Don't JUST Ask About The Numbers. Keep VALUES Present.
Updated: Apr 4
I was VERY fortunate to surround myself with strong leaders last week at the Buckeye Leadership Workshop. And just like anytime you bring together epic leaders, epic conversations are had. I thought I would take a moment to share some of my reflections from just some of the conversations we had last week.
When we step - or grow - into an organization, we take on the responsibility of exemplifying the values, mission, vision, and goals that make it up. This means that part of our job is to bring these components to life through our words, actions, and overall performance. But since every organization is different, this is often easier said than done and sometimes we begin to solely focus on the business implementation, the numbers, the problems of the organization and not those we serve, etc.
This is not to say business conversations are not important, but are the mission, vision, and values that inspire and motivate those that implement "the business" of the organization still present in our conversations? So, one of my thoughts was, how can we try to continue to breathe our organization's mission, vision, and goals into our leadership?
Connect the mission and vision to your organization’s goals.
When working within an organization, many employees prioritize their own responsibilities and tasks ahead of the bigger picture. This is normal, and totally okay, however it often means they may not have taken the time to connect the dots between their own work, their organization’s mission and vision, and their team- and organization-wide goals.
At your next team meeting or development day, consider sharing a visual representation of how each employee’s tasks and responsibilities fit into the bigger picture and connect to the mission, vision, and goals of the company or agency - feel free to reach out to email@example.com if you need an inclusive way to do this. This can help these aspects feel more tangible, and give your team a newfound sense of pride and care for the values and vision at large. Additionally, it can help you gain a better understanding of how to breathe life into them for your team and uncover new ways that you can help these values shine.
Show your employees how values are represented across projects big and small.
At least once a quarter, it can be helpful to sit down with your teams to acknowledge projects as a group. When calling attention to projects (of all sizes), it’s important to recognize how each of them fits into the bigger picture and contributes to the organization’s mission. This approach focuses less on the project output and more on the values that make it up. Instead of focusing on how projects fulfill the goals of an org, you can focus on the why behind each project, connecting it to the mission, vision, and values of your company.
Recognize employees for exemplifying values.
Funnily enough, one of the best ways for YOU to exemplify your organization’s values and vision is to help your employees do the same. Taking time to recognize employees for their contributions to the organization, especially contributions that connect to a larger mission or value, can be a great way to encourage more participation that puts the organization’s core values on display.
Let's keep our WHY present in order to run the business!