Thought for Today – Creating Purposeful Workplaces

This morning, I was reviewing a book I recently read, Born to Build, and I want to share some of the comments that I reread this morning. This is something I’m going to be mulling over and acting upon.

  • Create a workplace that has a shared sense of purpose that
  • Connect employees on an emotional level.

It is so easy for our teams to get in a rut. Just showing up every day and falling into a routine. Not that routines are bad, but routines can blind us to our true purpose.

So how do we help our teams connect with that shared sense of purpose? Whose responsibility is it to make this happen?

Ideally it would be every employee’s responsibility to keep the purpose of the organization firmly in the front of their mind. But we all know that it takes leadership from the top to continually promote purpose and to help others focus on that purpose.

And one of the best ways to do this as a leader is to emotionally connect with your staff. That means spending intentional time needed to know them and their lives outside of work. That means helping them connect their work to the greater purpose. That also means to praise them when they have lived out that purpose so that they don’t miss when they actually do it.

How are you doing this at your organization? Share in the comments.

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Curiosity – Leaders Can Encourage It!

Last evening, I read a very good article in the Sept/Oct 2018 issue of the Harvard Business Review.  The article, entitled “The Business Case for Curiosity” by Francesca Gino (Professor, Harvard), spelled out why curiosity is so important in our businesses and for our team members.

Prof. Gino defines curiosity as “the impulse to seek new information and experiences and explore novel possibilities“.  As much as I value curiosity, it was sobering to read “although leaders might say they treasure inquisitive minds, in fact most stifle curiosity fearing it will increase risk and inefficiency“.

Prof. Gino speaks of two barriers to curiosity:

  1. Leaders have the wrong mindset about exploration.  The fear here is this could lead to a “costly mess”, make the company harder to manage, and could possibly slow down operations.
  2. Leaders tend to seek efficiency to the detriment of exploration.  Prof. Gino uses Henry Ford’s drive to reduce production costs so much so that he was unable to be nimble enough to address General Motors surge in introducing a greater variety of automobiles for the public.

So how can a leader “bolster curiosity”?  Prof. Gino lists 5 ways:

  1. Hire for Curiosity
  2. The Leader should model inquisitiveness.
  3. Emphasize learning goals over or as much as performance goals.
  4. Let employees explore and broaden their interests.
  5. Have “why?” and “what if…?” and “how might we…?” days.

Harvard Business Review Sept cover

I am purposefully leaving out a lot of detail in this post. You should invest a small price to read this excellent article which can be found online here:  https://hbr.org/product/the-business-case-for-curiosity/R1805B-PDF-ENG

Or better yet, subscribe to HBR here: Harvard Business Review subscription information

Scott Druhot Kicks-off Season 2 of First Fridays – VIDEO

via Scott Druhot Kicks-off Season 2 of First Fridays – VIDEO

My brother and I are the cofounders of a networking/leadership forum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  We call it First Fridays.  Today was our kick off meeting for season two. I thought I would share our speaker’s presentation with this blog’s audience.

On a Personal Note – A Dream Fulfilled

Today at 6 pm, a dream will be fulfilled. About 3 years ago my the 10 year old son told me he wanted to learn to play the drums. He said one of his goals was to play with me on our church’s Worship Band.

Tonight and tomorrow that dream will come to pass. He will be on drums and I will be the bass player.

I am so proud of my son for sticking to his dream. He has worked hard. He is learning so much. His love for music us growing. He’s developing an eclectic taste in music – from the Cars, Queen, Rush to Tony Succar to Tim Akers and the Smoking Section.

I can’t wait for this weekend’s music experience. I hope for many more years of this follows.

Thank you for reading a more personal note. It’s a proud papa moment.

Here a link to one of his songs: https://youtu.be/RWeOjztUtGw

Be a Leader – It Is Worth It!

My 13 year old son had an assignment in a class this week.  I was checking his homework online to be sure it was getting done.  I came across this submission:

Favorite leader

My favorite leader is my dad. He had the courage to influence others by creating a business where he helps everyday citizens become confident with what they do. The business is a non-profit and meets once every month. He brings in some of Fort Wayne’s top leaders and lets them help others.

He is fearless in meeting new people. A few months ago he went to Canada to speak at a university in front of hundreds of people. He has integrity, because he loves doing his job but, he also has the integrity to help others learn and grow as leaders.

He is amazing at communicating. He gets the message out to people, that no matter where they work, no matter if they don’t have a job, they can still be great leaders in their community. When they meet they talk about how to lead others to become leaders. He and my uncle came up with the idea at a coffee shop downtown. They were having a get together, and they said they wanted to have the community grow in leaders. They have been extremely successful and are still working hard to get new leaders in the community.

He has been very supportive of people when they feel they aren’t doing a good enough job at work. He ran the student counsel at Haverhill Elementary, and talked to us about how we can be leaders at school. He would also be glad to come in and talk to our class about leadership sometime. (I gave you his card)

This came at the right time for me.  There are times when you can wonder if you make a difference.  I was in that spot this week.  Then I read this assignment.  My son’s words reached not only my head but my heart.

Karsten and Carmen at airport

I am grateful for my son, and I am humbled that he sees this in me.  I am grateful for my great team at work.  I am grateful for my brother and the work we are privileged to do together.  I am grateful for a community of leaders here in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

 

Photo:  my son with our Romanian “daughter” (exchange student)

 

what we teach our children

                                                                               John Maxwell