In my trimestral email, I described my theory on what inspired the great navigators, Da Gama, Magellan and Columbus, to secure a boat, rally a crew and sail off into the sunset to see if, at the very least, they’d stumble upon some sort of discoverable land before falling off the edge of the world.
I asked the leaders who received the email: How do you inspire and engage that level of courage (or something close to) in your employees?
Here is the advice they gave:
“The best thing you can do is the same thing the Portuguese did… have a hero’s welcome when they return with their booty, and share the riches.”
“You are exploring the very word I was going to use to say how I inspire my team to explore, be curious and go beyond the minimal level of work that would keep them employed. Its engagement, empowerment and making them feel that their work matters. You have to make sure they know how their work impacts everyone, from the guest to the owners to their team members. It’s sort of like what Coach Carroll does with the Seahawks.”
~ Shelley Tomberg, Membership Director, World Trade Center, Seattle
“Like families, businesses that will be successful in the future will be successful not for what they make as much as for what they value, and how they perpetuate those values into an identifiable culture that others see and admire. Leaders of tomorrow must be able to formulate a clear set of values that others can and will identify with, and can and will articulate and emulate these values. Like the explorers Vasco da Gama, Magellan, and Chris Columbus, tomorrow’s leaders must have a vision for others to see, but more importantly, they must be able to connect that vision to others who are willing to take a similar journey. Those that don’t will simply miss the boat. For some, that will be OK.
The competitive nature of our American culture will only be sustained if we have big goals and expect the best of those workers who are willing to have the courage and desire to explore possibilities. It’s the only way we will regain our position as a global leader, create new jobs and opportunities so we are not a culture of also ran’s and expect social hand outs. The responsibility in life as in business is to be responsible for achieving and getting better. Unless the culture of a company embraces that mindset, the journey will be short-lived.”
~ Skip Reynolds, Leadership Coach, Skip Reynolds Consulting
Thank you Henry, Shelley and Skip – and everyone else – for your thoughtful responses. If you have insights to share, please email me at Teri at Talonnllc.com.