Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

For months now, people have been working virtually to keep the wheels turning…fulfilling their responsibilities, meeting their deadlines and striving to achieve their assigned goals. It’s necessary work, producing some personal satisfaction, but often leaving many with a thirst to do more…
To contribute to a purpose they believe in…
To invest their energy in more meaningful work…
To make a difference

As their leader, it’s expected that you’ll nurture this aspiration to make a difference, to drive productive change that improves results. 

Making a difference doesn’t have to involve a big issue; start with a lesser concern. Encourage your team to find a small challenge on which they can collaborate, and support their efforts to make it better. 

Making a difference happens when you motivate your team to be vigilant for opportunities to improve something – for customers, their associates, or your organization. Making something better for one of these groups often creates value for the others. Can cross-functional throughput be accelerated? How might we simplify so we can move faster and with greater agility, without compromising quality? 

Making a difference means leading by example – enabling your team to take ownership of an issue in order to make it better. Acting on their own initiative to resolve a problem, rather than complaining about it, is the essence of meaningful work. The team’s confidence and bond are strengthened, which then encourages others to contribute.  

The value created by striving to make a difference extends beyond increased personal satisfaction. Working with others to improve something brings your company’s purpose and values to life for your team, synchronizing the work they do with why they do it. Team performance is raised, generating improved results. 

How do you encourage and support “making a difference” with your team?