Be a Catalyst for Change: Part One

How often have you stared at some inanimate object in your place of work, convincing yourself you hit the proverbial wall or ceiling, and your only option for success and happiness was to leave?

Your perspective may be accurate. Leaving could be your only option to ‘get more’ and make different contributions. But have you thoughtfully considered what ‘more’ means to you? What exactly are you interested in pursuing? Consider this simple quiz, and circle all that apply:

  1. Prestige, Control
  2. Responsibility, Accountability
  3. Recognition, Praise
  4. Compensation
  5. Send help, I don’t know what I want!

If you answered truthfully to any or several of the above, you may have more options than you realize.

Prestige, Control

“Those who turn good [companies] into great [companies] are motivated by a deep creative urge and an inner compulsion for sheer … excellence for its own sake. Those who build and perpetuate mediocrity, in contrast, are motivated more by the fear of being left behind” -Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

“Modest and willfull, humble and fearless,” great leaders of great companies are in positions of great responsibility via collective consensus and belief in their ability, not because they muscled their way to the top. If you desire a new opportunity for more prestige or control, consider that some of the most successful companies of all time have been led by women and men who pay no attention to society’s obsession with power, and instead focus their energies on solving problems and making informed decisions with their teams’ best interests in mind.

Responsibility, Accountability

“If you need me to motivate you, I probably don’t want to hire you.” -Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink

There is a critical prerequisite required for entry into the Responsibility 200, 300 or 400 courses of life. The rubric for passing Responsibility 101 is a rigid one, and for good reason. If you find yourself wanting more influence on decisions and participating in higher stakes conversations, take a look at your contributions to date. Have you saved key accounts? Assumed the workload of a slacker in the name of hitting a deadline? Do you have excellent rapport with your teammates? These could be great examples to demonstrate why your organization should put more faith in your judgement and intuition.

Initiate a dialogue with your manager to discuss the measurable impact you have made over a period of time, and why your teammates and company are in a better place because of it.

Recognition, Praise

“You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit.” -Harry S. Truman

Serotonin-inducing sincere praise is wonderful and necessary. It feels good to be recognized for going the extra mile and demonstrating dedication, especially when it wasn’t explicitly required of your role. If you feel underappreciated, consider strategic opportunities as a chance to shed light on your personal contributions. However, be mindful of this motivational factor. Rewarding effort with recognition should be a key factor in your organization, but if you truly have your team’s best interest in mind, it should matter less who gets the credit and more that the end result exceeded expectations.

Check back to Trndy Indy for Part Two of Be a Catalyst for Change!

Written by: Abbey Sullivan, Vice President, Strategy and Operations at DyKnow

1 Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

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