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Taking pride in your work

pride in workRecently I received a copy of Bicycle Retailer And Industry News (BRAIN). I enjoy keeping up on the latest in the bicycle industry. As I looked through the list of companies that are in the industry this year, I was whisked back to a company from my youth. Columbine Cycle Works. Many years ago I read an article that talked about finely crafted bikes in the US. Although there were about 10 companies that were highlighted, none stood out more than Columbine. I still remember the finely cut lugs, the detail in the head tube badge. I was impressed to think that there were people who would go to such lengths to create a thing of such function and beauty. As I help businesses today, it is inspiring to see those who take pride in their work and produce quality no matter what their role. From the Assistant who produces a quality document to the Doctor who takes pride in treating their patients. many professionals drive themselves to continually improve. Not all of the employees, however, are giving their all. Some view the job as just that, “a Job”. How do we engage not just the hands of our employees but their hearts and minds as well? This is the number one job of leaders in an organization. That is, to bring about the best in the individuals who work for them. Notice I said best and not the most. When I think of getting the most I think of a Command and Control mindset. Getting the best comes form really engaging your employees. Engaging your employees comes from caring about them and valuing them as people. It comes from understanding they bring value to the organization. It comes from helping them align their talents and daily work to the objectives of the company so they can see how they are directly helping the company achieve its highest objectives. It comes from valuing their opinion and recognizing them for their ideas and contribution to the company. The amazing thing is that when you focus on getting the best out of your employees you also get the most.