Over a decade ago, I spent a year in South Africa volunteering with a campsite there. My boss, Janet Hardie, used to say her main purpose as a supervisor and manager of everyone else on staff was to "cast the vision".
This wisdom has stuck with me.
She could have said her purpose was to keep things running smoothly. Or that her purpose was to delegate tasks. Or that her purpose was to bring in funding to keep the place running. But she didn't say any of those things.
She understood the value of vision.
Janet never struggled with staff motivation or retention. Not a problem for her. And I can say with certainty a big reason for her success was her ability to cast that vision. To make every staff member see the big picture in our work, and see how they fit.
Kitchen staff understood the value of a good meal particularly to the inner city children who came, often from situations where they had never experienced plenty. Housekeepers understood a clean and tidy space to host meetings was about removing distraction and allowing focus.
Janet cast that vision. And she did it well. She made it a priority to keep that vision at the front of everyone's minds all the time, especially for those individuals who could easily forget. Taking out the garbage or painting a cabin can easily be seen as inconsequential.
Not when you worked for Janet Hardie.