While enrolling our daughter in middle school, I found this sign on the wall outside the cafeteria: “You and your fellow students told us in the school survey that most of you are not having sex or using drugs. A majority of you are making this a remarkable school.”
As a parent, this information is important – and comforting. More than that, the sign sent a message: This school knows how to lead change. You don’t create change by focusing on how bad things are. You build and advance a movement when you focus on what you want.
We are no longer in middle school, but we’re still humans and basic tendencies prevail. Some managers expect their teammates to come to work each day and summon the will power to overcome the prevailing headwinds of fear, doubt and frustration that permeate some workplaces. (How can I give my innovative best when there’s a cloud hanging over my head?) “Things are really bad here…” and “Let’s spend every waking minute talking about what’s not working…” are conversations that fill meetings.
You and I both know there’s a better way. And, increasingly, there are leaders standing up and saying, “We can succeed. We are succeeding.”
Advance a movement of excellence. Help your team fill in the blanks:
1. A majority of us prove we can trust each other because we __________.
2. You can tell we have what it takes to succeed because _________.
3. Due to ________, you know our team will be accountable to our objectives.
4. Most of us are making a difference by __________, every single day.
People want to be great. Create something greater – and people will volunteer to join.