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Creating Synergy and Excitement in Our Workplace

My niece is visiting this week and she recently changed jobs. I was listening to her talk about her new job and feeding off her energy and excitement. It made me stop and think about the powerful impact we have as leaders to create a synergy and excitement in our workplace. In contrast to her previous position, I can tell she feels empowered, has ownership in her job, and is motivated. There were a few key things that struck me about her newfound energy and the role of leadership.

  1. When she talks about her direct supervisor, there is mutual professional respect. There is also a clear awareness that her direct supervisor invests in her success. She has an open communication system in place and is comfortable approaching her boss about new ideas, to ask questions, and to share. In turn, it is obvious her boss has genuine faith in her abilities, trusts her to do her work, and has set high, yet appropriate expectations.
  2. There is a sense of belonging. You can tell it doesn’t feel “just like a job”. There is a purpose in being there. Communication and sharing about the company are strategic and consistent. She participates in weekly purposeful meetings about projects and roles. They value team members and share ideas and feedback openly. She knows her responsibilities and understands that she makes a difference to those in her circle of influence. This is the result of consistent, powerful, and transparent communication around the mission of her company and the importance of each person’s role.
  3. Her time is valued. She lives in a city and commutes to work on the bus. She has the option to work remotely while en route. So she starts her workday while commuting and ends her workday while commuting. Her boss recognizes the value of her time and honors her in how she delivers.

As leaders, we can learn a lot by studying systems that work. Although not all work environments can translate directly to a school setting (i.e., corporate America has different requirements than public school institutions), we can learn from the environments and culture that they create. As leaders, listen to those in industries outside of education and learn about what works for them and what doesn’t work. Sometimes, we need to look outside the box to recognize the value of what we have in place and to gain new ideas and strategies. More to come.

By Cathy Jones Park