Workplace leadership is about knowing people, recognizing their contributions and building relationships.
Could you show up at work tomorrow energized by recognizing that work is about the creation of value, recognizing that workers, when they are well led, become better people in the process.
Guy Kawasaki recommended this 20 minute video sermon about the wonder and the gift of work by Nancy Ortberg, a dynamic church leadership consultant and speaker. The sermon is also available from Melno Park Presbyterian Church in other formats.
Spirituality in the work place does not need to be associated with bible studies at lunch or evangelizing co-workers, it is about recognizing people for their contributions, thanking them by name and valuing their service. When you serve, you most accurately reflect the nature of God.
Twenty years ago, the job satisfaction rate in America was around 61%. Today, according to a recent MSN survey, less than 39% say they are satisfied with their work and call their work meaningful and significant. It is incumbent on leaders to create work environments and cultures that remind workers of the nobility of service.
We tend to operate out of a false economy that weighs people according to their job titles in a way that compares and dismisses certain people as less important because we frequently loose sight of the nobility of service. We would be wise to remember that the person in the mail room, or the person who serves a meal are all performing meaningful work because they reflect what it means to serve. Workers need to understand the context and the vision of their work so they can recognize what the organization is trying to accomplish. Great leadership reminds people that they don't just fill a slot, they serve a greater purpose.
Encouraging relationships at work is a key to leadership by creating meaning and significance for ourselves and other workers. Anonymity and lack of recognition of the dignity of people are signs of a miserable job.
Anonymity: Nobody knows your name or your story. We can provide a place where people can be known. Workers need to hear the words, "I know who you are," and I've heard good things about what you are doing.
All people created in the image of God have a great dignity and people are motivated by recognition of their dignity.
We should remind ourselves and others that there is deep significance in work, and be grateful for opportunities to serve in meaningful ways.
updated video link June 21 2009