Leading In The Mundane
The role of a leader is to inspire others to be more; to help them link their goals to the actions of today. But what happens when we ourselves are lost in the mundane, boring and monotonous activities of life? How do we lead ourselves to be role models in this space when we want soooo much more and can't see past today?
A 2014 Gallup poll found that only 13% of workers worldwide would describe themselves as actively engaged at work. This is so tragic. Only 13% of respondents felt a sense of purpose or connectedness to what they do everyday.
So what can we do? The thing about us humans is that we are always watching and paying attention to each other’s actions. We may not realise we do it but it is a part of our nature; our base instinct. We are on the lookout for verbal and nonverbal clues on how to do life. How do we fit into this tribe? What is the hierarchy? What is our tribe’s norm? People are always paying attention whether you like it or not. This is the open door where you let your light shine in how you respond.
A key to leading in the mundane is to find a purpose in it. C.S. Lewis wrote, “The sense of divine vision must be restored to a man’s daily work.”
There is a story about three bricklayers that’s used in the corporate world to illustrate the importance of connecting a purpose to an action, in turn creating engagement and drive in employees.
A man walked by a construction site and saw three men working hard laying bricks. He went up to the workers and asked them what they were doing? The first man responded, “I am laying Bricks. What do you think I am doing?” He moved on to the second man who said, “I’m helping build a wall.” Finally, he asked the third man who stood up, looked at the sky, and smiled. He then replied, “I am building a Cathedral.”
What strikes me about this story is how each of these workers’ daily experience is different. Just contemplate how very differently they would have inspired the man asking the question. Each man had very different engagement levels. Worker number one might have complained to his mates about how much he hated his work, whereas the last man might have boasted to his friends about the amazing part of history he was able to be part of. This tale illustrates the power of assigning purpose to all that you do in life.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people” (Colossians 3:23 TEV). Being a person of excellence gives glory to God.
Proverbs 31 describes a godly woman and says this about her, “She senses the worth of her work and is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.” (Prov 31:18 MSG). Proverbs 31 women understand the value in their everyday tasks.
Think on what purpose you are attaching to your now. How are you role modelling in this season?