Do you feel like the inner flame that motivates you in your personal and professional life has dimmed? Answering a few questions will provide insight into how you can rekindle your inner light. Before we pose the questions, though, let us share a story that illuminates why contemplating them is so valuable.
Sitting in the historic St. Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan before the start of the memorial service for Frances Hesselbein, my thoughts turned to one of the last days I spent time with the remarkable woman who had led the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. back from decline decades earlier and transformed it into what Peter Drucker described as “the best-managed organization around.”
Yes, it’s true. You may be the most important person in your co-worker’s life.
Recent research shows Americans are spending more time alone following the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. To make up for the time we needed to stay apart during 2020 and 2021, you might think that the pendulum would swing to the other side and we would see people spending even more time together than before. That’s not happening for everyone.
Hubert Joly, a Frenchman and former partner at McKinsey & Co., blames the lack of connection in today’s organizations on the myopic views of economist Milton Friedman who advocated that the only thing that matters is maximizing shareholder value and on the popularity of a top-down, analytical and metrics-driven management philosophy that was exemplified by Robert McNamara in the 1970s. Joly believes in connecting with purpose and people, referring to it as “human magic” that results in “irrationally good performance.” He views it as being key to healing capitalism’s ills.
Can we embrace the spirit of E Pluribus Unum and move forward in 2021 as people who value connection, cooperation and making progress together toward the common good? Whether your political leanings are toward the left, center or right, whether you identify as a conservative, moderate, progressive or liberal, the political divisiveness and social strife that marked 2020, and were on full display in the troubling events last week in Washington, D.C., underscore the need for cultures of connection to become the norm in our communities, workplaces and governing bodies.
Are you struggling to connect with a coworker, neighbor, or family member with whom you find yourself disagreeing frequently this year? Consider borrowing some connection tips on interacting with people in spite of the differences between you from the example of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Politics aside, there is much to admire about Justice Ginsburg—her perseverance in overcoming obstacles, her commitment to the cause of equality for women and men, and her tremendous work ethic, even while undergoing treatment for cancer in her 80s. After a noteworthy career as an attorney preparing and arguing important legal cases, Ginsburg served in the federal judiciary for forty years, first as an appellate judge and then as the second woman to be appointed as an associate justice on the Supreme Court.
I want to briefly focus on four lessons related to connection that we can learn from her years as a judge.
In workshops and seminars we teach on creating a Connection Culture, we like to show videos that bring the points we make to life. One type of video we use is to show great leaders in action so people can observe their language and behavior. It gives them a vision to aim toward. To that end, we are going to be posting video of great leaders who connect on YouTube and using the #greatleadersconnect hashtag. If you have video of a great leader that shows him or her connecting, please join us in posting it on Twitter and using the #greatleadersconnect hashtag.
Our first tweet is going to be this fantastic video of Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks Coffee Company, accepting the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 Seattle Business Magazine Executive Excellence Awards. Starbucks co-founder and executive chairman Howard Schultz introduces him. In articles we’ve written, we’ve described Howard Behar as Starbucks’ secret weapon. In this video, you’ll see why.
This week U2 releases its 14th studio album, “Songs of Experience.” The band has had a phenomenal run since it came together in the mid-1970s. U2 is composed of four band members: lead singer Bono, lead guitar player “Edge,” bass guitar player Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen, Jr. The band members have known each other since they were teenagers in Dublin, Ireland. In its early days it was not unusual for the band to be booed and laughed at. The wonder is that U2 has gone on to receive a remarkable 22 Grammy awards, more than any band in history, and has the highest revenue-generating concert tour.