Today is strategy #17 in our series on specific actions leaders can take to build resiliency in their people and their teams. The tip is: create a shared vision and a sense of purpose.
Create a shared vision and a sense of purpose
Essentially, what this means is that you need to help your team members see the big picture – in terms of how they fit into it. They need to understand and appreciate their own significance in the big picture. Now sometimes, people don’t understand exactly what I mean, so I want to clarify by giving you an example from my own experience.
Job description #1 is not appealing
Here’s a description of what I do:
As a professional speaker and trainer, I give keynotes and seminars both virtually online and in-person to people around the world. If it’s in-person, I’m battling airports, airlines, and hotels. Often, I miss flights due late connections. Then I have to come up with alternate ways to get to my destination. And then, I’m dealing with overworked staff in short-staffed workplaces, whose customer service skills have deteriorated as the day has gone on. In a nutshell, they’re cranky, and as a result, often quite difficult to deal with. If I’m delivering programs online, then I’m usually up some god-awful hour in the early morning to match some time zone on the other side of the world. Dealing with the Internet can become an issue. Don’t even start me on how it’s almost impossible to look good on camera. And try keeping your energy up when everyone else has switched off their cameras, and you know they’re multi-tasking. In a nutshell, I get cranky, and often difficult to deal with!
Here’s my question – after this description, would you want my job? I suspect that many of you would answer, “No way, Merge. Keep your job!”
Job description #2 will build resiliency
Now consider this alternate description of what I do:
As a professional speaker and trainer, I give keynotes and seminars both virtually online and in-person to people around the world. I help people in organizations maximize their individual and team results by giving them specific and practical tools to communicate and work more effectively with their staff and colleagues. Through my efforts, people are entertained, energized, engaged, and inspired with the confidence and knowledge to not only manage potentially difficult situations, but to also lead others to greater professional and personal success.
Now, after this account, would you want my job? I suspect that many more of you would respond in the affirmative to this second description. Unfortunately, both the descriptions I gave you are true! The reality is that any and all jobs have negative components to them, and you can see some of mine portrayed in the first account. If people don’t have a shared vision, a sense of purpose; if they don’t understand their significance in the big picture, then the negative components become overwhelming. It’s the second description that defines my purpose, and allows me to deal with the negative aspects of what I do. Because I can see the second description, I am more resilient.
When your people see their significance in the big picture, you build resiliency
And when you help your staff see their significance in the big picture, you build resiliency. So start by asking your employees how they think they fit into the big picture, and then help them develop the answer themselves. Once they understand the purpose of their and other jobs, then they build resiliency.
So now I have two questions for you? One, do you have a sense of purpose about your role as a leader? Do you see your significance in the big picture? And two, can you say the same about your staff? Tell us, and share your tips and ideas about how you are building a shared vision with your people. Please add your comments below.
I have been doing this series of video tips all year. Here are some of our more recent ones: