Since the events of September 2008, we have been living in very difficult and for many “traumatic” times. These last 10 years have been filled with uncertainty, chaos, and anxiety.
Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant in their very good book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, say that “… post-traumatic growth could take five different forms: finding personal strength, gaining appreciation, forming deeper relationships, discovering more meaning in life, and seeing new possibilities.”
As leaders of an organization, I believe we can not always deliver all of the above but I do believe we can do one very important thing. We can create a culture of welcome and belonging in every organization. After visiting so many different organizations over the last two years, I have come to the conclusion that the successful ones are in part successful because they have done this. In these organizations, we feel we belong. We feel like our voice matters. We feel like our efforts matter. We feel supported. And finally we feel like we are part of a community, a tribe, a team, or a family, which ever term best captures this feeling for you.
At the Fall 2017 From Vision to Action Executive Roundtable during a discussion on resilience, one of the participants shared that from their observations people who feel like they belong or do belong to a church don’t burn out as much, are able to be more resilient, and don’t feel stuck in life.
While I don’t think there is one singular thing a leader can do to create a culture of welcome and belonging, I think there are three things a leader can do. First, they need to role model respect in all they do. Second, they need to never tolerate disrespectful actions by others. Third, they need to speak publicly about how respect and integrity are part of the company’s culture and the company’s core mission. These three small actions add up to a big impact when embraced by all people in leadership positions within a company.
This week, evaluate how well you are doing the above three things. If needed, make some changes so you are doing them extremely well on a day to day basis. More adversity is coming but the importance of caring is always fundamental to success.