To my readers: On Wednesday, May 10, 2017 my two weekly blogs will be moving to strategicpathways.net/blog/ and will no longer be available through the present email subscriptions. Please visit strategicpathways.net/blog/ and subscribe in order to keep receiving my blogs.
Please tell me how I can create more Explorers??!! This was the tag-line in an email I received from Andrea in response to last week’s blog.
If you remember, last week we talked about the three types of people who arrive for work each day: Prisoners who view work as serving a sentence and spend much of their time discussing their plight; Vacationers who are here to have a good time and will only do as much as is necessary to avoid drawing negative attention to themselves and Explorers who come to work each day energized and excited at the prospect of being part of something worthwhile and meaningful.
Andrea’s question is one that needs to be asked by executives at all companies.
What is so interesting to me is when I ask leaders which type of employees they would like to see arriving at work each day, they emphatically say Explorers. Yet few realize Explorers are created by design and not by default.
Grand organizations can never be built without fostering a culture that enables wide-ranging discretionary effort among employees.
Discretionary effort is defined as: being above and beyond performance delivered by employees with no expectation of reward or recognition, and without fear of reprisal for not doing so, and is performed purely because employees want to do so.
And discretionary effort is almost always the sole domain of the Explorer.
So how do we create more of them?
There is no precise model for producing Explorers, however we do know that all employees show up for work on their very first day as Explorers.
Over time those same Explorers who evolve into Vacationers and Prisoners do so because somehow the culture in which they find themselves causes their initial enthusiasm to slowly diminish.
Managers have long been taught to practice the Golden Rule in dealing with their staff. You know the one – “ treat others as you wish to be treated.
Sadly, but predictably, the Golden Rule has proven to be ineffective for it presupposes that we all want the same things, however experience has taught us how inaccurate and misdirected that presumption is.
The Platinum Rule has replaced the Golden Rule as it gets at the heart of the truth – treat others as they wish to be treated.
I have conducted hundreds of interviews with those who consistently demonstrate Discretionary Effort with the sole intention of learning what drives them to always go above and beyond.
Their answers have confirmed that discretionary effort is not the result of one thing, but of many.
And yet within all the many and diverse sources of Discretionary Effort lies a common theme – the Platinum Rule.
Person after person confirmed to me that the enthusiasm and passion that inspired them to regularly deliver above and beyond results was driven by the way in which they felt valued, appreciated, respected and encouraged to do work that is fulfilling to them.
And that can only come about when the Platinum Rule is practised as intended.
The Platinum Rule is part of a consciously and deliberately constructed culture that wise managers recognize as being nonnegotiable and essential if they truly aspire to attain stellar performance.
Now, imagine if you will, where your organization would be if your teams delivered discretionary effort in everything they do.
What I do every day in my role as a Habits Coach and Culture Consultant is share and help implement the proven formula necessary to design and instill a sustainable organizational culture that creates the very environment in which Discretionary Effort not only grows, but thrives.
Be sure to drop in next week when we discuss the four tiers of Discretionary Effort.
Till we read again.