From a young age I have rejected the idea of wanting to be an employee. Not because I had a problem with authority but because every time I worked for someone else, I felt my passion, which is usually incredibly strong, fizzle out.
I used to go to bed saying “Wait for me world! I’m coming. I’m training myself up to add some incredible magic. Wait for me!”. But as soon as I started my first job, that voice disappeared.
There was one job I did working in an outdoor gear shop called Go Outdoors. And as I love the outdoors I thought that this was the perfect entry point into a passion filled career. But as much as I loved my managers, colleagues and the conversations I had with customers; I felt an underwhelming feeling of playing it small. My managers wanted me to apply to be the store manager; in the hope of helping me fulfill my potential more but it that didn’t feel like the answer.
And it wasn’t only me. Recently, I was talking to a friend who is an engineer at Rolls Royce. She was telling be about how, when she first started her job, she was incredibly excited to “change the world”. But she quickly lost her passion as she navigated the monotone, small picture and repetitive nature of her work. Hearing her story made my heart sink because I had seen this waste happen so many times across all different ages.
We’re wasting human passion and the power that it brings!
In today’s world it seems, only people who are in a “big picture” role – like CEO’s, directors and managers have the luxury of truly being passionate about their jobs and seeing their positive impact on the world first-hand.
There are exceptions of course, but considering each and every one of us have an impact footprint, I think it’s time to consider what it’s costing us to NOT allow our employees to clearly see the relationship between the small picture task they’re doing and the tangible & inspiring impact that that has on the world.
Imagine if every employee could see the exact impact of their weekly task on the wider world. I’m not talking about a bunch of numbers and statistics. I’m talking about stories, visions and progress; in a way that relates to that particular individual’s values and interest.
- How would that affect your employees’ personal drive and initiative?
- How would it affect your teams’ culture, their emotional investment in your companies’ vision or their willingness to do things without cutting corners?
- How would, having a tangible way of measuring an individuals impact affect the way that your company hires, reviews performance or promotes employees?
We need to change the way that we measure success.
We need to change the way we motivate our teams.
We need to stop treating money, pay raises and promotions as the source of motivation and start seeing them as the result of/reward for an increased individual impact footprint.
But how do we do that? How can you even measure something so abstract without being vague?
The question remains open for exploration but I think it has something heavily to do with two things:
- Understanding the individuals in your company deeper that what their resume shows – their values, drivers & personality traits.
- Mapping out a detailed network of the intricate connections between minor task, individual/team/department/company goals, client results and global impact.
What has been your experience with this? What would you add to this post?
Would love to hear your thoughts and chat more with you in the comments below!
Founder of Alara Vural Coaching – NLP practitioner, Vision coach & messaging architecht
Helping tech founders overcome the paralysing effect of techy language, and create messaging that inspires action and loyalty.