Kennedy, NASA and employees’ motivation

A popular story describes President John F. Kennedy’s first visit to NASA headquarters.

While there, he introduced himself to a fellow young man who was mopping the floor and asked what he did at NASA.

The cleaner replied proudly, ‘I’m helping put a man on the moon!’

This popular story underscores the importance of finding meaning at work.

No, it’s not the astronaut who proudly uttered “I’m helping take humanity to the moon!”

It’s the janitor.

Every job matters.

Every employee matters.

Every position matters.

For the simple reason that if the job did not matter, the job description would not exist.

So the role would not exist either.

The question is not as to whether an employee – every employee – matters.

Rather, it is about whether the employee is made to feel that he or she matters.

It is about whether the employee is allowed to feel that he or she matters.

The question is whether management is generous and gracious enough so as to make everyone in the firm see and feel their importance.

This is why positive leadership requires positive action:

The default setting is to take things on their face value: A job is a job, nothing else and nothing more.

The role of a leader is to make everyone in the team feel important.

This is in fact a significant part of what we do when we design and deliver our unique MARVEL workshops and seminars known for improving productivity.

These sessions are based on the MARVEL framework.

The letter “M” in MARVEL stands for “Meaning” and a considerable part of our trainings is devoted to helping all participants see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

Through these sessions, participants can clearly see that the value of an engaged team is much higher than the mere aggregate of its individual parts.

During our programs we facilitate meaningful conversations on topics that matter for people who care.

We help everyone see and clearly realise how and why they matter.

From the janitor to the CEO.

This is the only way to get everyone on board and, like the janitor at NASA, understand why one’s job is not merely to fulfil his or her job description.

At the end of the day everyone’s job is to help his or her team win!

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