Don’t miss three important elements in the simplicity of the statement:
- “This” speaks to purpose. Why does your organization exist? You can substitute a brief version of a purpose statement in place of the word “this” – “change lives” or “transform our community.” “This” only works if the purpose truly is something noble and exciting. That may require you to reframe or clarify your purpose, or simply to be more thoughtful and intentional in how it is communicated.
- “Get to” communicates a sense of joy and privilege associated with one’s job. It stands in striking contrast with “have to,” as in “I have to do this boring, unfulfilling task.” Someone who “gets to” has connected their individual role with an exciting organizational purpose.
- “We” and “together” both convey a sense of team. The satisfaction of doing a job well increases when you have others to share the joy with. Difficult jobs are more enjoyable when there is a great esprit de corps. In contrast, internal squabbles, or a staff member that puts self ahead of team, will undermine “this” and “get to.” Paying attention to team chemistry is just as important as clarifying direction.
So here are two applications. First, reflect on how often you think, “I can’t believe we get to do this together.” What could make that a common refrain for you personally? Second, bring this phrase (or this blog) to your next staff meeting. Facilitate a discussion about these three elements, and brainstorm ways to create in an environment where everyone says “we get to do this together.”
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