Making an Impact Doesn’t Start at Work, It Starts Here..

Making an impact to our community, customers and the world is an integral part of the future of work. The need to be relevant, and make a difference in someone else’s life balances the raging use of technology.

We were created with a purpose – a specific purpose. While not everybody is created with the same skill and gift, there is one common ground where everyone can start from – our family.

Everyone can be born with different gift and skill, and so  is being born within the realm of a family. Making an impact starts at the core of each individual, your family. No matter what type of family you are raised with (adoptive, biological), there is always a unit of family provided for you. Our dreams and hopes start on how our family shaped us.  Who we are is a product of a family that either made us whole and complete, or broke us and made us stronger.

Whichever side you are on, there is always a chance to make that difference. What a better place to start with your family.

BUILDING HONOR AND RESPECT

The way we honor, and respect others is learned from our family.  How we treat our family, certainly propagates on how we treat our team.  How do you respond to your parents, spouse or kids when they make mistakes? How do you react for good deeds? Do you love them for who they are or who we want them to be?  Do you ask for their thoughts and ideas?

Within our family is already a big proof that everybody is different. You can’t get people think the way you think, but take advantage of the dynamics that can happen when a group of people with different minds brainstorm for an idea.

During dinner, I dropped a typical question to my kids.

“How do we want to spend our day tomorrow?”

Eyes started to light up. Like an imaginary bulb lighted up their head. Ideas started to pour in. Even the silly ones.

“Go to the zoo!”

“Let’s find another trail to hike!”

“Let’s bake!”

“Let us sleep all day.”

“Let us eat all day.”

“Let us drive somewhere, and get lost!”

It was a great dinner, and a great conversation. No, we did not arrive to a “final plan for tomorrow”, but I certainly know that they slept that night with big confidence that their ideas were heard. It doesn’t really matter to them where we eventually end up going. Getting heard is what matters.

Each one has its own way, and an idea to put on the table.  Create a venue, and hear your team. Don’t forget to make room for mistakes, and risks. Nobody is perfect but everyone have an idea.  That idea sitting in someone else’s mind may actually be your next big thing that creates the most impact. It is a waste to leave it unheard.

LEARN WITH THEM

I’m very passionate about learning. That every time I go to a bookstore, I almost want to buy all the books that interest me. I can sit all day in a specific bookstore aisle browsing through the books. By the time, I’m done, I have tons of new things learned. I once learned a technology just doing that. So that when an opportunity came to homeschool my kids, I didn’t think twice. I learn, they learn, we learn.

Our day and night learning routine is amazing. It is certainly a two way street. I teach them, and sometimes they teach me. Allowing to blur the distinction between the student and the teacher.  I show vulnerability to them by telling them I don’t understand the concept that we are learning next.  So that instead of me teaching, we read the work-text together and figure it out.  It is a complete victory figuring it together.  We both learned, and knew that we both created an impact to each other’s being. The memory of learning together, lingers.

Ever thought about learning with your team? It is liberating. Show them that you don’t know all the answers to the problems. However, you’re willing to dissect it with them, and learn it together.  By learning together doesn’t mean sitting down on the same classroom or virtual classroom learning about a new skill. It means getting your hands dirty, rolling up your sleeves, and immerse into learning with your team.  Make it a regular activity.

QUALITY TIME  IS A TIME WELL SPENT

“Mom, look at this!”

My daughter was running towards me with so much excitement in her face. She showed me a beautifully drawn character – a combination of a carrot and a bunny.  I asked if the character has a name. She hasn’t taught of one.. So, I asked her permission if I can post it in social media, and ask for name suggestion. She was surprised to received feedback. In her eyes, giving a name to the character  is like giving a recognition to her skills and time.

Learn about each of your team’s dreams and passions. Spend one-on-one time with them on a regular basis. Put in a plan and goals for their career by asking the right questions.  It is not asking what they would like on their career, and what technology they want to learn next. Chances are, they don’t know! Instead, ask them about:

“What kind of impact would you like to make?”

“Which specific group would you like to have impact on?”

“Is there a childhood dream that you like to pursue?”

“What makes you excited to wake up everyday?”

Asking these questions, and hearing them out brings out the best of a person, and boost productivity. Because they knew they are making an impact based on their dreams and passions. Help them create an impact by listening to them. Help them achieve those by connecting them to the right people.

TRUST IS PART OF THE CULTURE

No matter how small a chore is, it is still a chore. The first time I assigned chores to my kids, they were excited. Not because they like the chore. For them it is like a piece of trust imparted with it. Off course, they make mistakes but with honor and respect already built into the family, mistakes are lessons meant to be learned from.

Trust is the great divide between a manager and a leader.

Everytime I watch superhero movies, the villain usually turns out to be one because they were not trusted. Their insecurities and frustrations set in the moment they were not trusted. That mostly fuels their bad villain side. Yeah, you would not like villains in your team. You definitely like team players.

Learn each of your team member’s strength so that you can delegate tasks. Then you, as a leader, can focus on your strength. Train your team members, and let go. Allow trust to play its role.

A team working together is a culture born. A culture that goes beyond productivity.  The one that creates the most impact within itself, and to the world that it serves. You don’t have to look far. Just start where you are planted, your family. Then, propagate the same to your team.

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