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  • The Storyteller

Your Sense of Ownership and Purpose

Referring to an earlier post of a Front Office audit where the employee had said, "I am only a receptionist.......", this gives much us much thought after hearing it.

Like it or not, this is a reflection of the organisation culture and individual mindset.

It gave the impression that employees are strictly defined only by their functional roles and titles. It hinted that there would no be stepping up of duties, or helping out someone in a different section or department.

We wondered whether the management had been saying,"You all are only ........and not yet the ........" (we imagined the wagging finger too for dramatic purpose), or if the individual had been telling himself that he was not good enough all along. Perhaps he lacked encouragement and guidance from his seniors and peers too.

Maybe these have been wrongly interpreted, but sorry, the optics and nuances do matter.

It is up to the management and leaders to actively and mindfully instil the sense of ownership in its people. Walk the talk and let your actions speak louder than your words. Help the team find their purpose at work. Discover, unravel and develop their fullest potential.

The anecdote reminded me of a supposed real episode that someone had shared at a hospitality conference many years back. It goes something like this: one fine day, a taxi pulled up in front of this hotel in London. The single passenger alighted and went to the boot to retrieve his luggage, while motioning to the fit-looking, uniformed employee standing at the main entrance, asking if he could give a hand. The employee, staying rooted to the ground with his palms clasped in front, simply replied, "I am the security. We don't do luggage."

Surprised by this response, the passenger quickly grabbed his bags and staggered forward trying to keep his balance. At this moment, the General Manager and several senior team members rushed out to greet this man and assisted with his luggage. It turned out that this was the owner of the hotel!

Not too long after that, the hotel had a new advertising campaign. The creative featured a man in a well-pressed uniform standing outside the hotel and the tagline read, "Here at (hotel name), we ALL do luggage."

Reflective thoughts: Are there any specific areas of your organisation or department where individual have the "We-don't-do-luggage" attitude? What can you do to influence their behaviour and mindset?

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