One of the first things that a student considers when they are deciding whether or not to sign up for a student leadership position is: What do I have to do? Their concern...is centered around the job description.
This is something that carries on well-past the learning years at high schools and universities. Anyone in the job market right now? A lot of the focus is on the job description - What do I have to, get to, want to DO?
But what if we changed the focus of the job description...even, say, 10%.
I am now on the bandwagon of better job performance through better investment in the job performee. What I mean is that I believe that every job, every position, every opportunity to lead in the workplace should include a percentage of time dedicated NOT to what I have to do, but rather, to who I am BECOMING.
I believe a healthy job description should include something that says:
We believe that you will be of greater value to our company, our community, and our world when you invest at least 10% of your time developing your strengths, your talent, and your inner creativity. Therefore, you must spend 4-6 hours every week working through your personalized growth plan and developing your core skills. Failure to do so will only limit your potential and the potential of our organization.
What would a statement like that mean to you in your position?
Oftentimes, companies want and expect the most amount of work from the least amount of investment in their people. That's poor stewardship, poor leadership, and ultimately poor business.
Do you control your own job description? Does it include opportunity and time to invest in your greatest asset...YOU? Stephen Covey calls it "sharpening the saw." But it's more than a personal habit that results in a personal victory. It can and should become a corporate habit that leads to a corporate victory.
I've seen this in action and I've been impressed. I called a company last Monday morning that I deal with on occasion and received the voice mail service. While I was a little put off by not being able to talk to a real person, I left a message. An hour-and-a-half later, I received a call back from a very gracious service agent. She apologized for not being available, but went on to explain that the entire company was working on their personal growth plans...ON COMPANY TIME. Every single person, from Shipping to Sales to Sr. Vice President was dedicating a percentage of their work hours to honing and developing themselves.
I've heard it said: You cannot give what you do not have. This is about more than sending people to a conference once a year. I like hosting seminars, but that's only part of it. This is a call to let people...no, give permission...No...DEMAND that your people spend at least 10% of their time investing in their own betterment (is 10% too high...not enough?).
Let me know what you think...I'll be busy adding some lines to our current job descriptions.