A Compelling Purpose and Vision
Here is another excerpt from The Shift from Me to Team, which will be published this year. Think about the Purpose and Vision of your own organization as you read this post.
MY REQUEST OF YOU: We would appreciate your feedback. Please share what you like and what could be improved. #leadership #foundationofgreatness #team #teamdevelopment #purpose #vision
What does it feel like when the team is functioning at peak performance as a unit? When people seem intrinsically energized to be at work? When the Shift from Me to Team is in full effect?
It feels like the team is both fueled by energy and creating it. The energy is contagious.
If there is a market for your product, having a culture in place that honors a Core Identity is the greatest enabler of success. A Core Identity rooted in a deep and meaningful Purpose can energize teams to thrive far into the future. Where does this energy that enables a natural flow originate? What motivates us for the short term? What deep and meaningful purpose will have the potential to energize us, day after day? What do we mean by a deep and meaningful Purpose?
Why does a compelling Vision for a better future for an organization’s team members, its clients/customers/patients, and its community have the power to energize an organization for generations?
Our Primitive and Executive Brains
Simon Sinek, in his book Start with Why, explains that our emotions and feelings emanate from our brains, and they control how we act. For ease of understanding and teaching our clients, we use a simplified description of the brain’s two parts. Our primitive brain is emotionally reactive and designed to protect us; it is about our feelings. Our decision-making capacity resides here. When something feels right or good, or feels wrong or bad, it is our primitive brain guiding us. In the executive brain, we think strategically, collaboratively, and thoughtfully for today and tomorrow. The executive brain informs our primitive brain in split seconds that the bang that startles us is not a gunshot, rather it is the kids slamming the door as they come home from school. If we are open to learning and growing, the executive brain teaches and trains the primitive brain.
The feelings from our daily purposeful work and the Vision of the better tomorrow we are creating continually energizes us. These emotions reside in our primitive brain and guide us even under pressure to honor the shared Core Identity that provides safety and security for our community. Our executive brain helps train our primitive brain to be more aware of feelings that emanate from purposeful actions in pursuit of successful sustainability. The threats we face are not of the same magnitude as those confronting our ancestors, but we process them with the primitive brain that was developed for those threats.
The way we treat each other impacts how we feel. Are we valued for the contribution we are making, are we respected for the person we are, are we in a safe place where we are energized to come up with new and better ways to do our work? Understanding how we work best together enables leaders to tap into the team’s collective energy. That energy, once tapped into, can be generative and sustainable.
From Bob Sutherland of Cherry Republic, on Purpose and Vision
“I had just finished speaking to a Vistage/TEC Group in Petoskey, Michigan, and was about to drive to Traverse City when Bob Sutherland, the CEO of Cherry Republic, asked to join me. As we drove, I asked about his business. In explaining why he started Cherry Republic thirty years earlier, Bob said, “People did not appreciate cherries and the cherry farmers that work so hard to provide them for us.” To secure the future for this important Michigan commodity and the livelihoods of the cherry farmers, he felt he had to do something. Bob opened a store that sold only cherry products—everything from jams and pies to barbeque sauce and cherrywood cutting boards—from Michigan. As of 2022, Cherry Republic has six stores and a mail order business that ships 100,000+ orders annually, powered by 600 passionate employees who care about sending the world a message about the goodness of cherries.”