Many of you have probably heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Have you thought about how this applies to the business world? In a nutshell, the theory states that once people have their basic needs for food, shelter, safety, etc. met, they eventually move up the ladder to wanting to be “self-actualized.” Basically each of us wants to give our all, to fulfill our “mission” and be of service.
Because most of us spend the majority of our time in the workplace, we want to be able to use all of our gifts and talents to fulfill our mission with WORK as the vehicle for that. In other words, we want our work to be meaningful, even soulful.
If you stop and ask yourself, how many “jobs” have you had where you felt like you were fully supported by your colleagues and your supervisors tochallenge yourself to your full capacity? In how many jobs were you encouraged and coached to bring the full range of your gifts, talents and skills?
Yet this is what people want – there is a growing quest for meaning in the workplace. I might even say, that as a leader it is part of your job to support your team towards self-actualization. In short, how do we bring more SOUL into the workplace?
Questions to Consider
I am currently reading the book Awakening Corporate Soul by Klein and Izzo. It is a thought provoking book, one that perhaps poses more questions than answers. I really love these questions though, and so am posing some of them to you as a thought provoking foray into the subject of Corporate Soul.
1. Are you in touch with your core values, your passion and your mission and do you bring those to work? Do your team mates? As a leader do you encourage those qualities in others?
2. Are you in touch with the deeper reason and meaning in your work? Do you see the ultimate outcome of your work as valuable? Do your team mates? As a leader do you regularly see and talk about the difference and contribution that your team makes?
3. Are you consistently developing your skill at work? Is there room for you to learn and grow?Do you get enjoyment out of what you do? If your day flies by and you find yourself “in the zone” then the answer to the above is probably yes. If you find yourself looking at your watch and waiting for 5 o’clock to roll around, chances are you are missing something. If you are a leader, are you encouraging your team members to grow and stretch their skills?
4. Do you have a sense of synergy with and connection to your team mates? Research shows that the most highly functioning teams actually CARE about each other as individuals beyond their job functions. Synergy is the sense that what you can create as a team far exceeds the combined individual efforts of each person. As a leader do you encourage your team to bring out the best in each other as well as hold each other accountable?
All of the above questions – when answered – lead toward a more soulful work culture – one in which people show up fully, give more than they are asked and find meaning in contributing their gifts.
We are available to support your organization and team in creating this kind of soulful, meaningful culture. We work with leadership teams across the Denver metro area and beyond. Give us a call!