MESSAGE FROM THE AUTHORS
shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to
US novelist (1896 - 1940)
of the organization-building responsibilities of a trusted
leader is to keep the blood pumping in an organization. Are
your people simply present with a pulse? Or are they invigorated?
If not, is it time to start over?
month's article is the second in our series of articles on
the responsibilities of trusted leaders.
- Developing a community of future leaders.
- Fostering organizational vitality.
- Identifying and modeling appropriate personal attributes
- Consciously planning your legacy.
always, your feedback and comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Organization Vital?
Does your company simply exist, or does it thrive? Do your
employees “go through the motions without the emotion?”
Or are they motivated to engage with one another on issues
that stretch above and beyond their job descriptions and the
your organization extend into lives of your employees in a
positive way, and do they in return allow their lives to extend
into the organization? Do your employees give of themselves
at work; do they allow their personalities and creative thoughts
to contribute to their work? Or do they compartmentalize their
lives, showing only a professional face at the office, and
giving as much as they need to get by, but holding a great
deal in reserve?
In one of the many wonderful episodes of the old Mary Tyler
Moore TV sitcom, if memory serves, the boss, Lou Grant tries
to offer a depressed Mary some advice about vitality. He says
something like “You don’t just get up, take a
shower, have a cup of coffee, go to work, come home, have
dinner, watch television, and go to bed. You have to GET UP!
TAKE A SHOWER! HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE! GO TO WORK! COME HOME!
HAVE DINNER! WATCH TELEVISION! AND GO TO BED!”
Picture Ed Asner, raising his gruff voice and waving his arms,
essentially illustrating the difference between an existence
with vitality and one without.
“Vitality is what makes a company worth working
for. And as a trusted leader, fostering a vital environment
is a critical responsibility.”
Vitality is what makes a company worth working for. And as
a trusted leader, fostering a vital environment is a critical
let us be clear: we are not talking about longevity.
We’re not saying that it is the responsibility of a
trusted leader to ensure that the organization merely survives
(or continues to make the same products it has) for 100 years,
or continues to be structured as it always has been, and so
forth. We’re not talking about simply “keeping
things going.” We’re talking about a healthy
existence. In fact, part of ensuring organizational vitality
lies in knowing when it is time to change or discontinue the
organization or the organizational function.
Vitality, to us, in other words, means health and growth.
And growth, to us, is not purely financial; it is at the same
time, and equally importantly, intellectual and creative.
How can you foster vitality in your organization? In part,
it stems from your own sincere enthusiasm for what you do
and what those around you do. People who are naturally dynamic
and encouraging tend to be at an advantage here. But even
those of us who are by nature reserved and quiet can encourage
vitality throughout their organizations, by having the right
“building blocks” in place.
explain these building blocks in our upcoming articles, but
here’s a preview of what they are:
- Know what makes the business tick
- Know the performance indicators and rewards
- Delineate roles and responsibilities
- Understand how business is done
- Prepare for exceptions
- Resolve conflicts
- Somehow, find a way to give and receive unfiltered feedback
you have something to say about organizational vitality (or
Mary Tyler Moore, for that matter) let
forward this newsletter to your colleagues and friends who
are interested in organizational and leadership issues. Your
feedback is always welcome at email@example.com.
2005 Robert Galford and Anne Seibold Drapeau All
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