29 Sep #088 – Integriosity – Re-Align Ingredient #2 – Intentional Leaders – Bigger WHY
ESSENCE: An organization will not faithfully “do right” through business a better way without Intentional Leaders. One of the four important aspects of the Intentional Leadership required to lead an organization to faithfully “do right” through business a better way, while avoiding the pitfalls of faith as usual Side Roads, is commitment to a bigger WHY. As explained in prior posts, a key “mind-shift” and “heart-shift” required for business a better way is reversing the role of people and profits in their business as usual roles of a means and the end–putting profit in its proper place as a means and recognizing the flourishing of humans and all of creation as God’s bigger WHY. An organization will not pursue that bigger WHY unless it has leaders who understand, believe, embrace and are committed to it, and the organization won’t achieve that WHY unless those leaders are committed to ensuring that the bigger WHY is understood and embraced by the organization’s employees such that it becomes embedded in, and drives, the organization’s Culture. “Heart-change” to embrace a bigger WHY in an organization can’t be delegated–it needs to begin at the top and be spread from the top.
In our last post we began to explain the second of five key ingredients for executing a Re-Imagined Purpose, Re-Imagined Values and a Re-Imagined Culture–Intentional Leaders. We considered one of the four aspects of Intentional Leaders (Commitment to a WHO Identity), and this post will consider a second–Commitment to a Bigger WHY.
Re-Align Ingredient #2: The Importance of a Bigger WHY
If you have been following our posts, you will know that pursuing a bigger WHY is at the core of Integriosity®. Integriosity is about changing the heart of the organization, and that starts with its purpose.
The WHY of business as usual is Profit as Purpose (post #013), which brings with it several problems that contribute to the brokenness of business as usual (post #017). Even leaders trying to integrate faith and work can get sidetracked by faith as usual Placebos and Side Roads that can look or sound “faithful” but miss actually changing the organization’s heart. Leading an organization to faithfully “do right” through business a better way requires understanding God’s purpose for work and, by extension, God’s purpose for organizations of humans doing work together toward a common goal.
In post #069 (Mind-Shift #3–The WHY of Business), we presented one of the five key “mind-shifts” of business a better way as rethinking the WHY of business. The critical thing to remember about Mind-Shift #3 is “GREED IS NOT THE CREED”. It involves the reversal of people and profits in their business as usual roles of a means and the end–putting profit in its proper place as a means rather than the WHY. With this “mind-shift”, the purpose of the organization becomes glorifying God by serving people to maximize human flourishing. As explained in post #052, the ways to pursue faithfully “do right” with this renewed understanding are to humanize people, beautify the world and glorify God.
With vision, the leader is on a mission and a contagious spirit is felt among the crowd until others begin to rise alongside the leader. (John Maxwell)
Re-Align Ingredient #2: Intentional Leaders Committed to a Bigger WHY
Hopefully, you also remember from our prior posts that a bigger WHY requires an intentional Culture, and an intentional Culture requires Intentional Leaders. An organization will not pursue a bigger WHY unless it has leaders who understand, believe, embrace and are committed to that WHY, and it won’t achieve that WHY unless those leaders are committed to ensuring that it is understood and embraced by the organization’s employees such that it becomes embedded in, and drives, the organization’s Culture. Management guru John Maxwell rightly observes:
With vision, the leader is on a mission and a contagious spirit is felt among the crowd until others begin to rise alongside the leader. Unity is essential for the dream to be realized.
Embedding a bigger WHY into an organizational Culture also requires leaders to be intentional about ensuring that the HOWs implemented to pursue that bigger WHY do not get misperceived as smaller (and distracting) WHYs themselves, competing with the ultimate WHY (OK–we apologize if this is starting to sound like the famous Abbott & Costello “Who’s on First” routine–if you don’t know what that is, click the link below and have a laugh). For example, here are some legitimate HOW’s to a bigger WHY of maximizing human flourishing, but they are “means” that can be misperceived as an “end” in themselves if leaders are not clear about the organization’s heart. Because an organization, like a person, can have one ultimate ambition–one ultimate identity–one true “heart”, the perception of multiple WHYs will cause confusion and impede pursuit of the real WHY.
- Caring for employees
- Healthy work environments
- Community service projects
- Donating to worthy causes
Leading an organization to faithfully “do right” through business a better way requires mind-shifts that lead to heart-shifts, both in the leaders and in the organization. Anything less can bring the the missed purpose for organizations, the missed calling for leaders, the missed flourishing for people and the increased misery that was explained in post #036 (Placebos–The Problem). We believe it is time to begin executing business a better way in alignment with Biblical beliefs, values and priorities–it is time to begin faithfully “doing right” through Integriosity®.
SPOILER ALERT: Our next few posts will explore the final two aspects of Intentional Leadership–Cultivating Culture and a Commitment to Authenticity.
PERSONAL NOTE (from PM): Focusing on “WHY” in leading organizations is certainly not unique to Integrous or Integriosity. Just like Rick Warren created a cottage industry from “Purpose Driven”, Emerson Eggerichs created a career from “Love & Respect” and Bruce Wilkinson created a whole series of books from the “Prayer of Jabez”, Simon Sinek has a “Why” trilogy! But having a “Why” and starting with your “Why” is different from understanding and embracing GOD’S BIGGER WHY.
The need for “Intentional Leaders Committed to a Bigger WHY” is the reason that the path of Integriosity starts with RENEW, and it is the reason that the process of engaging Integrous to guide an organization down the path of Integriosity must start with the leaders going through RENEW training. If the leaders are too busy to take the time to understand God’s bigger WHY for work and business and the key “mind-shifts” necessary to move toward that WHY (and the faith as usual Placebos and Side Roads that can get in the way), then I think real “heart-change” in the organization is unlikely. “Heart-change” can’t be delegated–it needs to begin at the top and be spread from the top through John Maxwell’s “contagious spirit”. Stakeholders in the organization will know where the real “heart” of the leaders resides.