The awesome power of role modeling

July 10th, 2016   •   inspiration, leadership, role model   •   no comments   

By Tor Mesoy

The awesome power of role modeling

 

Meet Esita. She is a born-and-bred Fijian who works as the manager of a resort, on the island of Taveuni, in her home country. Together with her staff of 14, she creates amazing experiences for her guests. The kindness, the discretion, the attention to detail and the professionalism of the staff would put most 5-start establishments to shame. I was struck by the consistency of their superior service and I was curious about how Esita had built such an esprit-de-corps, such dedication, such service orientation.

 

One early morning I struck up a conversation with her in my quest to understand. Esita readily shared the three principles she uses when she recruits and manages her staff. They are deceptively simple:

 

1: Don’t steal

 

2: Be candid and raise issues

 

3: Listen to my guidance.

 

Those seem like good principles, but I doubt if Esita will ever achieve success writing a management book based on these three principles. (I did not ask permission so share them. Anyone is free to adopt them). It is clearly not here the secret to success lies – unless it is in a very refined reading of the principles.

 

I pressed Esita: “There’s got to be more”. What is the secret, Esita? Through our exchange, it became clear that Esita’s key tool is role modeling. Through her own behavior, she conveys vision, she inspires and she builds skills.

 

I never saw a vision statement or a mission statement while I visited the resort. I never saw a poster articulating “our core values”. I just observed Esita’s gentle, quiet demeanor and enjoyed the rejuvenating atmosphere of the place.

 

Esita will never write that book. But most of us can learn from her example.

 


Tor regularly writes articles on his LinkedIn profile. You can visit his profile and follow him to receive the latest content and leave comments.

Happiness and inspiration – our work environment matters and making a difference is within reach

June 29th, 2016   •   inspiration, leadership   •   no comments   

By Tor Mesoy

Happiness and inspiration - our work environment matters and making a difference is within reach

 

I recently had the chance to visit the Google campus in Mountain View, California. A friend, who is an engineer at Google, showed me around. It was a nice, sunny day in June and it was delightful to wonder around the campus and enjoy the art, the architecture and the landscaping. I enjoyed the visitors’ center – which in Google style is in “perpetual beta”. The initial, custom-built hardware rack that supported Google in the first year made me smile. (Crumbling natural cork as an insulation material, anyone?) I enjoyed the quirky features, such as the slide that replaces an elevator or an escalator. Overall, impressive and inspiring.

 

Nevertheless … Having read so much about the Googleplex in the press, I was actually slightly underwhelmed.

 

Yes, it is a nice campus, thoughtfully laid out, with lots of nice facilities: gyms, cafeterias, social areas, and outdoor sports facilities. But most of the campus has grown by accretion – as Google grew, the company acquired the surrounding buildings. Most of the campus consists of quite ordinary office buildings.

 

This made me reflect: I believe we regularly short change ourselves and limit our thinking. It is easy to be blinded by the performance of industry leaders, and to think that an ordinary organization like ours cannot perform at the same level – “we don’t have the resources”. This may lead us into the trap of low expectations.

 

If we are to inspire others – clients, colleagues, team members – we need to be inspired, personally. It helps to ensure we work in a conducive physical environment. This is not a vain luxury. It is a prerequisite for high performance. And visiting the Googleplex inspired me – not because it was out-of-this-world-spectacular, but because it was fairly ordinary. A pleasant work environment is within reach for all organizations and can be great contributor to happiness, to inspiration, to common culture and to performance. It’s a good investment – within reach.

 


Tor regularly writes articles on his LinkedIn profile. You can visit his profile and follow him to receive the latest content and leave comments.