Value-Based Leadership: Creating Meaning and a Reason to Go to Work
People want happiness and they want meaning. Happiness and meaning are not the same. In studies, researchers found that participants associated happiness with taking, whereas meaning was associated with giving — the suspension of one’s own needs and desires in favor of someone else’s.
“Sue” looks up from her desk covered with reports, meeting notes, and an enormous coffee from yesterday still sitting on her tablet. She asks a colleague, “Remind me: Why are we doing this?” They both laugh in exasperation. You may be surprised to learn that, for the most part, money is no longer the main motivation for most of the Quad, the four generations in today’s workforce.
Easily the biggest common denominator among the cohorts is the deep desire to make a difference, though each generation expresses it in a slightly different way. Boomers want to make a difference, Xers want to do good and create impact, and Millennials desire impact for the greater good (with global reach) and desire work they feel connected to. Don’t be surprised if Homelanders’ desire for having global impact circles back to old-fashioned values and the concept of “helping your neighbor” literally.
Values-based leadership is a pathway to creating meaning for everyone in the company.
Here are some common questions your staff members are asking themselves. Consider how the concepts you discover in this book will help them answer these questions positively:
- Does what we do change the lives of anyone? How?
- Do I feel connected to the company’s values, mission, and purpose?
- If we weren’t doing this work, would it really be missed?
- If I don’t feel that this work is meaningful, will I stay?