Work Rules: Meaning, Trust, Transparency, Voice, Repeat.

By Rita Pagan

I recently attended the Global Leadership Summit—a virtual event held at locations around the world. The speakers were industry leaders and the content was rejuvenating. This is the kind of event that leaves you with many professional and personal takeaways, and you need three Advil and an additional part-time job to pay for all the reference books you want to purchase!

One speaker who really gave me pause talked about having meaning, trust, transparency, and a voice at your job. Here are a few highlights:

Give your work meaning. “I just want to be happy.” We have all said it at one time or another. The wish for happiness is one of our most widely held goals. Recent research suggests that happiness as the be-all-end-all isn’t the only ingredient to a life well-lived. Thus, some researchers are advocating for the pursuit of its closest cousin: meaning. Figure out why you are doing the work you are doing. Put a reminder on your calendar or a sticker on your laptop.

Trust your people. Don’t be a rulebook organization or leader. Let your people use their best judgement in all situations. If there are good people on your team—trustworthy people who have skills—why not trust them to do what they can do well?

Make your organization as transparent as possible. If you show people stuff, they’ll make better decisions. If you believe people are fundamentally good, they’ll do the right thing. They’ll repay you by being more creative and adding value to organization.

Hire people who are better than you. Give them a voice. People who know that they are valued, and whose opinions are heard, tend to work harder. This means they are more likely to give 110 percent at work.

Repeat. We need to keep coming back and doing this repeatedly. Practice makes perfect. Similar to lather, rinse, repeat.

Rita Pagan is the sales and exhibits coordinator at International Parking Institute and a lead planner for IPI’s professional development leadership event this fall in Atlantic Beach, Fla.

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