leadership

This is a picture of the Governor of California. He’s got very large muscles. That has nothing to do with this post.

I’m reading “Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity, and Productivity” and just sharing my reflections here. I love the book. I love reading about stuff like this. And I love thinking about how it applies to my world. In this case, how it applies to our church/school organization at Rancho Community Church and Rancho Christian. Here we go. (part 1 is here).

Chapter 1: The Case for Connection at Work

…connection is invisible, yet has a very real effect on the behavior of people.

…unless the people in an organization have a strong sense of connection – a bond that promotes trust, cooperation, and esprit de corps – they will never reach their potential as individuals, and the organization will never reach its potential.

We have so much potential, could a lack of connection be a barrier to our potential?

Employees in an organization with a high degree of connection are more engaged; more productive in their jobs… feel energy, empathy, and affirmation.

Connection transforms a dog-eat-dog environment into a sled dog team that pulls together.

(research shows that) 75 percent of workers do not feel engaged or connected at work.

The state of many organizations today is like that of a bodybuilder who exercises only one arm. The result: one bulging bicep and three skinny, underdeveloped limbs.

What are some of our strengths & weaknesses?

Widespread disengagement is a waste of human talent and energy. It’s not healthy…

So What? Increasing connection in the workplace is a significant opportunity to improve the performance of individuals and organizations.

Do we feel a need to increase connection in our organization?
How significant is connection at our church/school work environment?
How are we seeking to improve the performance of individuals? Ex: maybe we need more accountability in our workplace to help people reach their potential. If we simply impose new accountability measures without first making personal connections, we cause people to distrust, act fearfully, defensively, become suspicious of or all-together reject change.

I’m making my way through “Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity, and Productivity.” So far, I’ve found it to be an incredibly powerful book with some real applicable leadership principles. After I got about half way through it, I recommended that our executive staff at Rancho Community go through it. Rather than all reading it, I’m now leading our staff through a weekly short synopsis of each chapter. So I thought I’d just share my notes here on the ol’ blog for anyone interested. These are just some powerful quotes and a few of my thoughts intermingled (my thoughts in italics). If you like this, then you should get the book, seriously.

Fired Up or Burned Out: Introduction
People generally enter their organizations fired up, over time most work environments most work environments reduce that flame to a flicker. Solving this problem needs to be one of the highest priorities of today’s organizations.
Do you thrive or survive? Which term describes what your work culture is doing to you? How would the people who report to you answer that question?

We Must Connect with Others to Thrive
Connection meets the basic human psychological needs for respect, recognition, belonging, autonomy, personal growth, and meaning. When these needs are met we thrive.
Lack of connection will gradually burn us out… environments where connection is low or absent diminish our physical and mental health.
Connection makes us better problem solvers, more creative, more trusting, and more cooperative. Trust and cooperation are the lubrication that make the tasks of organizations run better.

The Competitive Advantage of Connection (Ritz-Carlton, Starbucks, JetBlue pg. xxii) – This is an interesting part of the book where the author talks about how some of these companies that are taking steps and putting for major initiatives to connect with people. One story is of Southwest Airlines and their supervisor to worker ratio of 10 to 1, which is off the charts, compared with other companies that are much higher like 40 to 1. I love hearing about companies that take the extra steps to make connections like that, especially with their employees – you just know creating that kind of culture builds trust and keeps the team aligned in vision and focus.

…connection is a necessity to any organization that aspires to achieve sustainable superior performance.

It is possible to thrive at work and be a catalyst for positive change.

That last line means a lot to me because I want nothing more than to be catalyst for positive change – that’s the world I live in. I’m all about change – I find it fascinating. Our level of connection is proportional to our tolerance for change – if we are disconnected, un-trusting, and unsure, change scares us, even offends us. So I’m learning to create more connections, to build trust, collaborate, and listen more than ever now.

How connected are you in your organization? What are some creative things you’ve done to build connections with your teams, with your customers, clients, or congregation?