Category Archives: leadership

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Page 2 of 21123...Last »

Crafting stories of purpose

John's reflections, leadership, Storytelling Leave a comment

In the last post, we ended with the thought that any kind of work can be reframed, placed in a context that helps participants view it with a heightened sense of importance and purpose.  Of course, it would be naive to think that every type of job can be turned into a “save the world” or even a “building a cathedral” type of task. Many of the functions in our organizations simply lack the potential and scope to impact the world on a grand scale.   Nevertheless, my contention is that it is not at all unrealistic to think that we can reframe a job to imbue it with higher levels of meaning. A significant part of … Continue reading

Stories of purpose

John's reflections, leadership, Storytelling Leave a comment

We ended last time with the notion that managers should take the time to think about “building their own cathedral stories”. My work and study of the past two decades have shown me that the most effective managers are able to create narratives that inspire their team members—even those who perform the most mundane and tedious of tasks, such as breaking rocks in a field.   In the example of the cathedral, it is the story in the worker’s mind, a vision of contributing to a noteworthy and enduring endeavor, that allows a man breaking the rocks to see, and to believe in, the broader significance of his strenuous assignment. He is not merely carving … Continue reading

Engagement changes everything

John's reflections, leadership, Storytelling Leave a comment

Wherever I have worked or consulted in organizations, I have made something of a habit of telling everyone in a management position that their number one job is engaging the people around them.   My reason for focusing so keenly on engagement is simple. As we have seen before on this blog, the Gallup Organization’s statistics about engagement are somewhat shocking. Only 30 per cent of North American workers describe themselves as engaged. This 30% level seems remarkably constant, having changed little during the past decade, according to Gallup. And, workers in the rest of the world are even less engaged than those in the United States and Canada. Only 13 per cent of workers … Continue reading

How middle managers can expand their influence

John's reflections, leadership Leave a comment

After my two-week Super Bowl interlude, I’d like to go back and focus just a bit more on our previous ongoing topic: How can middle managers, these most miserable people in our organizations, find meaning and happiness in their work? So, here is my plan for this blog (which of course may change, as a function of the things I come across in my reading or in my life events): For the next two or three weeks, we look at how managers can be creative in the way they approach their groups, and how this creativity can help them in the quest to find meaning and happiness.   After that, we’ll begin to explore … Continue reading

How to Lose Gracefully: A Leadership Lesson from the Super Bowl

leadership Leave a comment

This week finds me doing two things I never thought I would do. First, I watched an entire Super Bowl from my home in Switzerland. Now, that may not seem so extraordinary, other than for the fact that it was my second day back in Europe, where the game begins well after midnight, and the coverage ends around 5 am.  In large part because of the snowstorm that kept me marooned in Boston for a few days last week (see my previous post for that story), I was well in tune with all the Super Bowl hype, and I decided to experience the game “live”, even if that meant sacrificing a good night’s sleep … Continue reading

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Page 2 of 21123...Last »