen?”
Here is a tip. It helps to remember that underneath the daily grind and on-going shenanigans of human interaction, there is something universally profound about people that you can trust: we all have a deep desire to be connected – to our work, and to one another. And, if you can help someone make these connections, they begin to blossom where they are planted.
Fostering connections to the things people care about is a leadership practice that is easy to overlook, and yet it is a fast path for more solution-focused conversations and a workforce that is more engaged in its pursuit of what matters.
Try this: think of two places in your organizational system: one where people are deeply connected to one another and their work and one where they are not:
What is the first group doing to make and sustain these connections?
What ideas do you have about how to inspire the second group to be more connected?