A phrase that is common in parenting is that a lazy parent does all the work. This used to confuse me until I became a parent. I quickly discovered that cleaning the rooms myself was far easier than being a task master over my children, ensuring when rooms were cleaned, that everything wasn’t just shoved underneath the bed to pass a surface inspection.
However, my daughter related the experience of being 11 years old when my wife had left the house to run errands. Through the words of her older siblings she had seen and heard how going the extra mile put my wife in a much improved mood. So before my wife returned that day, my daughter had cleared off the kitchen counter and table top, knowing that she hadn’t been asked to, and therefore would put my wife in a better mood. Sure enough my daughter was commended for her efforts on my wife’s return and found her mother’s mood greatly improved.
The point of this brief, and common-place occurrence among children, is that when we receive and understand the “why” behind responsibility and tasks, we find ourselves more empowered and enabled to perform…even without the prompting of a superior. We desire the rush that comes from an extra mile. However, there have to be a few key factors in place before you can expect your team to go the extra mile.
They need to know the ‘why’ behind the task.
They need to know the who they are becoming
They need to know you don’t take their extra mile for granted.
This week I want you to pick one team member, and help them see the vision. When you offer opportunities for growth, share the ‘why’ along with it.
Share why it helped you in your past and how it might help them in their future. Make sure the vision is always given in tandem with the task. Now I realize you might have some team members that won’t give you the time of day. Start with the ones that will listen, and then you can whittle away, one opportunity of growth at a time, at the less willing members of your team.
Good luck this week!