We know that finding the work meaningful and feeling it serves a purpose is crucial for work engagement (yes, not just for gen X,Y,Z …).
Leaders, there’s good news. You don’t need to create meaning or purpose. Pfiuuu!
All you need to do as a leader is to correlate:
what the organization, product, team, and role already do and how they already do it
what each person already finds meaningful and to the purpose they already have.
This makes life a bit easier and a lot harder at the same time. Because instead of appealing to the creative visionary…
“You don’t have to have a dream!
I advocate passionate dedication to the pursuit of short-term goals. Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you.”
The internet is booming with information about “meaningful work”. Considering that meaning seems to be quite important to engagement, motivation, well-being, effectiveness … you name it, I tried to figure out the mechanics of it, beyond the cognitive definitions and descriptions.
So, what does it actually mean to find your work meaningful? …
There is nothing aberrant when it comes to humans (and organizations). Anything that happens has a function, anything!
It’s a sort of reverse HCD combined with some systems thinking, but in the end, those things come from the mechanics of human nature.
“Why?” assumes that the drivers of behavior happen prior to it. However, back in my BF Skinner crush days, I understood something that stuck with me:
Behavior is driven by what happens during and after it, not by what happens before it.
When we ask “why” we look for a cause.
Causes are about determinism, and when we…
Are you familiar with the hilarious “image recognition” fails? Let’s talk about the “performance recognition” ones.
When in a manager role, one way or another, we end up having to assess performance. We do this looking retrospectively in performance reviews or predictively in the hiring process. What would be our “fails”?
SUMMARY: When assessing performance ask:
- What does performance mean? Do I have a full description of performance?
- What exactly and how much of it do I actually assess? What don’t I assess and what are the implications for it?
- What is the difference between assessment and…
In the context of manager/employee situations, is autonomy taken or granted? Where does autonomy become abandonment? “Provide context not control” — who actually defines what “appropriate context” means? The manager or the employee?
We’ve been hearing the word Autonomy and its synonyms for 10 years already (35 years in psychology). We heard all about it in books & articles on leadership and motivation, as it is fundamental for motivation and engagement:
“Control leads to compliance, autonomy leads to engagement” — Dan Pink
“Provide people with context, not control” — Netflix culture deck
“Those three things — autonomy, complexity, and a…
“There are things that are not meant to be talked about but meant to be done […]. Practice what you preach, or better yet practice without preaching” — Vladimir Jankélévitch
Your manager can make or break your experience in a role. They can make that experience engaging, by creating the context for you to have your biggest victories, or they can make your experience miserable & disengaging, burning you out, and making it the biggest fail in your career.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. The manager is no different. The main idea is to see whether the…
“A perfectionist is someone who is really good at knowing how they should be not how they are”
*Not to be confused with the Demanding/Entitled style of leading (see at the end of the article for differentiation)
First things first. Perfectionism is not a character trait.
It is a survival mechanism that is hypervigilant to particular kinds of threat to self. It could be a mechanism we employ to avoid negative consequences or punishments or it could be one that acts to ensure we are accepted and valued. …