What a massive topic this is. I’m a recent addition to the Congregation unconference, but it has been so thought-provoking for me, and this year’s theme is no exception. It is a bit daunting to take on such a broad subject. Do I write about corporate purposes? The broader meaning of life? About porpoise, through a Monty-Pythonesque misunderstanding? (That would probably constitute a cross-purpose.)
To narrow the scope, I’ve been thinking about the articulated purpose of my life. And how long it has taken me to arrive at what I want to achieve with my time.
Life is a peculiar mix of the constant and inconstant. Our days are filled with variability, and yet, some things seem to remain the same. Our life span is such that the pace of change of certain things seems almost immeasurable. Despite this, as constant as certain things seem, deep down, we know nothing lasts forever.
Our lives at home and work are full of distracting noise. We surround ourselves with activities and gadgets that actively discourage thinking. This lack of space for thought is often compounded by an unrelenting series of tasks and meetings in a work environment. As I continue to work on my management skills, one area of focus that has echoed for years in my brain is the need to help others develop insights from their experience. I firmly believe that this should be a primary focus for all managers. So how do we do this?
Where I work, and, I suspect, in many other workplaces, it’s that time of the year again – mid-year performance feedback is underway. For some of us, it’s a time of dread. For others, it can be something to look forward to. And often, it’s a non-event, and not for a good reason. One of the things we can do as managers and leaders is making feedback an event to look forward to by bringing our SCARF to bear.
From a team perspective, psychological safety is the bedrock that team success is built on. Successful interpersonal relationships depend on it. In highly functioning teams it often doesn’t get a mention. Safety is one of those things not always noticed when present but is conspicuous by its absence. What follows are some suggestions on how to make your team feel safe enough to tell you things you don’t want to hear.
Peter Drucker writes in his book that doing the right thing is one of the primary attributes of the “Effective Executive“. But how do we know that what we’re doing is the right thing at the right time?