A couple of years ago, I was struggling both in my professional and personal life. I started being over anxious about my future and so I was not enjoying my present. Does this sound familiar? Most of the time we get so immersed in ourselves that we fail to enjoy our life by missing out on those beautiful moments around us. I sat down and started thinking about what I could do to stop worrying so much and just allow things to be.
Sometimes we just need to calm down and breathe. Then I saw an interview on TV about a woman that had developed a hub that was like a “one stop shop” for anybody who wanted to volunteer to help. On the hub, one could find a list of volunteer options. I went onto their Facebook® page and wrote this on their wall: “I am a Crossfit® coach who only has time to donate to a cause. Tell me how I can help”. They contacted me and this woman took me to a drug abuse recovery center for women and said that they will like me to help them with the inmate’s physical conditioning.
So I started to go every Sunday at 8 am to train them and assist them in their daily physical training program. Week after week, I followed their continuous efforts into achieving great things through exercise. It was such a fulfilling experience for me that I started organizing athletes and other coaches to join me and experience what I was feeling. Suddenly, things in my life started to change. Everything was changing at the same time like a miracle. I found out that this miracle was not happening around me. It was happening within myself. I started to enjoy life!
Helping others creates trust.
I am an avid reader of leadership books and I am particularly keen about teamwork in the military. Special Forces is the greatest example of a high performance team. This happens because they trust that the guy or girl next to them is willing to risk his or her life to help. Help comes first and then trust. If we take this to our business environment, I am sure that we will see many colleagues searching for trust even before they are willing to help.
So, if helping makes our life better and makes us better teammates, then why do we not promote this behavior with the same intensity that we promote high performance? Because we fail to create a habit. Any person who works in transformation for any company will agree that to create a habit, we need to continuously follow up and explain the benefits that this change of behavior will bring to us. It takes daily practice to build a habit and contrary to general belief, it doesn’t take 21 days to become habitual.
I work in an environment where we keep reminding colleagues to follow what we call Standard Work (periodic meetings, reports, e-mails and follow up on day to day operations). Wouldn’t it be great if we, as leaders, create a system where we promote and reward our team when they consistently help their colleagues as part of their Standard Work and we actually track the result of this “help” to be aware of its meaningfulness?
I have a dream of a better world?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could wake up every morning and take our Smartphone and instead of logging into social media first to check on how many likes we have received, or to check on someone else’s life events, we log into an application that could be called “Googlehelp”, “Ubercause” or even “Tindercare”. It will give us specific information as to how to help people in need? This could be as simple as taking an elderly person for his weekly walk in the park or repairing a leaking tap for someone who doesn’t know the first thing about plumbing! What I am trying to say is, wouldn’t it be great if we lived on a planet where we ask every morning with a big smile on our face: how can I help? Cheers!