“The whims and vagaries of team life sometimes are not so much fun, but more often than not, there’s a great feeling of brotherhood amongst everybody that works together.” –Geddy Lee, Rush
Collaborative energy can be a powerful creative force, just as it has been for more than 40 years with my favorite band, Rush. Geddy, Alex, Neil. Each has lived, lost and loved his work, with every fiber of his being.
OK, I’m a fan. I romanticize. But the proof is in the music. They take their craft very seriously, blending bass, keyboards, guitar, drums and evocative lyrics. They also have fun. Lots of serious fun. And failure. They’ve definitely seen their share of failure.
They’ve pushed themselves individually – and as a team – with a kinetic energy that knows no bounds. To me, this is refreshing, because I constantly hear the world of work cliché about how easy it is to find your passion andbe happy with what you do.
It’s not that easy. It takes introspection and homework, plus a lot of practice and perseverance. But the good news is that the investment pays off in ways that you can apply in your life and your team’s lives. It’s not about becoming a big-time rock star; it’s about understanding you and your team’s particular brand of core genius –the special contribution that each of us brings to our professional life. Core genius is what you are in this world to do that only you can do. It’s the unique package of skills, experiences, passions, interests, talents, abilities and attitude that you possess. It’s something you can all get your heart around, and rev over and over again, until the vibe is right for you, and for your organization. The rewards are more than monetary; they are the growth experiences.
That’s why learning is the heart of core genius, particularly continuous learning, and it’s one the most important activities in business today, empowering engagement, retention, innovation, leadership development and ultimately revenue growth in today’s global, fast-paced economy.
If individuals aren’t encouraged to find their core genius, to receive the experience they increasingly want, where they feel the employer is committed to their ongoing development and helping set the stage for a long and successful tenure of reciprocal growth, they will seek to work for a company that offers such opportunities. That’s what keeps bands together, you know.
In order to truly engage – and thereby retain – your talent (and for yourself, mind you), organizations must evolve their talent development practices to drive the engagement drums while determine how they can provide a more rewarding experience.
That includes the “jamming to” the full measure of you and your team’s unique skills, experiences, passions, interests, talents, abilities and attitude that you all possess – and that your smart companies help you all develop.
So, here’s a great “core genius” two-step lesson for you and your organization:
1. From the Incremental. Big leaps aren’t in most people’s risk-adverse DNA. For many of us, discovering what we can do (and what we’re here to do that only we can do) naturally unfolds one small step at a time, and organizations that empower this progression reap the ultimate business benefits. It’s like learning to play as a team, but internally, and with continuous refinement. HR can and should be the songwriter here.
We’re all in this world of work together, so let’s rock on and keep the core genius glowing.