Editor’s note: I’m excited to welcome a new guest blogger to the Event 360 blog. David Berry’s professional passion is helping leaders find the courage and wisdom to create environments where they, and the people they lead, can creatively explore the limitless possibilities of their potential – and build rock-solid organizations while doing so. In David’s first post of a five-part series, he writes about one of the essential elements of leadership: a guiding vision.
There are five fundamental questions every leader must answer in a clear and compelling way if they are committed to building an organization of maximum engagement. Since we know that employee engagement typically runs at about 30% this is no small task. But, since we also know that organizations with higher engagement also deliver better results it’s something that cannot and should not be ignored. To that end, over a series of five posts I will ask you to consider each of these questions in the hope that you will be motivated to think deeply about and take action on your own answers. The only thing at stake is the full engagement of your team in a cause worth fighting for.
Where are we going?
If I ask you to “follow me” isn’t this going to be your first question? It’s almost reflexive, isn’t it? As travelers on the road there’s a big difference between aimless rambling and purposeful, mission-driven, direction. “Where are we going?” doesn’t ask us to ignore the journey itself but rather to be so clear on what we intend the journey to create or resolve that it gets us completely dialed-in to why we’re walking this road in the first place. Dr. Maslow told us very plainly that human beings don’t want to make a contribution to something larger than themselves; they NEED to. It is in the very fabric of the human condition to connect ourselves and to lend our strengths to something of significance.
As somebody who spent a good bit of my early career in the nonprofit world it is easy for me to assume that high-minded, purpose-driven organizations that are bent on making a difference would need to spend very little time answering a question like “where are you going?” I suspect that my assumption is both outdated and just plain wrong. People can be disengaged anywhere, no matter how significant the cause. And they’ll stay that way until you help them see – clearly, compellingly and redundantly – where the journey will lead.
David Berry (@BerryDavid on Twitter) inspires and challenges leaders to make the modern workplace more fully human. His personal conviction and conversational good humor capture the attention of his audiences while his insight and awareness challenge them to have new conversations about both personal and organizational renewal. Audiences have described him as being informative and inspiring, relevant and revolutionary, self-effacing and passionate. David’s blog, Leading Change, is a chronicle of his experiences in learning and leading. You can contact David through his website or via LinkedIn.