Is your greatest aspiration in life to retire one day and sit under a coconut tree? I challenge you to grasp all the possibilities available to you and to accept that to live a life of meaning and fulfillment, a life where you will get the greatest pleasure and satisfaction, requires you to commit to stay involved in doing something you love and at the same time trying to make the world a better place. I am not necessarily talking about just doing earth shattering work or ground breaking work. I am talking about committing to find a way to do what you love and to love what you do.
It astounds me how many people go through their lives hating what they do. Research conducted recently, showed that there are currently over 600 000 different ways to make a living. Despite all these different possibilities available to us, a recent survey conducted; found that in excess of 50 % of the working population dislike their jobs. Something is horribly wrong with this picture.
You have only two choices available. Learn to love what you do, or find a way to make a living doing what you love. The research I have conducted with my clients over the past few years has shown me that achieving either is dependent on the following criterion:
Work with People you like
The easiest way to enjoy going to work is to ensure that the people you work with are great people. If you like the people you work with, going to work every day is like a party. You get to go to spend time with your friends, every day. Again you have two choices here. You can either carefully choose the people you work with or, you can work to build the right relationships with the people, currently in your work environment. People treat you the way you allow them to treat you and will mirror your behaviour and attitude. By changing the way you treat the people around you and choosing a better attitude, you will get people to treat you very differently.
If you go to work, with a bad attitude every day, hating what you do and you freely express this to everyone around you. Do you believe that you will be able to develop positive relationships with anyone at work? If on the other hand you arrive at work every day, inspired to do your best and people can see and feel your passion, don’t you think they will be eager to support you and build a positive relationship with you.
How Can Leaders Help?
What is your workplace culture around, encouraging your team to enjoy the work they do every day? Do they see themselves going to the salt mine every day, or can you encourage a different mind-set, by shifting the culture in your organisation, by encouraging your team to embrace a new set of metaphors. Instead of seeing themselves going to the salt mine every day, encourage your team to see themselves going to work, every day to support their team to success.
When your team has a more positive metaphor or picture of what they do every day, they will be far more inspired and driven to support the overall vision of the team. One that encourages them to think more positively about what they do at work or should I say their place of creative enjoyment. This small but crucial shift will, quickly change their attitude and they will become far more inspired and driven to support their team, to success.
Support your Team, with the Right Culture
Action idea: Listen to what your team members are saying about their workplace. If the workplace culture or the unwritten cultural rules, do not support the outcomes you want to achieve, no amount of staff motivational training or support will help. These unwritten cultural rules, which I am referring to, always start with the words “around here”. For example if the people in your teams are saying things like “Around here there is no point going the extra mile, because the managers around here never appreciate what we do anyway”
Do you think, talk like that, can and will support your efforts to try to get your team to deliver their best or allow people to enjoy what they do? Invest the time to discover what the unspoken cultural rules are in your organisation. Once you know what your team feels about the organisation and are saying about you as a leader, you are then able to begin the process of introducing a new set of unwritten cultural rules, which will support your vision.
One of the most dangerous blunders any leader can make is not to know what the unwritten cultural rules are within their team or organisation. On the other hand, knowing how to drive your team behaviour, by introducing and supporting positive unwritten cultural rules, is a really powerful tool in any great leader’s toolkit for success.
Imagine how you can support your team and how inspired they would be, if the unwritten cultural rules, went something like this “Around here we are a supportive team, who are regularly appreciated and supported by our leadership team” Invest time to explore the unwritten cultural rules, within your team or organisation and encourage the development of positive ones, which will support your vision and the success of your team is assured.
Your Team Must Believe their work is worthwhile and is making a difference
When you feel that what you do every day makes a difference or you are making a success out of what you do every day, you are not working; it is a way of life. As a leader it is your job to encourage your team to see the significance of what they do every day, to support them and show appreciation to them for their efforts. When people feel like what they do makes a difference and they are consistently encouraged for the successes they achieve, they are far more inspired and will deliver their best.
Challenge your Team Every Day
People like to feel challenged and like they are growing. Encourage all your team members to find challenge in their jobs every day. Even if the challenge does not exist in what they currently do, support them to commit to find challenge, by sharpening their skills, working on their interpersonal and technical skills. As a great leader it is your job to encourage your team members to make growth a priority. Keep providing encouragement and room for every one of your team members to grow. age your team members to make growth a priority. Keep providing encouragement and room for every one of your team members to grow. Encourage all your team members to find joy in their jobs, challenge them to love what they do, if they cannot find a way to do what they love.