Today I had the privilege of listening to some inspiration talk.
Harry Berry of New Venture Partners (www.nvpllc.com) talked about the three legged stool – people, processes and technology as the fundamental requirements for innovation in startups. When he was talking about people, he also mentioned about the kind of alignment that is mandatory for an organisation to achieve success. Everybody needs to understand the goals, and everybody needs to work towards achieving the same goals.
An example that he gave stuck in my mind and inspired to write this post.
On the day of Apollo satellite launch (not sure if it was I, II or which one) I believe the engineers & scientists were worried that the weather was not good and there was ice on the space vehicle. All of them were worried. Apparently, at the same time as these scientists were worried if they would be able to successfully put ‘man on the moon’, one of the security guards who was walking around, saw a room sweeper who was cleaning up the dustbins etc. He asked him what was he doing there, and the room sweeper replied that ‘he was helping to put man on the moon!’.
I thought ‘Wow!, that’s some alignment. That is great focus on achieving the goals.
The sweeper is not thinking that his job is to keep the place clean. It is indeed true that his job is to keep the place clean, but he understood the purpose of his job – which is to put man on the moon.
I recently had read Robin Sharma‘s “The Leader Who Had No Title” – an excellent book, where Robin talks of a chamber maid who is one of those true leaders, who takes the ordinary job of cleaning up rooms in the hotel as a key task and considers herself as an ambassador of the hotel and communicates her intention through cleaning!
Inspiring, isn’t it?