A quick post about a lecture by Unilever’s Kees Kruythoff in Knowledge@Wharton (Global Leadership Lessons from Unilever’s Kees Kruythoff ). Kruythoff mentions that a sense of enthusiasm and excitement is key to a company’s success and makes progress possible. He sees that sense of enthusiasm has been a key to his own success:
“Kruythoff said that his enthusiasm for his job has always been what has propelled him. There is really no substitute for that, he noted, and, in reality, enthusiasm should be the primary reason anyone should work for an organization. “When you join a business, the most important part is to ask yourself how you can improve the values of the company,” Kruythoff stated. ”
A new employee should have a sense of excitement, he added, and make sure that he or she is a good fit with the company. “Wherever you go, if it feels like the place where you want to be, then in all likelihood it is.”
However, the leaders still need to maintain and fuel that excitement. A sense of excitement will help overcome any hurdles in the organizations path and build a positive environment.
Enthusiasm makes progress possible, Kruythoff said, and leaders must build that excitement and fire among their employees. Not every decision is a winner, but when employees are optimistic about the future of the firm, that atmosphere will help move the company in the right overall direction.
The article does not quite talk about how to build and maintain this sense of excitement. Here is what we have learned in this blog:
- One way to do this would be to create and communicate a vision for the organization. Steve Jobs did this very effectively – so much so that the employees were willing to put up with extreme work hours and his tantrums.
- Once an organization is enthusiastic, it may be necessary to provide challenges to spark the creativity (and hence enthusiasm) in the organization.
- Another key to building enthusiasm is to be thoroughly engaged in the company’s business. Teams get really excited when they find that their work is important to the leadership. It may be important to roll up your sleeves and participate in some detailed work from time to time. Again, Steve Jobs provides a good example.
- Finally, forming teams and providing them a clear challenge, charter and resources may be another way to build enthusiasm. This is hard to is multi-location virtual teams, but still very important to overall performance.