Date Added: July 2016
A reader communicated she doesn’t believe my column always relates to business. This made me wonder how many others don’t see a connection.
While some columns may not overtly be about business, they all relate to business because they correlate to people. They may relate to people’s gifts, strengths, passions; leadership; positively impacting others; or doing things for our families and our communities in addition to work.
The message may not always explicitly be about business; although it communicates that the better we are as human beings, the greater our positive impact on others can be. This applies to those we work with, live with, and interact with. If we are more effectively using our gifts, strengths, and passions at work; we are more productive and engaged at work. We treat our co-workers better, achieve stronger results, and are ultimately happier. Our actions and/or words inspire others to do the same; and can even help recruit others to our organization because you have made it a great place to work.
Work is a large part of our lives. Being in positive situations at work, and being around people who inspire us and make us better, ultimately causes us to be happier and more grateful for what we have. This transcends to our home lives because we become better spouses and parents.
This is very different than being around people who are always negative or pessimistic. If we are unhappy at work, this can translate into being unhappy at home. We lose our work/life balance and become “less than” we are capable of being. We need emotional balance. Time for ourselves to eat healthier, exercise more, and ultimately feel better.
Taking business to its most simplistic form, it relates to strategy, customers and employees (people). An organization can have the best strategy in the world; although it is employees (people) who implement the strategy. People conduct sales to get new customers. People make your product or deliver your service to maintain your customers. There are no customers without people. There is no business without people. While an organization needs strategy, customers and people; it is people who drive the engine.
This is why it is so important to treat employees well and invest time developing heart and soul inspired leaders -- individuals regardless of age, title or role who embrace their gifts, strengths and passions to positively impact others and change the world. Heart and soul inspired leaders do this at work, for themselves, at home and in their communities.
Another reader once commented this thinking may be too altruistic. Is that a bad thing? Given all that is occurring in our world, do we not want to work with, live with, be with, and interact with other people who are embracing their gifts, strengths, and passions to be the best people they can possibly be; as well as having a deep desire to inspire and positively impact the lives of others?A leader who practices heart and soul inspired leadership recently demonstrated the positive impact with his employees. The organization conducted an employee engagement survey. Employees reporting to this leader had “active engagement” scores of nearly 39 percent. While this seems low, the rest of the organization had 24 percent active engagement and the entire industry nation-wide has nearly 30 percent.
The feedback was this leader invests time to proactively communicate with employees, is transparent in communications (sharing both positive and negative news), makes employees feel valued, provides guidance to employees, and encourages career growth. Employees are engaged at work and take this positive energy home to their families and into their communities.
Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson is a prime example of doing small things to make a positive impact. While many may have never heard of her, have you heard of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech? When King was approaching the conclusion of this famous oration, it was Jackson, standing nearby who said, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.” At this point, King departed from his written words to deliver the historic lines which were not originally part of his speech.
Embracing our gifts, strengths and passions to positively impact the lives of others is simpler than we think and can make a large difference to change the world at work, home and in our communities.
David Yeghiaian is committed to positively impacting the lives of others through faith, inspiration and leadership. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.