Many years ago while driving down the highway it suddenly started to rain, and then it started to pour. We have all been there and it’s not enjoyable. To make matters worse, my driver’s side wiper was stuck and no longer functioning. White-knuckled terror shot through me as I struggled to see the road in front of me. The obvious choice of pulling over and waiting didn’t seem promising in the event that a car behind me lost sight and drifted, so I decided to keep going at a snail’s pace. The windshield caused anxiety, certainly not providing any clarity on getting to my destination on time.
The same situation can happen with your team if they are unclear about where they are going and why. We all want to know that what we are doing is making an impact. I have learned that people are motivated to a higher performance when they understand how their efforts will contribute to the overall outcome. A recent Harvard Business Review study found that over 60% of employees felt disconnected to their organization’s purpose.
It is critical that our organizations need a clearly articulated purpose statement that answers the following questions:
- Why do we exist?
- What value do we provide to our customers?
- How are we uniquely positioned to deliver our value promise?
With many businesses in flux, and dramatically changing their business model, now may be a good time to evaluate your purpose and mission statements. Do they answer the above questions? Enlist your team members to ensure they are engaged and aligned with your organization’s purpose and mission statements.
Author and leadership expert Warren G. Bennis states, “Good leaders make people feel that they are at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered, and that gives their work meaning.” Let’s keep that windshield clear, my friend.