Friday, January 28, 2011

Engaged Employees Do It For Their Self-Worth.

Muhammad Yunus, who shared the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, understood the idea of linking personal values to the work performed. His Grameen bank established a set of stars signifying achievement of a particular goal for a branch. If the branch achieved all five goals, the branch received all five stars. The staff pursued these stars with a passion, even though the bank attached no financial incentives to the achievement. In his book Banker to the Poor, Yunus wrote, “They are not doing it for any monetary benefit. They are doing it...to prove their worth to themselves.”


Yunus understood that people come up to, or down to, the level set for them by their environment. He wrote, “One cannot but wonder how an environment can make people despair and sit idle and then, by changing the conditions, one can transform the same people into matchless performers.” He saw this remarkable aspect of the human condition, just as Toyota had seen it. People respond to the environment into which they are thrust. To let them be their best, leaders need to establish the right environment to allow people the opportunity to prove their worth to themselves.


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