"Help Workers Discover Their Life's Purpose In studying America's most-admired companies in terms of productivity and employee loyalty, I've discovered that one secret is to create a working environment for employees in which they believe they can best achieve their own life goals through that company. The best corporate leaders and managers are able to help employees define their own personal mission statements, knowing that individuals are motivated by their own desires, not necessarily by a lofty corporate vision statement. It's critical for every good manager to help his or her team members discover their big "Why" in life. Let me illustrate: I have for you a suitcase. In that suitcase there is one million dollars cash. The suitcase is sitting in a building that is about an hour's drive from where you are right now. Here's the deal: All you have to do is get to this building in the next seven hours. If you arrive before the end of seven hours, I will hand you the suitcase, and you will be a million dollars' richer. There is one catch, however, and that is, if you are even one second late, our deal is off, and you will receive nothing. No exceptions! With this in mind, what time would you like to leave? Most people respond by saying they would leave right now. Wouldn't you? So off you go. You jump into your car and start driving for the building. You're excited and are already beginning to plan how you're going to spend your million dollars. Then suddenly the traffic comes to a complete stop. You turn on the radio and discover the tie-up is due to a series of freak accidents all around the building and there is no way to get there. Now what would you do? Would you give up and go back home? Or would you get out of your car and walk, run, hire a helicopter, or find some other way of getting to the building on time? Now, suppose that you're driving to a dental appointment. The traffic again comes to a standstill. Amazingly, there have been freak accidents around your dentist's office. What would you do in this case? Probably give up, go home, and reschedule (unless your toothache was unbearable)! What's the difference between these two situations? It comes down to "why." I firmly believe that if the "why" is big enough, the "how" is usually not a problem. This compelling "why" will usually be connected to a magnificent obsession, which becomes your personal mission statement. It will be the basis for your energy and staying power. Truly motivated individuals are able to identify and tap into the power of a compelling "why," especially when the roadblocks to achievement are the greatest. Incredibly, our big "why" for high performance is not necessarily tied to financial incentives. More often, we live for recognition, and for acceptance by those important to us. If you want dedicated, loyal employees don't just ask them to define their role in the corporate vision statement. Help them define their own personal mission statement for their personal, as well as professional goals. You'll be amazed at the increase in bottom line profitability. (c) 2007 Denis Waitley ASB-017-00779 "