June 21, 2010

Sense of Purpose

Posted by Bizaholic | 10:15 PM | , with 0 comments »

One of the biggest challenges that a leader faces is creating a 'sense of purpose' among his people. Human beings are moved when they are convinced that they are making a big difference and are part of something big. If people think their work as daily routine, they are never going to be deeply involved to the organization and its purpose. The challenge, then, is to involve each and every person right from the lowest rung to the highest. The key is to convince them that their work in some way, directly or indirectly, is contributing to the achievement of the bigger purpose and their work is valuable.

Take the example of someone who does clerical work in an organization.Most of the time neither he is aware how he is contributing to the organizational purpose nor the leaders think much about the work he does. His work is seldom valued even though if he is there the organization definitely needs him and he must be having a small role to play in the larger scheme of things. With this lack of connection between his role and the larger purpose, he works but rarely with his heart in his work.

Most often the leader engages less than 50% of his people. These are key people who may be contributing to the achievement of 80% of the purpose. But the 50% people whose work is linked to achievement of balance 20% of the purpose are often forgotten. As a result, half of the people are not at all engaged with what's happening with the organization. They work for the sake of working; not for making something big happen. In such a scenario, the organization works with half its human potential. An organization is a giant wheel with hundreds and thousands of spokes. To keep the wheel moving at optimal speed, one needs to take care of all spokes and maintain them well. Even a few broken spokes can either make the wheel slow down or result in an accident.

It is worth remembering that any organization is a bundled mass of human potential. Without a sense of purpose, you see and get what is on the surface. With a sense of purpose, the hidden potential lying beneath the surface explodes to create remarkable things - things which were never thought to have been possible!