We all want to leave a mark on the world...or at least we should. What will people remember you for? How will you change the world?
I recently did a book study with some colleagues and we read Start with Why by Simon Sinek. There is a story about two stone masons that lead me to this piece. They are both working on the same project and were both asked how they felt about their work. One responded that he hated his job. That it was boring and mundane and it felt like he had been working on this wall forever. The other said that he loved his job because he was building a cathedral.
Motivation and innovation are developed and nurtured through leadership. There is no shortcut to this kind of transformative leadership either. If you want to leave a mark, you will have to start the journey. Whether you feel like a cog in the machine, or you are middle management or the CEO, creating the road map to your leadership legacy is starts with you engaging in your organization authentically. You must make people feel like they are building a cathedral!
Start with your vision
Why NOT What? Why do you do what you do? Defining your why can be the hardest thing to do. Your vision...or your why is rooted in your belief system. Your why outlines how you will see your belief come to life. Your why tells people what they will gain and why they should care...why they should come to work and why they should follow you.
What you believe shows through what you invest funds and time into. Your employees and colleagues will be more likely to buy into your vision and your why, if your actions are in alignment with that vision and why statement. The time you spend articulating your vision and connecting your actions back to that vision inspires people to do the same. This constant connection reminds people of your why and moves people out of transaction based work.
Use Data...but be flexible
While we have a Plan A and a Plan B, an adaptive leader can see when it may be time to make some adjustments. These adjustments are based in data collection. A successful organization has metrics and goals. All of the work should be tied to these metrics and goals. Knowing where you are and if your plan of action is effective is key. Knowing when to change course is equally as important. We want a cathedral...not a wall.
Giving yourself and your team opportunities to reflect on their work helps to maintain a healthy workplace. Conducting Beginning, Middle and End of Year Assessments/Surveys are a great way to get a pulse on how people feel about the work. Remember you want them to know they are building cathedrals! It also gives you an opportunity to revisit your why, how and what.
Your legacy... or your cathedral, starts with your why. Your why is what people will remember.