Recently, I had an opportunity to do some work for a Fortune 100 company. This company is a global entity with offices all over the world. It is consistently productive, while navigating a myriad of change within the global economy, and from top to bottom, it is driven for results. Inside this large company, there is a leader doing something right. Each series of employees, at each and every level, from the corporate ladder to hard-working employees with the most menial of tasks are engrossed in their drive for results.
While engaged with this company in a series of development workshops, each employee was asked to describe their jobs and organizational functions. Each person described their tasks, what their organizational goals were, and what they liked about their work. The answers varied, from each individual and from each company department, with the usual perspectives that show how diverse, effective, and needed the varying structures are in an organization. And judging by the answers, you would gather that this company was clearly doing something successful to promote positive growth. All the answers were what a successful company should hope for and seek.
One answer really resonated for me, and solidified the epitome of the attitude of gratitude, which is undeniably an ingredient for success. This young, energetic man of 23, already a father, shared the following:
“I love my job. I know what’s expected of me. The job provides a structure. I’m learning things. And I’m apart of helping to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. My Mom has Multiple Sclerosis.”
The answer presented was common in theme, positive in nature, and showed the general fortitude the pervaded the organization. What may surprise many though, is that this young employee is in charge of cleaning rat cages. He is an employee that many on the outside looking in would feel is at the lowest rung on that company ladder, yet he feels overwhelmingly connected, valued, and engaged in an endeavor that has meaning. Inside this large company, there is a leader doing something right!
If what we seek as people, is to feel connected, valued, and engaged in an endeavor that provides meaning, then our job as leaders is to help our colleagues, clients, and employees connect the dots and tap into that spirit.
Ask three people what they are doing at a job site, and most will give three different answers. Just know; it’s the ones with the light in their eyes, who know they make a difference and why. They are the ones with the passion for the rat cage.
What about you?
What makes you care enough to do your best?
What are you passionate about?
As a leader, are you encouraging your employees to feel connected, valued, and engaged?