Monday, February 6, 2012

Wake Up

You know those days when you wake up in the morning and your body says to your mind, “
Are you nuts? There’s still 6 more hours of sleep!” The mind responds, “But you’ve already hit the snooze 5 times!! Are you gonna ask me to get you 7 pillows?” And the body responds, “That’s a great idea, I didn’t want to _________ anyways!” 

One of the never ending dilemmas of leadership is motivation for volunteers, staff and yourself. This stems from a few things, but the most prevalent is a lack of motivation or passion due to the lack of common vision. First, what is the organization’s goals and common vision to get there? Second, does everyone in the organization know the vision, goals and purpose? Third, do all the people agree with the method of reaching the purpose, achieving the goals and share the vision of the leadership? Finally, what is the heart of the people who work within the organization? 

As leaders, it is our responsibility to clearly communicate with those we lead so that they fully understand our vision, goals and purpose. After doing this, leaders need not be offended or hurt when people leave the organization because their heart is in a different place. It is also necessary to have the freedom to ask someone who does not have vision, goals and purpose to reconsider why they are there (this doesn’t mean you can “can” everyone who doesn’t agree with you!). An organization with differing purpose, goals and vision is a ticking time bomb and any successes are tempered with internal, leading to external failures. While an organization built with individuals with the same vision naturally agree upon the same goals to reach a common purpose. 

It is easy to be motivated as leaders, when working in an organization with one vision. Take away the common vision, purpose and goals, however, it produces frustration, increased workloads, and a sense of failure for everyone involved. To cultivate an atmosphere that draws an organization together, each leader need not only communicate vision, but understand that motives are different than vision. We have all grown up with different life experiences and the motives each one of us has are a result from those experiences. When we mistake our personal motives for organizational vision it creates turbulence. Leaders who understand this, get to know their people, who they are, what they have experienced, and what their motives are. This allows a leader to put together a group of people with different motives but who are focused on one vision. This creates unity within the organization with a successful outcome. As a leader, we need to serve those who we lead, understand them, show grace, and keep our heart on the common vision. This way, the mind and the body can work together successfully. 

I think I’m gonna take a nap now...


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