Leadership Skills: Helping Others Find Meaning by Schon Beechler at Forbes on 14 January 2014.
Wow – this article really made me stop and think. Through the use of a few words, people have been given incredible motivation to give their best effort to a task. No, it’s not “do this in 1 hour or you’re fired” Rather, it’s putting the task at hand into a context that motivates the person. The author provides her own experiences and cites studies where people have found meaning in jobs that most people would not do. She also cites Kim Cameron, author of the book Positive Leaders on key attributes of meaningfulness:
- The work has an important impact on the well-being of human beings
- The work is associated with an important virtue or personal value
- The work has an impact that extends beyond the immediate time frame or creates a ripple effect
- The work builds supportive relationships or a sense of community in people
I have never been more focused or engaged in a task as I was in the immediate aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. I knew that my work would make a difference in providing comfort and security to many people, but at the time I was simply doing my job to the best of my ability. At the time, I didn’t really internalize why that was. Subconsciously I knew I was helping to solve a major problem – my work had real meaning.
If I was to rate articles, this one would get a top score. What have you done lately to help your followers find meaning in what they do?