“Part of the ship, part of the crew…” – We Become the Stories We Read

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Impressed?  Excited?!  Do you feel shivers up and down your spine??!!  (ok some may ‘feel’ good, others not so good) Arriving aboard Enterprise in June ’96 I brought sixteen years’ experience to what was a brand new platform for me; the aircraft carrier.  I arrived with trepidation (not so good) when she just left the shipyard.  She was already 35 years old and the dirtiest ship I’d ever served on.  I left with more pride in her and my own abilities, for she was a formidable national asset with more engineering versatility than any other ship in the fleet. I learned this reading her story, through history books, technical manuals, and damage control prints.  I became part of her story.  To bring fantasy and reality together “Part of the ship, part of the crew,” we are one in the same (from Pirates of the Caribbean).

So what?  Likely most of you are not running a ship or nuclear reactors.  Likely most of you are either running your part of someone else’s business (labor or management) or running your own business.  My ‘so what’ today is whether you as the manager or laborer are reading about the company you are working.  If it is your company, am I able to read about it and learn what you do?  ‘Reading’ today isn’t necessarily an involved activity, though as I wrote in my last post, the more detailed and complete the concept in print, the more time spent reading, the stronger the bond to the intended program.

Most websites have an ‘About’ the company tab these days.  Do your employees know the company/department ‘story’?  Can they tell others or share between themselves the mission they work toward?  Do you emphasize this mission when you ’round’ and talk with them?  Do they know who your key people are and how to interact with them?  What are the policies for sharing ideas?  …for customer interaction, including phone and email protocol?  What would I learn about your company/department by just making a short visit by any of the above means?

We, as a people, are more committed to that which we believe in, and we believe in those entities we know best.  Make sure you and your people invest time in reading the ‘story’ of your company, and the policies that perpetuate that story.  Immerse yourselves.  Become “Part of the ship, part of the crew.”

 

[this story is a follow-on to last week’s (5/15/16) LinkedIN post concerning the difference between reading 140-character tweets and studying lengthy character building stories.  I thought it appropriate to share in this format as we.  For more management related commentary, see my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnzoll%5D

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