Written upon the Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park are the words,
“For the Benefit and
Enjoyment of the People.”
These words come from the 1872 act of Congress that formed the park.
What if those words were carved in stone at the entrance of every organization, and the people within lived this in shared purpose and vision? “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People”
Now I’m not suggesting that every place of employment should be turned into a playground, a 9-to-5 recess time. Hardly. Imagine though if every organization existed first and foremost for the sake of the individual. What would it be like if the primary objective was to provide each and every person meaningful work? What if the purpose of all organizations was to provide opportunities that one could not realize on their own, to live out the best of who they are in work that matters, to be challenged to become more and to be enriched and grow from the work?
“For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People.” What if?
“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get from it, but what they become from it.”
Unfortunately, if thos were the case in for profit companies employees would probably work too hard!
Interesting insight, Curt, thank you. My suspicion is that with people-first corporations productivity would go up while burnout goes down. Burnout doesn’t come directly from doing too much, but rather it comes when you are not enriched by the work you do. In a way burnout works as a governor, keeping you from working too hard. But if that burnout is held back, could it result in working too hard? It sounds to me like another reason for strong leadership, throughout the organization, to keep life in balance and make sure the organization remains effective.
Love the sentiment, I worked for a company once that had a mission, “to exceed every clients expectations every day”. Although my first thought was that’s impossible, I came to realize that if your intention is set right you are much more likely to succeed. Imagine the difference in results if it was “to exceed some clients expectations, some of the time”
Thanks for the post!
Thanks, Lynn. Your last sentence left me chuckling as I picture a plaque on the wall saying, “Mediocrity is our Excellence!” The actual mission statement brought to mind the saying, “Shoot for the moon. If you miss it, you will still land among the stars.” It’s a vision that challenges people to become the best of who they can be.