Coaching Resources Goals Journal About Contact Us

Thought Leaders Unpacked -> The Soul of a Leader #4: Keeping Mission at the Fore

thought-leadersIncreasing the bottom line isn’t a big enough mission.

It’s not that the profit motive is categorically bad in some way or less than foundational for the best of capitalism to flourish. It is simply too small.

Great for accountability. Great for measurement and quantification. No other system in human history has resulted in raising the standards of living for so many so quickly. Not even close.

Still, the profit motive is too small.

The human heart needs a bigger, fuller, more dynamic, more wholistic, more generative mission to invest itself into.

When an organization doesn’t articulate a mission, doesn’t reinforce its mission, or strays from its mission, people lose three vital components of successful engagement with their work. We lose a vital source of inspiration, a vital source of direction, and a vital source of integration.

Without inspiration, direction or integration work becomes an inhuman—maybe even robotic—race to do as much as possible in the least amount of time as possible. This race has no finish line because more is never enough. Work soon devolves into a meaningless grind. The exchange of one’s life for the profit of someone else. Small wonder so many people end up barely offering the minimal requirement in the maximum amount of time.

Hence Benefiel’s exhortation to leaders to focus on something more, share that something more widely and repeatedly, and keep returning to that something more. It’s literally the difference between life and death in the workplace.

What “something more” is your organization working for? How do you provide inspiration, direction and integration for the work efforts of your team? What was your main take-away from this chapter?

Each week I post my reflections from one chapter of The Soul of a Leader by Margaret Benefiel. My reflections are my own and are intended to generate conversation, catalyze additional thinking and encourage mutual learning.
If you are just joining the discussion now, welcome! Catch up on the entire series here.

Here's My Thought...

+ 7 = eleven