Only 13% of people are engaged in their work. So how do we find our way back?

29 October 2021

Only 13% of people are engaged in their work. So how do we find our way back? Priya Lakhani OBE has some thoughts.

Priya Lakhani is resolute: things can change. From barrister to sauce mogul to tech start-up – she’s been there done that and all with social purpose.  Her North Star has been clear since the age of 6 when she decided her purpose was to help children in need and improve social mobility. Throughout her careers she has always held this as the top priority and her major business decisions reflect this (every sauce sale = a donation, education software for Chinese schools shutdown due to Covid, you get the idea).

Priya’s keynote at the IoIC Conference in Nottingham this week was not only insightful, but also a model for leadership as her powerful ideas were delivered with an authentic voice. Here are the key takeaways from her talk for driven organisations (and individuals!) to stay on the right course and empower their people.

  1. “Leadership is not management and management is not leadership.”

Leadership means having an authentic voice, a clear purpose and the ability to bring people along with you. Every single person in an organisation can be a leader regardless of job title or time with the company.

  1. Consistent messaging

If the company values are well communicated you are empowering those leaders in your company. Reiterating your values across every communication means everyone knows where they stand and what your company prioritises.

  1. Be honest and know your people

There are good rebels and bad rebels. Good rebels challenge and innovate, are optimistic and offer creativity and passion in the face of adversity. Bad rebels are quick to say ‘no’ and can be a drain. Note that these are behaviours, not personality traits, and behaviours can be changed. Be direct and work out who your bad rebels are. If they’re senior leadership get creative with how you operate around them, if they’re on your team find ways to encourage good behaviours instead.

  1. Find your North Star

Purpose is crucial. Know why you are getting out of bed every day, know why your company holds value for you, know your North Star. This is the only way to have clear and effective communication. As we settle into a post-lockdown world this is an opportunity to reflect on our organisation’s purpose and be critical of whether or not the course remained true in the face of adversity.

Only 13% of people go to work with purpose, it’s time that changed.

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