Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How Great Leaders Inspire Action

It seems that I have an intellectual crush on Mr. Sinek.  I might even begin to cyber-stalk him. Here in How Great Leaders Inspire Action he speaks about how leaders use the Golden Circle to lead because  people follow others not because of what they do but because of why they do it.  If you understand what you believe and why you do something, then you can articulate that to others.
He states that the limbic brain is where we have our feelings of trust and loyalty.  The limbic brain has not capability of language.  When we talk about why we do things rather than what we do, then we are address the limbic brain and can inspire loyalty because we can hire people that believe what we believe.
But what if we have people who were hired before we ever arrived and don't believe what we believe?  Personally, I don't have a lot of control of who is hired to staff the library.  I am gifted employees and some of them have been transferred to my library because for a variety of reasons they could not remain where they would have preferred to be.  So how can I make a difference and inspire action this environment.  To tell the truth, I have been struggling with this for a while.  I can say that I haven't had enough support--and indeed I haven't--but I need to own this.  I need to find a way to inspire my staff to work together better, I need to find a way to inspire the staff to be better than they think they are.  The only way that I can get a better result is to have the staff do a better job because they want to, they believe that they can.  First they need to feel safe.

So why do I do what I do?  Being a Librarian is WHAT I do. WHY am I a librarian?  Is it to get rich? Silent belly laughter here.  For job security?  This makes me pause because I often use this to answer the why question.  But, clearly, I am willing to throw long term security under the bus.  I had security in Hawaii at the language school, yet, I still went to graduate school.  I wanted to become a Librarian.    WHY?

I became a Librarian because I believe that I can improve people's lives as a Librarian.  I believe that I can make the communities I live and work in better.  I believe that I can create positive memories and those memories can go on to have a bigger impact in the world we live in.  This is why I became a librarian.

As I struggle with staying engaged, remembering WHY I do what I do will help me through.  Last week, I had a customer tell me that her friend from San Diego attended last year's Holiday Mother Daughter Tea. The friend was so inspired that she took the idea back with here and now there is a Mother Daughter Tea in San Diego that wasn't there before.  She said "I wanted to let you know that your influence is changing the world."

I always hark back to the one library program I attended as a child with my friends.  I have such warm memories of watching Riki Tiki Tavi in the darkened meeting room, I want share that sense with others.  As a teen, I challenged myself with reading a set number of books during either summer or winter vacations. I poured over the stacks looking for books that would improve me.  I remember being especially fond of the Emily Post's book on etiquette.  I couldn't believe that there was a world where such things mattered.

In order for me to change the behaviors of my staff, I need to share that vision frequently and enthusiastically with them.  Maybe just maybe the spark will ignite one or two and if it does maybe we can get a tipping point where the others will follow along.

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