July 2018 | Nano Tools | Leadership
Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.
Contributor: Annie McKee, PhD, senior fellow, the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and author of How to Be Happy at Work.
Increase your happiness and engagement at work by aligning your job with your values.
Most of us spend at least a third of our day working and commuting to and from work. But there’s a pervasive belief that “our lives” are somehow separate from “our work.” Many people think that happiness and value come from “life” but not “work” (unless you’re a monk or employed by an NGO). It turns out that belief is false, and it hurts both us and our employers. Purposeful, meaningful engagement with work is not only possible, it enables us to be smarter, more innovative, and more adaptable. In this state, we’re excited to take on new challenges and are more resilient and motivated.1
There has been a lot of attention to the younger workforce lately — Millennials and Generation Z — who are looking for “more than just a job.” These workers, researchers reveal, want to experience a sense of purpose in addition to making a living. But the truth is everyone and every organization can benefit from feeling that work has meaning and is aligned with personal values.
The good news is you don’t have to change jobs to find meaning in your work. Even though your company probably doesn’t share all of your values (that sort of organization is very rare), you can have an impact in some ways that are meaningful to you. Finding that meaning can start with exploring the three action steps below.
1. See Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others through Mindfulness, Hope, and Compassion (HBR Press, 2005); Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relations (Bantam, 2007).
Nano Tools for Leaders® was conceived and developed by Deb Giffen, MCC, director of Custom Programs at Wharton Executive Education. Nano Tools for Leaders® is a collaboration between joint sponsors Wharton Executive Education and Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management. This collaboration is led by Professors Michael Useem and John Paul MacDuffie.
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