In 2009 Simon Sinek wrote a best-selling book titled Start With Why: How Good Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. In the book he put forward the idea that the message of every organization needs to start by addressing the question of why –“What is your purpose, cause, or belief.” He argued that this approach is essential in meeting the basic human need to belong – a feeling based on shared values or beliefs. The discipline of how something is done, and the consistency of what an organization does is still required, but cannot replace the motivation of staff and the loyalty of customers that occurs when everyone understands why an organization was founded and what it believes.
The beginning of a new year is typically a time of reflection and change. Television programs feature special segments on self-improvement that involves making resolutions to change something for the better. The following is a list of the most common New Year’s resolutions taken from several sources (listed in no particular order):
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The period of time leading up to and following the recent elections can best be described as a time of great anxiety. Many voters, worried about their declining standard of living and loss of job opportunities, voted for a change in direction. In the weeks following the election, others have been worried that the changes that may be coming will leave them worse off than before, and are anxious about the future.
This past month PSL lost one of its champions, former board chair, Ned Gardner. Attending his memorial service was an inspiring experience. Many spoke of his faith, and how he treasured his family and friends, and recalled how his life clearly illustrated his priorities. These are themes that I have heard before in memorial services for others. But there was another theme that was also frequently mentioned. It was that he lived his life with integrity.
October is the time when students are just getting settled into the rhythm of a new school year. While my six grandchildren range in age from elementary school to entering their first year of college, they all have one thing in common. As they adjust to their new surroundings and classes, they are all hoping to make new friends and experience a sense of belonging. In many respects their success in school is dependent on how successful they are in establishing new relationships and rekindling old friendships.
One of the recurring themes of Patrick Lencioni’s leadership books is what he calls “vulnerability based trust”. His writings are presented in a story format which he calls fables – but seem more like narrative case studies with the names changed to protect the innocent. In The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team he identifies the primary reason for the absence of trust on a team as the unwillingness of team members to be open with one another about their mistakes and weaknesses. He contends that it is impossible to build trust without vulnerability.