What strengthens you and do you do it every day?
I want you to imagine for a moment a world where everyone loved their job. Everyone. What would it be like?
Now imagine being in that position yourself. You wake up every morning genuinely looking forward to what you are going to do. It may be a challenging day, you may have to learn something new or deal with a tricky situation, but none of that matters because you love what you do.
I know this may sound like a pipe dream but I 100% believe it is possible when we truly understand what strengthens us. Note please, I am NOT talking about what you are good at or what your strengths are - that is something different.
I am good at ironing; it doesn’t strengthen me. I am also good at project management, that doesn’t strengthen me either. We are strengthened when our strengths and our passions combine. When that happens, we are in the zone, we can lose hours, give everything we have to a project because it matters to us.
Give me the opportunity to enable others to reach their full potential – to discover their purpose or their mission, then I will give you everything I have got.
Another strength of mine is developing others, but if you asked me to run a programme on a new accounting software I would quickly lose the will to live. Give me the opportunity to enable others to reach their full potential – to discover their purpose or their mission, then I will give you everything I have got.
Because when I am doing that, I am being strengthened by what I am doing.
Now think back to your team, your workforce: how many of them are doing what strengthens them? What would it be like if they were? What are you doing to help them find that? What could you be doing?
From 20 years of working in leadership development I have to tell you that the impact of enabling people to find this out is HUGE. Discretionary effort increases, engagement goes through the roof, problems are solved quicker, individual and organisational learning becomes a matter of course and collaboration increases. Sickness days go down and loyalty increases. What's not to love?
And for the cynics in the room – yes everyone has something that strengthens them. And many have a number of things...the problem is most of us don’t know what it is. Because we have never taken the time to discover what it is.
Do that and everything changes.
About the author
Elke Edwards is the founder of Ivy House London.
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