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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Purpose is at the heart of Positive Leadership. Focusing on the purpose of the team allows good leaders to lead their followers in a way that gets desired results.
Recent research has looked at the effects of understanding and embracing purpose or the ‘why’ of an organisation.
In one study, Adam Grant of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School visited a call centre at a large American university, where each night employees made phone calls to alumni to raise scholarship funds.
With the permission of the university, Grant and his team randomly divided the call centre representatives into three groups. For a few days, before they made calls, people in the first group read brief stories from previous employees about the personal benefits of working in the job – how they developed communication skills and sales know-how that later helped them in their careers.
The second group also read stories before hitting the phones, but theirs were from people who had received scholarships from the funds raised and who described how the money had improved their lives. The aim of these stories was to remind workers of the purpose of their efforts.
The third group was the control group; they read nothing before dialling for dollars. Participants were also told not to discuss what they’d read with the recipients of their calls. Then a month later, Grant measured the performance of the three groups.
The people in the first group, who’d been reminded of the personal benefit of working in a call centre, did no better than those in the control group. Both groups earned about the same number of weekly pledges and raised the same amount of money as they had in the weeks before the experiment.
However, the people in the second group – who took a moment to consider the significance of their work and its effect on others’ lives – raised more than twice as much money, in twice as many pledges, as they had in previous weeks and significantly more than their counterparts in the other two groups.
In other words, reminding employees about purpose – the “why” – doubled their performance.
For more, see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/8288971/Think-Tank-Have-you-ever-asked-yourself-why-youre-in-business.html